Frank Capra’s Formula for Taming American Capitalism
It’s a Wonderful Life Prescribed Community and Empathy as the Remedy to a Callous Economic System
From the Gilded Age and until well into the Great Depression, Americans engaged in one of the most consequential debates in the country’s history: how best to address the economic inequities and societal problems stemming from industrialization, and relatedly, wealth maximization in the private sector.
For some, a bureaucratic state was the answer. As was argued first by the Socialist Party of America in the early 20th century, the state could equalize wealth inequalities. Later, with the Depression, a great number of Americans came to believe that such a state …