The American Corporation Today

By Carl Kaysen | Go to book overview
Save to active project

Introduction and Overview


"The business of America is business." So said President Calvin Coolidge in 1925 in one of his few memorable utterances, spoken at the height of the post-World War I economic boom. This would hardly have been an appropriate epigraph for the following two decades, when the business of the United States was first socioeconomic experiment in the face of the Great Depression, with business in low repute, and then worldwide war.

In the long post- World War II boom, when the success of the U.S. economy won the admiration and envy of most of the rest of the world, the slogan might well have been revived. The president of General Motors may or may not have been echoing Coolidge when he said, "What's good for our country is good for General Motors, and vice versa." 1 But at that moment, another slogan could have claimed equal time: "The business of the United States is containing communism."

Today, it could be justly said that the business of the whole world is business. More and more of the world's nations are organizing their economies, and increasingly their polities and societies, around the institutions of the market, a market that is rapidly becoming global. What for more than half a century was a vigorous ideological competitor and for some of that period seemed a viable alternative -- the centrally planned economy -- has collapsed in practice and lost its force as an idea. Though the subsistence village economy still provides the livelihoods -- poor as they are -- for a fifth to a third of the world's people, it is everywhere in rapid retreat before the market economy. The characteristic institution of today's market economies is the large business corporation. It is the vehicle for the


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The American Corporation Today


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 501

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?