Full text: From Stagnation in the 30s to Slow Growth in the 70s.

The usual danger into which an accumulation process 
would run, thatof creating overcapacity and saturated 
cfenand was somliow avoided even though we can notice 
that the intensity of the process weakened; in the U.S. 
this can be seen from, the declin ing utilisation rates 
( from 90 p.c. in the 50s to 80 p.c. in 1969 -73 ). 
In European countries the weakening of the process could 
be seen from cruder signs. In Italy it made itself felt 
very early, in Germanylt was acutely felt in the second 
half of the 60s. But in spite of all this no major setback, 
no change in the general climate of confidence occurred 
until the 70s. 
This was due to two major elements which were in strong 
contrast to pre-war circumstances: The labour market and 
foreign trade. 
The high ( in Europe: full ) employment increased the 
bargaining powers of the workers and the unions. The 
large concerns were very interested in maintaining a stable 
efficient and satisfied labour force and were therefore 
willing to share extra profits due to increased productivity 
with the workers. The workers pressed on with demands 
whereever they felt that profits had been increasing. 
Thus the participation i>f the workers in the additional returns 
due to technological advance or to favorable market 
conditions was secured. However much the working of oligopolistic. 
conditions might prevent competition to bring down prices 
in alignment to the reduced cost of production, the 
pressure of wages made a shift of income to profits unlikely.

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