1. Labor Unions

Wage rates are higher in the United States than in any other country. And they are about five times as high here as they were a century ago, in purchasing power.

The recent joining of the two major labor unions in the United States met with mixed emotions. On the one hand, such concentration of power anywhere in society frightens those who know its evil consequences. But on the other hand, the move is accepted as part of the long-time progress of unionization which is commonly believed to be the cause of our high and rising wages. "So," say many, "the fruits are worth the risk."


Superficial Observation

The belief that unions cause wages to rise seems to be borne out by simple observation: In repeated instances it is observed that a labor union demands a rise in wages for its members. An argument ensues between the union and management; there may even be a strike. Sooner or later a wage rise is granted -- if not for the full amount requested, at least for a major part of it. Other firms then have to meet this new rate or lose workers. So it appears, ipso facto, that wages in general are raised by union activity.

Such a close-up observation, however, may lead one to see things that are not so, as the proverbial fly on the chariot

-9-

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Why Wages Rise
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 1
  • Contents 3
  • Charts and Tables 4
  • Introduction 5
  • 1. Labor Unions 9
  • 2. Productivity 14
  • 3. Dividing the Pie 19
  • 4. Tools to Harness Energy 28
  • 15. Doing What You Can Do Best 35
  • 6. the Lubricant for Exchange 43
  • 7. Contracting for Progress 53
  • 8. the Cost of Being Governed 63
  • 9- Losing Pay Through Fringe Benefits 72
  • 10. Leisure and the Better Life 84
  • 11. Pricing an Hour of Work 95
  • 12- Riding the Waves Of Business 107
  • Index 121
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