Capitalists against markets by Peter A. Swenson

By Peter A. Swenson

Traditional knowledge argues that welfare nation developers within the US and Sweden within the Nineteen Thirties took their cues from hard work and hard work events. Swenson makes the startling argument that pragmatic social reformers hunted for aid not just from lower than but in addition from above, considering capitalist pursuits and personal tastes. Juxtaposing widely known extremes of welfare, the U.S. and Sweden, Swenson exhibits that supplier pursuits performed a job in welfare nation improvement in either nations.

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The following theoretical analysis helps to make sense of the evidence. Employers Against Markets Employer dispositions, both positive and negative, toward collective bargaining and social legislation originate to a great but not exclusive extent from strategies pursued to secure their interests in labor markets, and through labor market control, in their product markets. The strategies employers choose to pursue depend no doubt on established organizational practice and 22 HISTORY AND THEORY hospitable or compelling economic, cultural, political, and legal conditions for adapting organization toward those strategic ends.

17 In the absence of government protection from competition through price and entry regulations, and where the law allows, firms' remaining chance of increasing and stabilizing profits is to band together in a collusive cartel against competitive price reductions. However, because of cheating by cartel members, and new entrants to the market, the difficulties of maintaining such an arrangement are enormous, even where the practices are legal. When cartelist collusion is effectively illegal or unenforceable, firms may yet have another option.

In the process, reformers leave their own distinctive stamp, as well as that of capitalists, on both systems. In the end, politics, and therefore choice within a range of opportunities, matters immeasurably. Even political institutions are likely to matter, as institutionalists rightly claim, in shaping values and interests and structuring coalitional opportunities and strategies. Nevertheless, to compensate for neglect of employers in the literature to date, most of the analysis in this book focuses on them, not powerful labor leaders, politicians, and institutions.

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