This chapter shows readers the way things work in a mixed economy that's moving toward socialism. Private property exists nominally, but the state has steadily increasing control over its use and distribution. In such a system, productive businessmen like Hank Rearden and Dan Conway have no rights; they are at the mercy of any inferior competitor with political friends. Only capitalism provides the economic freedom that great producers like Rearden and Conway require. Under a capitalist society, their productive activities would be unrestricted by government bureaucrats and envious competitors.The men who meet at the beginning of this chapter insist that the preservation of the steel industry "as a whole" is vital to the public welfare. Therefore, Boyle's virtually bankrupt company must not be allowed to fail. It must be propped up by stripping Rearden of his ore mines and turning them over to
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