In an effort to cut spending on agriculture, I suggested putting money ceilings on the amounts that any one farm could receive. "Isn't there something we can do," I asked [the Secretary of Agriculture], "to avoid using federal subsidies to create
millionaires [which in some cases the long established farm subsidies had done] under programs ostensibly devised to protect the little farmer?" This idea, though attracting spotty support, was watered down and thus made ineffective by the legislators.
Source: Waging Peace, by Pres. Dwight Eisenhower, p.386
, Jan 1, 1965
No government wage fixing during labor strikes
At one minute past midnight on Wednesday, July 15, 1959, the United Steel Workers of America, a half million of them, walked off their jobs. A strike of this magnitude inevitably involves the entire country and becomes of deep concern to the
federal government. The first thing, therefore, was to define the government's proper role and fix its limits.
To settle such controversies, some politicians of course have a quick and easy remedy: "In the public interest, let the federal government take charge." I opposed such answers. Let the federal government fix wages, I argued, and it will next have to
fix hours and work rules, moderate grievances, and finally set prices. Once it regulates wages and prices in major industries, it can run the entire economy--and will soon run it for political, not economic, advantage.
Increase minimum wage to 90 cents per hour; and expand it
The outlook for our wage earners can be made more promising by several legislative actions.
In the past five years we have had economic growth which will support an increase in the Federal minimum wage. In the light of present economic conditions,
I recommend its increase to ninety cents an hour. I also recommend that many others, at present excluded, be given the protection of a minimum wage.
I renew my recommendation of last year for amendment of the Labor Management Relations Act.
I especially call to the attention of the Congress amendments dealing with the right of economic strikers to vote in representation elections and the need for equalizing the obligation under the Act to file disclaimers of Communist affiliation.
The Administration will propose other important measures including occupational safety, workmen's compensation for longshoremen and harbor workers, and the "Eight Hour Laws" applicable to Federal contractors.