The years 1940 to 1980 were good times for workers in general and American manufacturing. During this period, the United States experienced tremendous economic growth that built the middle class and launched the notion of the American Dream, where every generation expected to exceed their parents. Wages followed productivity gains and workers realized continuous gains in their income. In the America of the 1950s, a blue-collar worker could have a mortgage, support a wife and two kids, buy a car, and be the only worker in the family.

From 1948 to 1973, the corporations were sharing profits with labor and were paying people for the productivity they created. I think it reflects the fact that unions were very strong and workers ...

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