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September 17, 2007

Alan Greenspan: The Age of Turbulence

Alan Greenspan's memoir  The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World was officially released today and I've just begun to digest it.

In the introduction we get a first (though not surprising) glimpse at Greenspan's contextual/functional view of unions:

Keynesian interventionism was still overwhelmingly the dominant paradigm in the mid 70s, though it was already on the cusp of decline. The consensus with the Economic Policy Committee was that letting the market set prices and wages was inadequate and unreliable and needed to be supplemented by "income policies." These differed from country to country, but generally set guidelines for wage negotiations between unions, which were very much more widespread and powerful than today, and management. Income policies fell short of all-out wage and price controls in that they were ostensibly voluntary. The guidelines, however, were generally backed up by the regulatory levers of government which were employed to "persuade" transgressors.

Given some thought this paragraph sheds light on the predicament of labor in 2007. The election of Ronald Reagan signaled a shift (though policy changes began before that) from Keynesian policies to more market based approaches. The "regulatory levers" would no longer work to actively persuade transgressors but to actively encourage them.

September 17, 2007 in Books, Economy and Unions, Notebooks | Permalink

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Comments

Well, it seems the consensus with the Economic Policy Committee was that letting the market set prices and wages was inadequate and unreliable and needed to be supplemented by "income policies."

James Ferris

Posted by: tractor rentals | Apr 17, 2010 1:25:26 AM

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