By Patrick Renshaw

ISBN-10: 0333428668

ISBN-13: 9780333428665

ISBN-10: 1349216054

ISBN-13: 9781349216055

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Extra resources for American Labour and Consensus Capitalism, 1935–1990

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This was no small point. Jews like Hillman may have been prominent in union leadership. But an increasing proportion of the American working class was Catholic - descendents of the great influx of Irish, Italian and Polish immigrants. Frances Perkins and others had long recognized Murray's outstanding abilities; but he had hitherto always worked in Lewis's giant shadow. Now at last he was free to play an independent and decisive role. He began at the top with United States Steel, citadel of the open shop, where 220000 unorganized workers produced more steel than Germany.

Fearful of the demagogic appeal of Huey Long's 'share the wealth' campaign, and backed by huge majorities in Congress, Roosevelt saw social security, public housing and wealth tax laws enacted in the legislative flurry of the second New Deal. The Wagner Act, was clearly the longest stride of all on the road to new power for labour within an increasingly Keynesian-style economy . Yet its supporters must have shivered when William Green of the AFL called it 'the Magna Carta of labor in the United States',5 for his predecesor Samuel Gompers had said that of the labour provisions in the 1914 Clayton Act, later castrated by the courts.

M. Keynes. FDR himself had given little indication of this during the campaign. He had accused Hoover of overspending, unbalancing the Budget, piling agency on agency, bureau on bureau. The Democrats promised the American people a 'New Deal' but at this stage nobody, least of all FDR himself, had any clear idea what this meant. Of course, his 'forgotten man' campaign speech had seemed sufficiently demagogic to mark the parting of the ways with old-style Democrats like Smith, willing to patronise labour but not support it.

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American Labour and Consensus Capitalism, 1935–1990 by Patrick Renshaw


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