November 4, 2015
By John Tamny
In 1924, Howard Hughes Jr. inherited the wildly successful Hughes Tool Company from his father, and eventually took what aviation historian T.A. Heppenheimer described as a “bottomless pot of money” out to Los Angeles, where he purchased control of TWA. Telling those around him “I’ve got the money," Hughes invested in what became the Lockheed Constellation, a fast plane that could fly above the weather. Its pressurized cabin meant that TWA’s growing base of customers wouldn’t choke and gasp at high altitude. Passenger travel by air became increasingly common, thanks to inherited wealth more prone to back risky ideas.
Hughes’s intrepid nature that drove huge advances in air travel would no doubt impress Peter Thiel. In his 2014 book Zero to One, Thiel lamented a perceived decline in technological leaps. Far from dismissive about the Internet and other modern advances, Thiel’s point seemed to be that they hadn’t measured up to the air and automobile leaps that defined the early part of the 20th century.
What’s important to stress about those advances is that they didn’t reveal themselves in tear-free fashion. Failure defined each. Without an excess of capital and unrestrained capitalism, odds are the advances would have reached us much more slowly. The number of initial automaker failures could be numbered in the thousands, only for nearly every single one to go bankrupt. That Hughes had to match the desire for comfortable flight with a “bottomless pot of money” signals that the path to commercial flight wasn’t a smooth one either. Hughes was valuable precisely because he had quite a bit of money to lose.
All of which brings us to Hillary Clinton’s promise to “rein in the excess of capitalism.” Really? Assuming she were able to do such a thing, why would any sentient being want her to?
Read the full article at Forbes.com: Hillary Clinton Would Be Unknown Absent Capitalistic 'Excess' In The U.S.