The National Recovery Administration: An Analysis and Appraisal

By Leverett S. Lyon; Paul T. Homan et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXXIV
PRICES AND PURCHASING POWER

In a previous chapter we argued that if the NRA had succeeded in expanding payrolls at the expense of profits of employers it might have done much more harm than good. 1 If we are warranted in our opinion that for employees as a whole the NRA raised living costs in about the same proportion that it raised average hourly earnings it is suggested, at least, that for employers as a whole profits were not seriously reduced by the codes. While the effect of the NRA on profits cannot be satisfactorily gauged from these facts alone (the effect of the codes on man-hour productivity must be considered) we shall anticipate the conclusions of a later discussion on this point to say that the inference just drawn from the movement of prices and hourly earnings appears to be justified. 2 If the NRA had as one of its objectives a basic redistribution of the income of the nation to the advantage of labor as distinguished from property income-- wages and salaries as against interest, rents, and profits --its efforts along this line have had comparatively little success. If the objective be more narrowly defined as increasing the income of employees at the expense of the income of employers the same verdict must be pronounced.

We do not believe that any change attributable to the NRA in the distribution of the total income from production between employers and employees collectively

____________________
1
Chap. XXXII.
2
Chap. XXXVIII.

-796-

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