Classical liberal law professor Richard Epstein's column on the Hoover Institution website uses the flap over Woodrow Wilson at Princeton as an entry point for a discussion of unions, antitrust, and race. President Wilson, Professor Epstein writes:
made good on his campaign promise to exempt labor unions from the antitrust law with Section 6 of Clayton Act, which Samuel Gompers, the most influential labor leader of the time, described as follows: "The declaratory legislation,The labor of a human being is not a commodity or article of commerce, is the Industrial Magna Carta upon which the working people will rear their structure of individual freedom." What a disaster! Far from keeping workers out of commerce, the Clayton Act ushered in monopoly unions...organized labor strongly supported the insidious 1931 Davis-Bacon Act, whose "prevailing wage" for government program froze itinerant black workers from the South out of government contract jobs in the North.