This volume and the two following in the series on The Economics of Labor attempt to set forth some of the problems in labor economics in such manner as to make them understandable to the mature student and the intelligent general reader. It is probably true that the volumes do not, separately or together, constitute "texts" or "a text" in the conventional usage of the word. The treatment of the problems is more exhaustive and detailed than would have been possible in a shorter treatise; somewhat more of economic theory has entered into the analyses than is ordinarily the case; no attempt has been made to gloss over difficulties or to avoid, for the sake of "simplicity," severe reasoning and what may appear upon first glance to be a summons to master considerable factual material. We have tried to present the problems as simply as the phenomena with which we have been grappling would permit, but it so happens that most of these phenomena are anything but simple in their nature. Nevertheless, the needs of the student and of the instructor have always been in the minds of the authors, and it is hoped that, in addition to whatever services the treatise as a whole may perform, the three separate books will not be without their value as instructional aids in the three branches of the field to which, obviously, each is most applicable.
The writing of these books has encountered many interruptions, and has therefore been spread over a period of years. They have been years of rapid--in some respects unprecedented--change. The consequent difficulties, in the preparation of a work of this type, are obvious. We have, however, made an effort to bring the discussion reasonably up to date, and we hope that whatever errors of detail have crept in are not so numerous as to demand great charity on the part of the critical reader.
In a treatise of the length of these three volumes, the writing of, and primary responsibility for, different segments necessarily had to be assumed by one or the other of the authors. While all chapters were drafted after numerous consultations between us, and the three books constitute a joint product for which joint responsibility is accepted, it seems not out of place to include a word as to the division of labor. The present volume, Labor's Progress and Some Basic Labor Problems, has been written by Mr.Montgomery, who is primarily responsible for it; the second volume, Labor's Risks and Social Insurance, has been written by Mr.Millis, who in turn is primarily responsible for it; while in the third . . .