The Economy: Rising Clamor for the Jawbone

At his first White House press conference 15 months ago, President Nixon made what has turned out to be the most controversial economic pronouncement of his Administration. "I do not go along with the suggestion," said the President, "that inflation can be effectively controlled by exhorting labor and management and industry to follow certain guidelines."

His words signaled the end of the Kennedy-Johnson strategy of "jawboning" —exerting presidential pressure against individual wage and price increases that the White House deemed excessive. Nixon has addressed some generalized pleas to labor and management, but he has not defined his guidelines. Neither he...

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