FDR vs. blacks in ’30s

He screwed them royal, to put it crudely, with his trickle-down economic policies, which led to widespread singing of the blues in the Southland, including his much-beloved and -revered by liberals minimum-wage legislation, here from Myrdal’s American Dilemma:

During the ’thirties the danger of being a marginal worker became increased by social legislation intended to improve conditions on the labor market.

The dilemma, as viewed from the Negro angle is this: on the one hand, Negroes constitute a disproportionately large number of the workers in the nation who work under imperfect safety rules, in unclean and unhealthy shops, for long hours, and for sweatshop wages; on the other hand, it has largely been the availability of such jobs which has given Negroes any employment at all.

As exploitative working conditions are gradually being abolished, this, of course, must benefit Negro workers most, as they have been exploited most—but only if they are allowed to keep their employment.

But it has mainly been their willingness to accept low labor standards which has been their protection. When government steps in to regulate labor conditions and to enforce minimum standards, it takes away nearly all that is left of the old labor monopoly in the “Negro jobs.”

Read the rest of this at: Gunnar Myrdal: The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics | Library of Economics and Liberty

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