Chapter 22 a -- The New Economy (Economic Organization (Modern…
Chapter 22 a -- The New Economy
Technology and Economic Growth
Sources of the Boom
The demolition of European factories and ecnonmies left the US as the only major industrial nation in the world
, with the developement of the assembly line, became one of the strongest industries in the nation.
the industry caused the boom of production of several other products: steel, rubber, glass, and tool companies
The automobile boom caused an increase in the suburban housing demand, which fueled the rise of the construction industry
US manufacturing imput rose by 60% in the 20s
There was a mild recession in 1923, but it resolved quickly. The nation's economy improved afterwards
became popular before the 20s, however back then the radio could only transfer pulses or Morse Code.
Now the radio could be used as entertainment or advertising using the theory of modulation
familes flocked to by conventional radios
aviation slowly became popular to deliver mail. THey were not a source of travel yet, until the creation of pressurized cabins which made planes popular in the 30s.
trains became faster and more efficient with the creation of the disel engine
These industries also boomed as a result of technological advances: electronics, home appliances, plastics, synthetic fibers like nylon, aluminum, magnesium, oil, and electric power.
Telephones also became extremely popular
Primative calculating machines and the first analog computer
Advances in genetics such as the finding that genes ould be transfered together (not just each individually). It was also discovered how genes were arranged on chromosomes
Labor and Minorities
Labor in the New Era
Though workers saw their standards of living rise (depending on what industry they worked in, most of America was still on the borders of poverty.
Some companies adopted
to avoid labor disputes
Henry Ford for example shortened the workweek, raised wages, and instituted paid vacations. US Steel worked to improve the safety and sanitation of factories.
For the first time, some workers became eligible for retirement
If workers still had grievances, they could air them in the "company unions"
Welfare capitalism did not help workers gain any control of their fates. Company unions were banned from addressing certain issues
In 1929, the system collapsed
Welfare capitalism only affected a small number of workers anyway because most employers were more interested in keeping their labor costs to a minimum. The average worker gained less than the poverty line; thus, nearly everyone in the family had to work
Families were in danger that one of their members would lose their job. Unemployment in the 20s was the lowest of the century thus far, and would be lower than during the Great Depression. This was partly because of increasing technology and veterans coming back.
Even though independent unions were most suitable to protect workers, the AFL and other unions were not effect because they were too conservative to adapt to the new economy.
The AFL, for ex. was still committed to the idea of craft unions, that workers should be split up by craft
Women and Minorities in the Workforce
A growing proportion of the workforce consisted of women
These women held
which were low-paying services such as secretaries, salesclerks, telephone operators, and others
These women had the same employment problems as men in other unions, but were not admitted to organizations such as th AFL because they were not considered industrial workers
Similarly the half a million African-Americans who returned from the war were not represented in unions because they also did not have industrial jobs.
They held positions as janitors, dishwashers, garbage collects, commercial laundry attendants, and domestics.
As a result blacks formed
The Brotherhood of Sleeping-Car Porters
They were led by Philip Randolph and were founded in 1925
They represented all of the black workforce and manged to gain increased wages, shorter working hours and other benefits for their followers.
Other minorities in search of labor support were Hispanic and Asian-Americans,
Japanese-Americans in California increasingly took Chinese-American jobs such as railroads, construction workers, farmers, and other low-paying jobs
Some of them had enough success that California began passing laws limiting their ability to gain land etc.
Filipinos also began taking jobs in California, creating hostility
In the 1920s nearly half a million Mexicans entered the US and took jobs in the Southwest and California.
They lived in slums and took any form of work they could
The "American Plan" and Agriculture
The "American Plan"
The strength of large corporations in America is what thwarted the strength of unions
Companies worked to protect their
business, meaning that workers did not have to join a union to obtain that job
The crusade for the open shop was called the
and was endorsed by the National Association of Manufacturers
When the open shop ideal did not lessen union power, the government acted to protect companies by making picketing illegal and by allowing courts to try strikers.
As a result, union membership severely declined in the 1920s
Agricultural Technology and the Plight of the American Farmer
Agriculture was embracing new technology like tractors in the 20s
Other technologies that became popular in the 20s and 30s include hybrid corn, chemical fertilizers, and pesticides
These new technologies caused a surplus in food, driving prices down and causing 3 million farmers to leave their jobs during this decade
As a result, farmers began demanding
or the idea of government assistance to control the price of goods so farmers would gain at least their production costs back no matter the market
It also encouraged the government to make high tariffs for foreign goods and to buy back all surpluses of food and sell them at the best price possible at foreign markets
Parity took the form of the McNary-Haughen bill which was approved by Congress to use the Parity system for tobacco, rice, corn, grain and rice. However, President Coolidge vetoed the bill 2 times
Some industries such as Steel consolidated easily, making US Steel the nation's largest corporation. Other industries such as textiles did not consolodate well.
Modern administrative system
The pioneer in this field was General Motors. Their system made it easier for them to control their subdivisions and for them to expand further
Trade Associations emerged for companies that were harder to consolodate. They encouraged cooperation in marketing and general buisness between related industries
They were also built to try to curb competition