After first denying any direct involvement in the events leading to the Ludlow Massacre, Rockefeller then endured grueling appearances before the presidential Commission on Industrial Relations, which was discussed briefly in the previous section. Its feisty chairman then released many damaging and incriminating documents about Rockefeller's involvement in key decisions leading to the confrontation (e.g., Weinstein 1968, pp. 191-198). The most detailed historical account of Ludlow and its aftermath, based on documents at the Rockefeller Archives, proved that Rockefeller had no information on the actual working conditions at the company and had no interest in examining independent reports that were offered to him (Gitelman 1988).
In fact, his first step in the midst of the crisis was to hire a famous public relations expert, Ivy Lee, who worked for Rockefeller from then until his death many years later. His next step, well after the massacre occurred, was to hire a Canadian labor relations expert, MacKenzie King, who had worked for 12 years in his country's Ministry of Labor. After several long discussions between King and Rockefeller, which led to a deep personal relationship that lasted until the end of their lives, King then served as one of Rockefeller's closest advisers until he became Prime Minister of Canada, after leading the Liberal Party to victory in 1921.
Once King's employment status was settled, he proceeded to acquaint Rockefeller with the basic tenets of welfare capitalism and convince him to foster "employee representation plans," whereby workers within a plant could elect their own representatives to talk with management periodically on company time about their grievances. This plan was based on the theory that there is a potential "harmony of interests" between the social classes if employers and workers begin to think of each other as human beings working together on a common endeavor that had mutual, although admittedly differential, rewards. The stress was on "human relations" in industry. According to most analysts, employee representation plans, called "company unions" by their critics, were designed as a way to avoid industry-wide labor unions, although Rockefeller and virtually everyone who ever worked for him always insisted otherwise.
The IRC Memorandum to Clients No. 8, dated March 1, reported on the new version of the legislation in a descriptive and neutral tone. It included a comparison of the 1934 and 1935 drafts provided by an unnamed "client company." It also contained a list of questions and answers, mostly pertaining to the status of employee representation plans, which once again was provided by a client company. The first question asked whether an employee representation plan can still "continue to function if the bill were passed," and the answer was "yes," but only as long as "it is not dominated by the management and involves no practices ruled illegal by the bill" (Memorandum to Clients, No. 8, attachment, p. 1). The illegal practices were then listed, including financial support beyond paying workers their wages while meeting with management. The memorandum's assured tone in claiming employee representation plans remained legal fits with the language that Wagner added to the bill at Teagle and Swope's request.
Essay: The Rise of the USA as a Superpower - Online …
Significantly, Teagle and Swope made very little effort to influence the legislation this time around, probably because they knew that they could not have any general impact. (Yes, the Rockefeller industrial relations network basically met defeat on this issue, but let's at least have their earlier efforts as part of the record, not just a bunch of superficial stuff about the power of liberals and labor.) In February 1935, Teagle sent Wagner a copy of a new booklet that Standard Oil of New Jersey had created to sing the praises of its employee representation plan and employee benefits. Wagner replied that the booklet was "quite helpful," adding "the need for social legislation would be much less pressing than it is" if "conditions everywhere were such as described in your booklet" (Wagner 1935b). On a more important note, Swope made a successful effort to amend a section of the bill pertaining to employee representation plans by sending Wagner a letter containing language suggested by Teagle. Creating an employee representation plan would not be prohibited, but dominating or interfering in one would be illegal. In addition, language was once again added to make it possible to pay workers for the time they spent in meetings with management as officers of an employee representation plan (Swope 1935). While this language did not stop the subsequent union onslaught, it did help Rockefeller oil companies and a few others companies, as noted later in this account.
Essay about America Becomes A World Power - …
For the vast majority of Americans, their homes are by far the most significant wealth they possess. Figure 3 comes from the Federal Reserve Board's Survey of Consumer Finances (via Wolff, 2017) and compares the median income, total wealth (net worth, which is marketable assets minus debt), and non-home wealth (which earlier we called financial wealth) of White, Black, and Hispanic households in the U.S.
still the hegemonic power of the world.
The original essays in offer objective and intriguing analyses of New York City as a source of innovation in many domains of American life. Postwar liberalism and modernism were advanced by a Jewish and WASP coalition centered in New York's charitable foundations, communications media, and political organizations, while Wall Street lawyers and bankers played a central role in fashioning national security policies. New York's preeminence as a cultural capital was embodied in literary and social criticism by the "New York intellectuals," in the fine arts by the school of Abstract Expressionism, and in popular culture by Broadway musicals. American business was dominated by New York, where the nation's major banks and financial markets and its largest corporations were headquartered.