Kennedy makes acceptable use of the space that has been provided for him, remaining at his podium yet shifting in position and stance. Though much of the speech is spent looking at the paper, he does look up and address the audience eye-to-eye during the most significant parts, and during the points which he wants to hit home. He employs his hands and arms to a minimal degree, yet nonetheless uses them in a similar manner, to hit home significant points. Indeed, he employment of his body’s stance and his hands’ movements seem to be in cadence with the rise, fall, and flow of his voice. By doing this, he almost makes the connection between body and voice, between content and presence, seem seamless. All this adds to the authoritative presence he has at the podium, a presence that is needed to make claims and goals as bold as those about which he spoke.
Raskob and the du Ponts were anti-Roosevelt at the Democratic National Convention in 1932, but they were pleased with the repeal of prohibition and other early New Deal measures. Then tensions gradually developed over tax and labor policies, with a special focus on the majority rule decision by the National Labor Board. The du Ponts and their allies soon led a successful effort by ultraconservatives to install new leadership and take over the NAM in 1934 at a point when its financial situation was at a low ebb due to the loss of small-business members hit hard by the depression (Burch 1973). They then increased its advertising and public relations budget from $36,500 in 1933 to $467,759 by 1936 (Lichtman 2008, pp. 62-63).
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Although various factors seem to have contributed to the decline of the Knights, including tensions between craft and unskilled workers, Voss (1993, pp. 186-204) uses cross-national comparisons with Great Britain and France, and a close look at the rise and decline of Knight assemblies in New Jersey, to argue that the most important factor was the unusual strength and cohesion of American employer associations. These associations displayed brutal determination in combating the growth of labor unions, because they dominated local governments and political parties. Voss then draws an important contrast when she shows that the British and French governments in effect forced employers to compromise with workers (Voss 1993, pp. 238-239). For a combination of reasons, including the continuing power of land-based aristocrats and the greater strength of their national governments, the business owners did not dominate Britain or France (cf. Guttsman 1969; Hamilton 1991; Mann 1993).
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The growth in membership during the war caused the union leaders to develop the same illusions about their strength that their predecessors harbored during World War I. At the same time, the AFL muted its antagonism toward the CIO in the post-war years because it had gained in strength and members. Moreover, the AFL and CIO started to work together in the months after the end of the war as workers lost ground due to a strong one-two punch. First, there was an abrupt end to overtime pay due to the end of defense production. Second, there was a rise in inflation because the ultraconservatives inside and outside Congress insisted upon the immediate end of price controls, even though the economy was not producing enough consumer good to be ready for that step. But the ensuing strike actions by several major unions failed in the face of united opposition by the reinvigorated corporate leaders and instead created a backlash that gave Congress the opportunity in early 1946 to legislate many of the restrictions that the Southern Democrats and the NAM had decided upon in 1939. Only a veto by Truman, upheld by liberals and moderates in the House, kept those restrictions from becoming law at that early post-war juncture.
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The arguments about inflation between the White House and the liberal-labor alliance were paralleled by similar debates within the aforementioned Committee for Economic Development, which is an ideal window into the mindset of corporate moderates. Established in 1942 by members of the Business Advisory Council, its primary focus was an effort to create conservative policies that would be good enough to guard against the return of depression-era economic conditions after World War II. Moreover, it was the most accessible, research-oriented, and transparent of several moderate policy-discussion organizations. Its published policy statements, along with its letters and memos in archives, reveal how corporate moderates dealt with ultraconservatives, the liberal-labor alliance, and government officials in its years of significant influence, from the 1940s to the early 1980s. Usually called the CED, its official policy statements are especially useful because they included memoranda of comment, reservation, or outright dissent that were crafted by individual trustees, and then sometimes joined by other trustees, which makes it possible to ascertain the nature and size of dissident coalitions within the moderate camp on specific issues.