The second way workers can have success in creating unions through sit-downs, strikes, and other forms of disruption is if the government imposes restrictions on violence by employers, of which there was plenty between 1877 and 1937. In this case, the government may be acting to keep the economy from going into depression, or more likely, to make sure that the government has the war materiel it needs, as during World War I and World War II. But the government usually doesn't side with the workers if the workers don't have some political power through their involvement in a political party.
In the last century the regulation and active redistribution of social power has become a major government activity and has greatly increased the size and power of government. When economic powerholders complain about "big government," this is the aspect of government that bothers them.
that certain persons exercise power over others ..
By "power" I mean "the capacity of some persons to produce intended and foreseen effects on others" (Wrong, 1995). This is a very general definition that allows for the many forms of power that can be changed from one to another, such as economic power, political power, military power, ideological power, and intellectual power (i.e., knowledge, expertise). It leaves open the question of whether "force" or "coercion" is always lurking somewhere in the background in the exercise of power, as many definitions imply. However, to say that power is the ability to produce intended and foreseen effects on others does not mean it is a simple matter to study the power of a group or social class. A formal definition does not explain how a concept is to be measured. In the case of power, it is seldom possible to observe interactions that reveal its operation even in a small group, let alone to see one "social class" producing "effects" on another. It is therefore necessary to develop what are called "indicators" of power.
Quotes About Knowledge Is Power image information
Thus, the options for dealing with the wage-price spirals were narrowing. Neither corporations nor unions found wage-price guidelines acceptable, and the ultraconservatives rejected the increase in taxes on higher-income citizens that were part of the remedy for inflation according to Keynesian economics. By a process of elimination, the only acceptable remedy for inflation became higher interest rates, which reduced inflation by reducing consumer demand and throwing people out of work. This remedy had the added advantage of weakening unions. I think this turn to high interest rates is the reason why the corporate moderates deserted the commercial Keynesianism they had created through the Committee for Economic Development and instead turned to "monetarism" as their new preferred economic theory. In other words, the issue was power, not economic theory. The concerns of the corporate community had changed from a need to insure consumer demand, due to a lingering fear of what happened in the 1930s, to a need to control inflation and labor unions. The best rationale for making the pivot was an academic theory that in effect allowed the corporate community to defeat labor through high interest rates set by the untouchable Federal Reserve Board. Monetarism first triumphed in the halls of power, and only later in the groves of academe.
What is "power over" and why is it important to me as a …
Although the administration soon claimed that the outcome of its first serious attempt at institutionalizing restraint by both corporations and unions was on balance a successful one, even though there were subsequent piecemeal price hikes by most steel companies, it was hesitant thereafter to become actively involved in contract negotiations. In the aftermath, one of Kennedy's CEA appointees did a careful study of the experience of several European governments with wage-price policies. He concluded that they did not do any better in holding down wages and prices, even though they had more power over these issues than did the American government (Barber 1975, p. 175). Moreover, the episode reinforced organized labor's wariness of guidelines as more likely to restrain wages than prices, partly because wages are more easily monitored than prices, but also because of the corporate community's general clout. In addition, agreeing to wage-price guidelines would imply that organized labor tacitly accepted the current distribution of income between wages and profits as being fair, but that seemed morally wrong to many union activists, liberals, and leftists, especially at a time when profits were soaring (Dark 2001, pp. 64-66).