Unions, Anti-Trust Laws and Inflation

by Frederic Meyers



The article presents a critical look at some popular beliefs about the powers of unions in the U.S. and how to control them. Labor legislation is a perennial subject for congressional investigation and recommendation, action by state legislatures, debate, name-calling, and general emotional upheaval. No one denies that relationships between unions and management are so fraught with a public interest that they should be the subject of public regulation. But regulation should be reasonably directed at the social problem it seeks to solves. Laws are passed to accomplish some more or less specific social objective, and, presumably, the law is passed with such reasonably sufficient understanding of the behavior to be regulated that one can expect to achieve the end in view. It is rarely specified precisely what is meant by a proposal to put labor under the anti-trust laws. If what is meant is what appears on the surface, that is, to apply the language of the Sherman and Clayton Acts to trade unions and their activities, it probably comes near to being as meaningless a proposal as any recently advanced.

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