When Werner Sombart formulated the question why socialism was lacking in the United States, he touched upon a problem that has characterized the American labor movement until today - even if in a different way: the exceptionalism of organized labor. If the question today about the lack of socialism in the USA has been replaced by that about the lack of corporatism, the same problem is still reflected within it. Bringing Sombart's inquiry up to date would, therefore, be similar to tracing the peculiarities of American society that would explain why this capitalist society differs so greatly from those of Western Europe. The problem indicated will be examined below in only one of its thematic dimensions: the relationship of trade unions and the state in the USA.