By James P. Pinkerton:
There’s no great mystery as to how to help workers get a higher share of the national output: It takes greater bargaining power by labor, backstopped, most likely, by wage-and-hour standards and tight immigration controls. And yes, at the same time, labor needs to float on an overall rising tide of growth and productivity.
Speaking of overall rising tides, we might think back to the 1950s, when President Dwight Eisenhower oversaw a balance between labor and capital — and, oh, by the way, won two landslide national elections.
So if we want to peek further into Ike’s bag of political tricks, we might look back at a 1956 campaign flyer, published by the Young Republican Labor Committee. The flyer features a cartoon of a happy elephant, sporting a worker’s cap and carrying a lunchbox. In addition to bullet points about the strong economy, we also see this shouted bullet: “INCREASED UNION MEMBERSHIP.”
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