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Part 1 : Memoirs David Rockefeller ... Grandfather ... Mother & Father ... Childhood ...

Posted By: oldmaninthedesert
Date: Thursday, 18-Aug-2022 00:49:11
www.rumormill.news/205832

Came across this the other night. I already have a book on the Duponts, so I thought why not a book on the Rockefellers. It never hurts to know how they think. I found it interesting so far...

...Standard Oil made Grandfather rich, possibly “the richest man in America.” He was also, for much of his life, one of the most hated. The tabloid press attacked the Standard business practices and accused it of crimes—including murder—in its relentless efforts to eliminate all competition and perfect its monopoly of the oil industry. Grandfather was the target of Progressives, Populists, Socialists, and others discontented with the new American capitalist order. Robert La Follette, the powerful governor of Wisconsin, called him the “greatest criminal of his age.” Teddy Roosevelt used him as a whipping boy in his effort to bring the industrial monopolies to heel. Ida Tarbell, who through her writings probably did more than anyone to establish the image of Grandfather as a greedy and rapacious “robber baron,” wrote: “There is little doubt that Mr. Rockefeller’s chief reason for playing golf is that he may live longer to make more money.”

Today most historians would agree that the picture painted of Standard in those contemporary accounts was highly partisan and often inaccurate. Grandfather and his partners were tough competitors, but they were guilty of no more than the common business practices of their day. It was a different world then. Few of the laws that regulate business competition today were in place. Standard was operating on the frontiers of the economy; it was new, unexplored territory, in some cases literally like the Wild West. Muckrakers idealized the first years of the petroleum industry as some kind of entrepreneurial Eden. It was, in fact, exceedingly cutthroat. Prices gyrated wildly, with huge swings in production and alternating gluts and droughts of oil. Refiners and producers were bankrupted and driven out of business overnight. Grandfather was no romantic; he thought the situation was speculative, shortsighted, and wasteful, and he set about to correct it in a tough- minded fashion.

The accusations that Standard cheated widows of their inheritance, bombed rival refineries, and drove competitors into ruin by any means available—all gleefully repeated by Tarbell and others—were absolute fiction. The real story is that Standard was considerably more honorable in its dealings than many of its competitors. During the process of consolidation, Standard offered not only an honest, but often a generous price for competing refineries—so generous, in fact, that competitors often reentered the business simply for the opportunity to be bought out again. Grandfather’s partners complained bitterly about this persistent pattern of “blackmail,” but he continued to buy in order to complete his plan.

https://exploringrealhistory.blogspot.com/2022/08/part-1-memoirs-david-rockefeller.html




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