Ch. 24– “The New Era” I. The New Economy A. Technology and Economic Growth 1.The nation’s manufacturing output rose by more than 60% during the 1920s. 2.The boom was driven in part by the debilitation of European industries after WWI left the U.S., for a short time, the only healthy industrial power in the world. 3.The auto industry became among the most important industries in the nation & w/ the growth of suburbs helped fuel a boom in the construction industry. 4.Radio, commercial aviation, and other industries based on new technologies also experienced tremendous growth. 5.Modern administrative systems with efficient divisional organization, pioneered by General Motors, spread to other corporations. 6.Trade associations – national organizations created by various members of an industry to encourage coordination in production and marketing techniques – grew tremendously. B. Labor In the New Era 1.Despite the economic growth, many Americans still lived at a subsistence level. 2.Some employers, like Henry Ford, eager to avoid labor unrest adopted the paternalistic technique known as “welfare capitalism” – shortening the work week, raising wages, and paid vacations. 3.Most employers were interested only in keeping their labor costs to a minimum and kept workers relatively impoverished and powerless. 4.Most African Americans, working in jobs such as janitors, dishwashers, etc, had no union support. The one notable distinction was The Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters founded by A. Philip Randolph. 5.Ethnic minorities like the Japanese and Mexicans formed a major part of the unskilled work force in the Southwest. 6.After the turmoil of 1919, corporations worked hard to spread the doctrine that unionism was somehow subversive. Democratic capitalism required an “open shop,” meaning no worker could be required to join a union. This approach, called the “American Plan” by the National Association of Manufacturers became a pretext for a harsh campaign of union busting across the country (usually w/support of the courts). C. The Plight of the Farmer 1. With new technology, farmers opened up 35 million new acres to cultivation in the 1920s. The new technology increased productivity both in the U.S. and in other parts of the world. 2. The demand for agriculture, however, was not rising as fast as the supply and the subsequent surplus led to a severe drop in farmers’ income. More than 3 million people left agriculture during the decade. 3. One price-raising scheme was the idea of parity. It called for setting an adequate price for farm goods that would earn farmers back at least their production costs. The McNary- Haugen Bill to do this, however, was twice vetoed by President Coolidge.