- Burton W. Folsom, Jr.
Burton W. Folsom, Jr. (born 1947) is an American
historianand author. He received his doctorate in historyfrom the University of Pittsburghin 1976 and as of 2005is a professor of American historyat Hillsdale College.
Folsom has written several books that revise commonly held views about the role of
capitalismin the social developments of the Industrial Revolutionand the Gilded Age. While Matthew Josephson(and most contemporary textbooks) portrayed capitalists as irresponsible robber barons who preyed on the public, Folsom shows them as constructive visionaries who benefited consumers and were integral to the development of industry. In his book "The Myth of the Robber Barons", Folsom distinguishes between "political entrepreneurs" who ran inefficient businesses supported by government favors, and "market entrepreneurs" who succeeded by providing better and lower-cost products or services, usually while facing vigorous competition.
Folsom identifies the following people as market entrepreneurs:
John Jacob Astor
James J. Hill
John D. Rockefeller
Charles M. Schwab
He regards these people as political entrepreneurs:
Warren Buffet[Dr. Folsom's talk to The National Conservative StudentConference, on Monday, August 4, 2008 ]
Folsom is a former associate of the
Free Enterprise Instituteand the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, both free market think tanks, and a frequent guest of the libertarianorganization Foundation for Economic Education. Warren Buffet was noted as a political entrepreneur during Dr. Folsom's talk to The National Conservative StudentConference, on Monday, August 4, 2008.
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