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Great Depression (1929)

What happened to the moral core of capitalism?

What happened to the moral core of capitalism?

An economy depends fundamentally on public morality -- shared standards about what sorts of activities are impermissible because they so fundamentally violate trust that they threaten to undermine the social fabric.

At a time when many Republican presidential candidates and state legislators are furiously focusing on private morality -- contraception, abortion, gay marriage and what people do in their bedrooms -- America is experiencing a far more significant crisis in public morality.

CEOs of large corporations now earn 300 times the wages of average workers. Insider trading is endemic on Wall Street, where hedge-fund and private-equity moguls are taking home hundreds of...