Inflation has become the major economic problem in the U.S. The “fight against inflation” mounted by the Nixon administration is of necessity conducted at the expense of the working poor, much of organized labor, and younger breadwinners with wages and salaries near starting levels. There is no likelihood inflation will be slowed except by permitting cyclical forces to generate unemployment and halt the growth in incomes.
Inflation has tended to depress not only the purchasing power of those who must live on fixed payments; it also is at the root of deteriorating living standards of large groups of workers. Spendable weekly earnings of the average factory worker with three dependents rose in 1969 by 4 percent, to $111, but the purchasing power of his earnings has not risen since 1965, despite steady gains in productivity. If family income has nevertheless advanced, that is because a second and third member is employed in addition to the family head. In 1968, 54 p...
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