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The New Deal: DeLong Smackdown Watch

Jeff Weintraub politely writes in about the New Deal. Being a historical sociologist of Tocquevillean bent, he sees the AFL-CIO and the NLRA as absolutely crucial aspects:

It seems to me that one of the major elements of the New Deal was a set of measures that helped reshape the playing field of labor/management conflict in ways that helped to support the massive upsurge in unionism, especially industrial unionism, during the 1930s. These developments had a very significant and mostly valuable impact on American society and politics (the fact that union members are more likely to vote than other working-class people would be enough, by itself, to make this an important factor--but of course that's only one element of the package), and the gradual erosion of that legacy over the past decades has been one of the more unfortunate and damaging features of our era...

He is right, of course.