WI: Due to campaign promises Reagan plays ball with PATCO in 1981.

Besides Jimmy Hoffa, how much was there?
Enough for the RICO act to be passed in 1970.
Teamsters, of course
NYC Sanitation Department
East Coast Construction
Longshoremen
Most of Early Las Vegas Hospitality and Service Unions
And other cities where the Mob held sway
 
granted most systems of economics/government tend towards basically malthusian stagnation with the past 200ish years being the weird exception, so a better question would be why didn't it stagnate EARLEIR
I’m going to remain optimistic, almost by choice and heuristic device as much as anything else! And really, we humans have accomplished a lot.

Okay, the guy I think of as the optimistic Swede, the late Hans Rosling, talked about how (1) we get improvements in child survival, and (2) then we get smaller families. Which may not be the ideal order, but it is workable.

And interesting that you bring up the last 200 years. Maybe manufacturing is almost uniquely good as far as creating a large number of middle-wage jobs. Or, the combo of manufacturing + unions.

And yes, for the sake of optimism, I think I’m going to put up a graph of the East Asian Miracle.



https://www.stlouisfed.org/on-the-economy/2017/may/tigers-tiger-cubs-economic-growth

A candidate for, quite literally, the greatest thing in human history.
 
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Enough for the RICO act to be passed in 1970.
Teamsters, of course
NYC Sanitation Department
East Coast Construction
Longshoremen
Most of Early Las Vegas Hospitality and Service Unions
And other cities where the Mob held sway
Okay, I’m going to put the ball in your court.

If I say, I want corporations to be held to the same standard, I want you to find a way where this is easily and naturally NOT viewed as me making excuses.

Or, if I ask, would you realistically expect any large commercial outfit in Vegas during its heyday not to have mob connections? I believe the movie dialogue is, “No, a connected guy, not a made guy.” ;)

And the ironic part is, well, usually in these types of discussions, I get accused of being an idealist!
 
I’m going to remain optimistic, almost by choice and heuristic device as much as anything else! And really, we humans have accomplished a lot.
history doesn't back you up. industrialization was rather low probability imo. i tend to take the ken pomeranz/s.m. stirling stance that it was QUITE unlikely. the most "likely" path wasn't industrialization but stalling out at somewhere 1815-30 tech/economy wise
 
W. A. Boyle President of the mine workers union from 1964 to 1972 hired hitman to murder Joseph Yablonski who ran agasit him for union president. Also killed was Yablonski wife and daughter.
 
If I was a purist free market ideologue, not so much the arguments for socialism, but it would be the arguments for a mixed system that would really worry me ! :openedeyewink:
I'm really not sure that we don't already have that to some extent. The mixed system is inherent in most modern states once it became clear that the provision of consumer goods was not something that the state had any reasonable role in, and the provision of safety related services like the military and police forces was not something that you could reasonably expect the market to solve. There are exceptions, of course: I spend a fair amount of time in South Africa, and I can tell you that the private security arrangements some people have work far better than the state in terms of preventing crime; by the same token, state owned enterprises like NPR provide a product that people find some meaningful enjoyment in.

I think most people would look at the social market system in Germany and think that it works reasonably well. I also think that countries that have tried to emulate the German system without the undergirding of an extremely comparatively productive workforce, a cultural habit prejudiced towards accumulation of savings and reduction of personal debt levels, and a productive and non-antagonistic relationship between capital and labor, have tended to come up short.

It is also worth considering, though, that the largest year over year expansions in wealth and prosperity in the US have come in the era of extremes; you had the post Civil War Gilded Age, in which business ran rampant over government, and you had the 1945-1972 era of intense and constant state mobilization, both politically and economically, in which the state ran rampant over business. These eras also came with very real human costs and expansions in the concentration of power among elites, be they judicial, corporate, governmental, labor, or otherwise; they also caused numerous problems that had to be solved by those who dealt with the aftermath of these eras; the Monetarists had to deal with inflation, crowding out, dependency, and social consequences of the failures of Keynsian governance, while the Progressives had to deal with the inequality, instability, and corruption of the Gilded Age.

What all of this implies is that extremes have short term benefits and long term costs associated with them, but that perhaps examining what laid the conditions for those extremes to develop in the first place is just as important as weighing the costs and benefits of bloodless technocratic social market policies, that perhaps are outside of the norm of the American experience for a reason. I tend to be pretty skeptical of Americans who argue that the US should simply import without context the tax policies or Ireland, the social policies of Sweden, the labor policies of Germany, or the immigration policies of Australia, simply because they seem to work reasonably well for those particularly countries in those particular contexts. I think all would be relatively nice, but there is probably a reason why we don't already have them that goes beyond politics.
 
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To quote the excellent book “Collision Coarse”. “...Secretary of Transportation Lewis assumed his post knowing that he would face a contract negotiation with PATCO during his first year. The prospect did not worry him. He had a record as a tough negotiator. Yet his years in the railroad industry had taught him that labor agreements provided stability in the workplace. He prided himself on having learned to game out negotiations. “I know what you have to get . . . to get re-elected and I know what I can afford to give you,” would tell his labor counterparts. “What we’ve got to do is work it out.” Lewis thought PATCO’s demands and its claims of overwork and underpay were grossly inflated, but he believed that an agreement would be reached if pragmatism prevailed on both sides of the bargaining table during the 1981 negotiations. He was the best negotiating partner PATCO could have hoped for from the Reagan administration...

Following the PATCO convention, White House officials began to move toward a consensus on their final offer, with Lewis pressing for flexibility in the interest of avoiding a strike. Specifically, Lewis asked for authority to address a portion of the controllers’ salary demand...

Lewis sought approval for a precedent-setting package at the meeting. It included an unprecedented 5 percent addition to base salaries and a string of other sweeteners: an exemption for controllers from federal caps on pre- mium and overtime pay; an increase in the night shift differential from 10 percent to 20 percent of salary; a guaranteed paid one-half-hour lunch period; a stipulation that controllers in high density facilities would no longer spend more than 6.5 hours per day on position; and severance pay that would give any controller medically disqualified after at least five years on the job a one-year salary in lump sum payment. Never before had the government offered so much in a negotiation with a federal employees’ union. “

PATCO boss Poli refuses the offer and decides to push for more concessions.

“There was no consensus on whether the administration should sweeten its offer. OPM director Donald Devine was among those who opposed negotiating over salary as a matter of principle, fearing that its effects would ripple through the entire federal workforce and encourage other unions to demand similar privileges. Lewis, however, argued for flexibility and believed a few minor concessions might do the trick. The White House entrusted Lewis to make the judgment. According to notes taken by Reagan aide David Gergen at a June 20 White House meeting, the goal was to avoid a conflict with Poli and not “back him into a corner.”

Negotiations broke down and the union voted to strike.

“For all of these reasons, it was agreed that the government would add no money to its proposal. Wanting an olive branch, at least for symbolic pur- poses, Lewis sought White House support for an approach that would add no money to the June 22 proposal but would give PATCO complete flexi- bility on how to allocate the funds that had been offered. If the union wanted to devote the entire package to salary increases, it would be free to do so. Meese strongly backed this approach. Lewis also told the White House he would stay at the bargaining table until the end, so that it would be clear that it was Poli who walked out.”

We all know what happened from there. I think there are two ways of avoiding the effects the strike had on the labor movement.

1. Have Poli and the rest of PATCO realize that Reagan was not bluffing about the firings and they were offered the best deal they could realistically get.

Or 2. After the strike have Reagan decide not to implement the incredibly harsh measures he did. Nobody actually believed that the striking workers would be refused their jobs back. It was a bafflingly cruel measure that even conservatives like Jack Kemp thought was unjust.

For this the administration would just need to accept the back channel message from the AFL-CIO.

“Labor leaders were desperately interested in exploring whatever openings existed. Lane Kirkland himself passed a proposal to the White House through a moderate Republican, Senate Majority Leader Howard Baker of Tennessee, on August 14. It provided that, in return for the resignation of Poli and other top PATCO officers and their admission that the strike was illegal and that they had misled rank-and-file controllers, the administration would rehire strikers with the exception of Poli, PATCO’s national officers, and some prominent strike proponents. Under Kirkland’s plan, rehired strikers would pay a fine, reaffirm their no-strike oath, and vow not to harass nonstriking controllers, in return for the administration’s creation of a fact-finding investigation to examine their grievances and deliver non- binding recommendations. If the administration agreed to these conditions, Kirkland would endorse the solution, affirming that the strike was illegal and that the president had acted properly. Kirkland’s offer represented a huge concession and would have amounted to a humiliating renunciation of the position that the AFL-CIO took at its 1975 convention, in which it endorsed the right to strike for all government workers as a matter of prin- ciple. Labor leaders were willing to swallow their pride in this case, however, in an effort to avoid the horrific spectacle of an entire workforce of strikers permanently replaced. Kirkland wanted “a civilized way of resolving this strike.” As he explained to Ed Meese, the prospect of the strikers’ permanent replacement made the struggle a question of simple humanity more than union rights. “We’re not talking about five-letter words like PATCO and union; we’re talking about going on the battlefield and shooting the wounded.”
 
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