Raese, the man with a driveway paved with marble, 15 cars, a 7,000-square-foot home and a massive inherited estate, longs for the days of the robber barons. You know, before industry was regulated at all.
ThinkProgress recorded an interview right-wing radio host Laura Ingrham conducted with Raes last week.
Raese credited his grandmother with starting Greer Industries, the steel and limestone producer that he now runs. Raese looks back on the business climate of her era at the turn of the century with great fondness, saying he wishes we had the “opportunity in this country to bring back capitalism in the way my grandmother had” it. Raese bemoans that current regulations mean it “would take a lot more effort” to start his grandmother’s business today than it did at the “turn of the century”:
RAESE: My grandmother. It is what she created and what she did at the turn of the century, it still resonates today, if we would have the opportunity in this country to bring back capitalism in the way my grandmother had those fruits and really enjoyed it. ... [C]apitalism the way it should be. [...]
INGRAHAM: Could you grandmother start her business empire today, in this climate?
RAESE: Well, it would be a long long time to do it, and a lot of expensive permits to do it, but knowing my grandmother, she could do it. But it would take a lot more effort that it would at the turn of the century.
Take us back to the day before there were worker safety laws, before there was environmental regulation, organized labor or child labor laws. Would West Virginia's mine workers really want to be totally at the mercy of the mine owners? ThinkProgress points to a CDC history which describes how "At the beginning of the century, workers in the United States faced remarkably high health and safety risks on the job,” noting the “large decreases in work-related deaths from the high rates and numbers of deaths among workers during the early 20th century.”
Of course, those were the expendable people dying, and there were always plenty of people desperate enough to feed their families to take those jobs. Ah, the good old days.