Freeman

ARTICLE

Learning By Doing

OCTOBER 01, 1959 by E.F. HUTTON

Ideas made possible our nation’s growth. We are a venturesome, valor­ous, risk-taking people who backed ideas with savings.

If the labor unions would back their ideas with the money collected from their dues-paying members and, instead of striking against bus­iness, go into a business for themselves and prove that they can operate it—can run full time at all times, pay higher wages than present man­agement, have shorter hours, better working conditions, and make enough money to keep operating and pay their shareowners (dues pay­ers) a fair return on their investment—they would get a better edu­cation in the relationship of profits to jobs and job security, to the standard of living, and of productivity to wage increases.

Steel men, automobile men, coal mining men, mill owners, and hun­dreds of others have twitted unions to make good their claims to buy a company, run it, and prove they can do so better than those they now criticize and strike against. It’s wide open, and all can step in and try it. But, Mr. Unionman, don’t overlook the 52 per cent federal tax on profits.

The big unions are reported to have millions of dollars on hand. Why not buy a company, and run it, and prove that wages can be increased without setting the stage for higher inflation?

Mr. Hutton is the well-known industrialist, investment banker, and author of the column, "Think It Through."

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October 1959

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December 2014

Unfortunately, educating people about phenomena that are counterintuitive, not-so-easy to remember, and suggest our individual lack of human control (for starters) can seem like an uphill battle in the war of ideas. So we sally forth into a kind of wilderness, an economic fairyland. We are myth busters in a world where people crave myths more than reality. Why do they so readily embrace untruth? Primarily because the immediate costs of doing so are so low and the psychic benefits are so high.
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