Trade and labor laws all tamper with the natural Law of Survival Of the Fittest (SOF).
Somewhere along the way of Civilization, the unfit and their champions gained enough political power to create laws protecting the unfit from the exploitation of the fit, in a manner of speaking. But they characteristically failed to remember put into those laws a means of retaining the benefits of SOF. To do that they must first look at the history of SOF and determine its benefits.
One can easily see that SOF provides the main benefit of ridding rids the planet of the segment of the unfit that presents the most challenge and direct threat to the fit. That means, of course, that the absolutely LEAST fit often manage to thrive in remote enclaves because they slither under rocks when the shooting starts and stay their till after the combat ends and the fit go on enjoying their fitness undisturbed.
Clearly, society tampers with SOF because it seems so gruesome and unpleasant to see the fit slaughter (as in the case of the white man versus Americian Aborigines) and enslave (as in the case of the white man versus African tribes people imported into the Americas) the less. But how shall laws retain the benefits of SOF without fully reinstating SOF?
I believe answering and implementing the answers to that question constitutes such an onerous task that the SOF reformers say “to hell with it” and simply mess with SOF, having no regard for the unsavory consequence of a burgeoning population of the unfit, or terrifying penalties of tampering with SOF.
We can see the lack of wisdom in laws protecting the unfit down through American history. But for some reason (like the presence of many delusional and possibly unfit people in government who refuse to heed SOF’s lessons) they seldom seem savvy enough to fix the laws so as to retain the benefits of SOF. Few examples of this neglect become more clearly evident than the grand schemes of liberating slaves without preparing them for citizenship, allowing labor unions to have a monopoly over labor negotiations, or child labor laws that teach sloth to children. Philosophers have observed that people who don’t work go crazy, and crazy people don’t work.
All of this tampering with SOF has caused the unfit to proliferate because parents see no problem with procreating hordes of unfit children. Now government will care for them, and if the offspring want to, they can become even more criminally wealthy by venturing forth in the neighborhood to engage in criminal activities like drug dealing, mugging people, carjacking, and burgling homes.
All of this tampering with SOF has imposed profound and monumental burdens upon the American population without providing much benefit for those who must pay the tab.
Now, let’s take a look at three examples of such tampering: minimun wage laws, labor union laws, and right-to-work laws. Government imposes a lower limit on the wages employers may pay certain kinds of workers. Government requires corporations to negotiate with unions for wage scales, benefits, and conditions for workers under penalty of shutting the business down with a strike. And of course union members then intimidate all who hate the unions and their thuggishness into joining or staying away from the workplace. All of that causes a dramatic increase in the cost of goods and services provided by unionized labor, and it helps to drive factories offshore where workers cost the corporation less. That deprives American laborers of jobs, and many go on the welfare rolls or get unemployment which increases the tax burden of the entire taxpayer population.
Advocates of such laws say people need minimum wage laws in order to live, and without such laws, low-wage workers will have to depend upon public welfare for subsistence. For some reason they never manage to see low-wage workers in a class of people known as “dependents,” but they should. And ALL such dependent people should either live on whatever wages they can earn, OR find a family to take them in for domestic labor in exchange for room and board, OR find a corporation willing to provide gainful employment in exchange for room and board (such as in a FEMA camp). And after all, minimum wage laws don’t, in actual practice, keep people off the welfare rolls.
To counteract the negative impact of unions on people who hate them and don’t want to join them, states enact right-to-work laws that prohibit employers from restricting employment to union members. THAT regulation requires policing, of course, and it costs taxpayers even more, and further increases prices of the goods and services. Of course, the non-union workers try to demand the same wages and benefits that union workers get, and that makes union members generally hate scabs.
I think government should eliminate laws requiring companies to negotiate with unions, and prohibit unions from destroying companies who don’t want to pay exorbitant wages (pay more than the value of the work). And laws should impose severe penalties on union members who intimidate scabs. People can always relocate or choose other employment, or become entrepreneurs.
And those who lack the intelligence to compete can become domestic servants in exchange for room and board with affluent families. Or they might opt to live in a labor (FEMA) camp, do piece work in its free trade zones, and enjoy the close supervision they deserve. Those who don’t like this can implement laws restricting procreation privileges to those intelligent enough to take care of themselves in modern society.
See? I have solved the whole dilemma of protectionism – let those enjoying the protection pay the cost. But you might enjoy someone else’s perspectives. How about this one?
July 18, 2014
The Problem with Right-to-Work Laws
by Logan Albright on July 18, 2014
One area where many otherwise-correct free-market thinkers and libertarians stumble is in the area of right-to-work laws, now gaining considerable popularity across the nation. These laws come in a variety of forms, but in most cases a state that adopts right-to-work laws makes it illegal for employers to require union membership as a condition of employment. So far, twenty-four states have adopted these laws and the state legislature in Missouri has plans to make that state a right-to-work state sometime early next year.
Right-to-work laws are attractive to some because they help undercut the monopoly powers granted to labor unions by government. They also appeal to the more pragmatic minded because of the distinct improvements in economic growth. A recent study by the National Institute of Labor Relations Research found that, over a ten year period, states with right-to-work laws experience significant growth in manufacturing output and GDP compared to non-right-to-work states. This is, of course, the result we would expect from diminishing the power of government-created monopolies such as those granted to labor unions.
But utilitarian concerns aside, free-market advocates must ask whether these laws are the right way to reduce government power, and whether they satisfy the moral and ethical criteria at the root of free-market and libertarian thought. Is it right to restrict the freedom to contract in order to counteract existing restrictions on that same freedom?
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Logan Albright is Director of Fiscal Research at Capital Policy Analytics, Research Analyst for FreedomWorks, and a contributing editor for Mises Canada. He lives in Washington, DC. See Logan Albright’s article archives.