chapter  8
37 Pages

Corporate Liberalism and the Functions of Government

Forawhile,duringtheopeningandmiddleyearsoftheCorporateLiberalera,itappearedasiftheUnitedStateshadmanagedtoovercomemostoftheproblemsthathaveplaguedallcapitalistsocieties. Perpetualeconomicgrowthwithlowinflationseemedthenorm.Class conflictseemedlikearelicofadimlyrememberedpast.Enjoymentof theworld'snaturalresourcesseemedvirtuallyanAmericanbirthright. TheUnitedStates,itseemed,wascontentedandconfident.Giant corporations,blessedwithunprecedentedproductive,financial,and technicalcapacity,producedgoodsandservicesinquantitiesnever beforeimagined.Theorganizationofkeysectorsoftheworkforceinto laborunionsguaranteedregularized,evencivilizedcollectivebargainingarrangementsandtransferredtheclassiclabor-managementconfrontationfromthefactoryfloorandthestreetstothenegotiatingtable andthegovernmentoffice.Governmentprogramsinsocialinsurance andsocialwelfareeaseddiscontentandprovidedamodicumofhumanitarianjustice.America'spositionasthepre-eminentcapitalist powergaveitaccesstocheaprawmaterialsintheThirdWorldand favorableaccesstomarketsforitsfinishedgoodsandagricultural productsalloverthenonsocialistworld,indevelopedandless-developednationsalike.