The New Leadership in Industry

By Sam A. Lewisohn | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VIII THE MODERN EMPLOYERS' WAGE POLICIES

ANYONE who has given any thought to wage theories and policies soon realizes how uncertain are the principles of wage determination. It is a perplexing subject, both to those with an academic interest, and to the employer dealing with its practical aspects from day to day. The latter finds it one of his greatest problems. The more forward-looking type of employer may know the limits of his own business, but nevertheless may feel sensitive to the cry raised about him for a "living wage" adequate to support his workers according to American standards.

Particularly during times of depression, when many organs upon which he relies call for lower costs and lower wages, he is beset by doubts as to what course to pursue. If he is swayed by social considerations, there may be at times a conflict in his mind as to whether he will serve labor, the consumer and himself best by a liberal wage policy or by the exercise of restraint through a more restricted outlay.

An opinion generally voiced among those interested in a better social order is that the employer

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