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March 22, 2010



Would not one explanation be this: that after 1945 for trend GDP growth increased dramatically over the 1930s, a) because of reconstruction and catch-up, and b) because of greater international co-operation, better government, trade etc. Of this (a) is only temporary whereas (b) is more permanent.

But by the end of the 1960s (a) had run its course, but policy-makers and wage earners/companies didn't realise this, or thought (b) was a larger component than it was, and so allowed/demanded/gave larger wage increases than was justified?

john Terry's Mum

Isn't the real underlying issue that we have reached the ""NATURAL LIMITS" OF DEMOCRACY" itself?

Chris Williams

Once, a long time ago, Sidney Pollard pointed out to me that in 1974ish the rate of profit fell to an all-time low: essentially, the benefits of capitalism were being consumed by the workers, rather than the owners of capital. The implied sequel (which I've worked out for myself, given that SP din't talk about it) was that the capitalists felt this state of affairs to be unfair and proceeded to do something about it.

James Bloodworth

'One possibility is that, in the 50s, people had a vivid memory of the 1930s and so were scared of unemployment, and this restrained wage militancy. By the early 70s, though, workers who remembered the 30s had retired, to be replaced by those who had only known full employment and so expected it to continue.'

Just as the increasing union militancy is now occuring a little over a generation after the last round of union militancy - and at the worst possible time: reaching it's peak probably under a new conservative administration this could essentially be the union's last gasp. While Cameron may be no Thatcher, the unions are not the powerful unions of the 1970s. Their future certainly looks extremely bleak.

When the Tory cuts really start to kick in (presuming they win the election, which I still think they will), we will probably see just how weak the unions have actually become.

Grumpy Optimist - Andrew Richardson

What about the argument that persuades me and which I have written on my blog that at this level of government - which is more than GNP spending, and includes regulation, laws and oversight, a subtle corruption of the spirit takes hold and a sense of empowerment and responsibility fades away. There is a tipping point where corruption becomes endemic. I sense we are now at that tipping point

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