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This has been a period for re-examining the National Labor Relations
Act by all segments of the industrial relations community. Academic
analyses are marked by unhappiness with the current state of
law. This theme is fairly new. Ten years ago, one would have found
general agreement among labor, management and most academic
scholars that the Act was doing its job, helping to provide free choice
and free collective bargaining.
The consensus which existed a short time ago no longer exists.
On the right, where free market analysis has become a prominent
feature, there is the claim that the NLRA is inefficient and causes
interference with the benevolent working of the market. Thus, for
example, at a recent symposium held by the Yale Law Journal to
commemorate the New Deal, Professor Richard Epstein of the University
of Chicago suggested that the entire NLRA be done away
with.' In its place, he suggested that we return to the common law.
He concluded on the basis of economic and political theory that a
common law system based entirely on contract is more likely to promote
the interests of workers, management and society in general.
Date of Authorship for this Version
National Labor Relations Act, industrial relations