Larger context for LACK in Corpus USbrown_UKbncw/UK_bncw.txt
In the 19th Century the working classes, exasperated by their plight and the lack of initiative of their employers, formed into trades unions to give themselves the corporate strength which individuals lacked. The unions have steadfastly tried to improve the lot of their members, often, it sometimes seems, at the expense of the workers' own industries.
In the past, the unions have demanded, and got, a larger slice of the existing "cake" -- the profits of the industry in which they work.
If it happened that the particular industry or business was working less efficiently than its foreign competitors, it was simply further relatively weakened.
The available reserves of its accumulated profit were reduced by workers' demands, and by high taxation too, so that there was little money for the much-needed capital investment in new plant and machinery or for research and development.
New equipment was therefore brought sparingly or deferred altogether, thereby slowing relative progress still further.
Meanwhile, beyond our shores, the world's industrial practices and capacities advanced.
In the late 1960's, a Volkswagen car took 19 man- hours to build, thanks largely to semi-automatic aids.