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

If we want to stick to a supply determined explanation we 
should have to argue in the following way: The pressure of 
labour coming from agriculture kept wages low which made 
the building up of industry and of towns possible.To the 
extent to which wages su^equently rose this process was 
braked and the growth rate declined. But the fact is that 
real wages were high in the U.S. from the very start, and 
there was hardly any pressure from agriculture. It is far more 
in accordance with what we know that the idusstrial 
entrepreneur had to exert a pull on the labour force by 
paying higher wages( which according to E.Rothbarth also 
explains the comparatively great efforts of the American 
industrialists to introduce labour saving innovations ). 
This pu’.ll would also affect the rate of immigration which 
should not be taken as an exogenous datum but was strongly 
influenced by the chances of employment. Furthermore, 
seing that the American development did not rely on exports 
but very largely on the internal market, the positive effects 
of high wages on internal demand must have outweighed the 
negative effects on exports. ( In this respect the situation 
was different from that of the newly industrialising countries 
of more recent times ). Thus it appears plausible that 
the shift from agriculture was dominated by demand and that 
the growth of the non-agricultural laBOUR force was th^leffect 
and not the cause of accumulation. In t^h same way it is 
highly plaus ible to argue that the declining growth rate of 
the non-agricultural labour force was the effect of a 
weakening of accumulation and not its cause. The industrial 
labour force might well have increased more by pulling more 
labour out of agriculture or drawing more on foreign laour supply. 
Labour force was not the barriar of accumulation.

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