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The contrast between the equitable-growth years before the 1970s and the poor economic performance since should alone recommend a return to the Wagner Act and the New Deal regulations. Others would support the NLRB from an appreciation of the responsibilities of good governance. For decades, Republicans and Democrats opposed to unions and the New Deal accepted a responsibility to enforce the Wagner Act and to sustain the National Labor Relations Board as the legitimate agency charged with policing labor relations in the United States.
Today a small minority of senators are abusing parliamentary procedures to block the appointment of members to the National Labor Relations Board. By undermining the work of the board, they are damaging the American economy, hurting American jobs and undercutting respect for law.
We are close to the 78th anniversary of the signing of the Wagner Act. The Senate should send Obama’s appointments to the board so that it can again do its important work.
Gerald Friedman is a professor of economics at University of Massachusetts at Amherst.