Labor Unions and Public Policy

Labor Unions and Public Policy

Labor Unions and Public Policy

Labor Unions and Public Policy


Perhaps no more significant nor far-reaching development has occurred in the United States within the last twenty-five years than the change in the position of labor. During the quarter-century, organized labor has grown from some three million to well over seventeen million members; it has brought its two largest segments under unified national direction; and it has acquired economic and political power of substantial proportions.

The historical development of the United States is marked by a consistent and deeply ingrained public aversion to the concentration of unchecked power. Wherever and whenever undue power became vested in any group within our society, public awareness of the problem has been followed by public action to eliminate or curtail the resulting imbalance. This has been the classic pattern, perhaps best typified by the enactment of the antitrust laws to curb the economic power of the business monopolist.

The essential ingredient to the formulation of an intelligent public policy to deal with the rapid growth of labor union power is a thorough understanding of the nature, extent, and probable implications of the power position of organized labor today.

As a beginning step toward this objective, four studies are presented in LABOR UNIONS AND PUBLIC POLICY. Dr. Edward H. Chamberlin, whose ECONOMIC ANALYSIS OF LABOR UNION POWER appears first, is David A. Wells Professor of Political Economy at Harvard University and Editor of the Quarterly Journal of Economics. Best known for his THE THEORY OF MONOPOLISTIC COMPETITION, the author has served as Chairman of the Harvard Department of Economics and as an officer of both the American Economic and the Catholic Economic Associations.

Dr. Philip D. Bradley is the author of INVOLUNTARY PARTICIPATION IN UNIONISM. For many years a member of the Department of Economics at Harvard University, he is now a Visiting Professor at the University of Virginia. His study comprises a systematic economic and legal analysis of the logic underlying involuntarism.

STATES RIGHTS AND THE LAW OF LABOR RELATIONS is the contribution of Gerard D. Reilly, Washington attorney and current Chairman of the Labor Law Section of the American Bar Association. He is a former Solicitor of the United States Department of Labor and a former member of the National Labor Relations Board. Mr. Reilly's study analyzes some of the jurisdictional conflicts between Federal and state law and blueprints areas in which some clear assignment of power is indicated.

Dean Roscoe Pound ranks among the foremost legal scholars in . . .

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