And the improvement in working conditions that we enjoy today were first
brought about as a result of unions.
Mike: False...The steady rise in living standards in capitalist
countries is due to private capital investment, entrepreneurship,
technological advance, and a better educated workforce. Labor unions
routinely take credit for all of this while pursuing policies which
impede the very institutions responsible for worker prosperity.
The shorter work week and improved working conditions is entirely a
capitalist invention. As capital investment caused the marginal
productivity of labor to increase over time, less labor was required to
produce the same levels of output. As competition became more intense,
many employers competed for the best employees by offering both better
pay and shorter hours. Those who did not offer shorter work weeks were
compelled by the forces of competition to offer higher compensating
wages or become uncompetitive in the labor market.
Investments in technology, from the fork lift, container freight,
air-conditioned farm tractors to the robots used in automobile
factories, have also made the American workplace more productive and
safer. But unions have often opposed such technology with the Luddite
argument that it "destroys jobs."
American labor unions continue to call for more regulation of business
because, in order for them to survive, they must convince workers-and
society-that "the company is the enemy." That's why union propaganda
has always been anti-employer. Workers supposedly need to be protected
from "the enemy" by labor unions. The well-paid union officials may keep
their jobs and their perks by perpetuating such propaganda, but they are
harming the very people who pay the dues and the employers who pay their
Franklin, it's amazing you can't see how illogical your position is that
workers need protection from employers to make a fair wage.
The bottom line is that productivity and customers determine wages and
working conditions, not unions, employers or corporations.
It is obvious that if employers are organized and employees are not
organized, then employees are at a terrible disadvantage in
negotiating their working conditions. Unions simply give workers a
chance at parity in negotiating power.
Mike: Franklin, you really are sounding more and more like a union plant
in this discussion. Everyone knows that in labor markets, competition
assures there's a close association between worker compensation and the
marginal productivity of labor. Compensation is determined by the
workers' "marginal revenue product," which is the multiple of marginal
physical product-how many physical goods or services the worker produces
in a given time period-and the final price paid by consumers for those
articles. If this isn't true, then why don't third world countries raise
their real wages to first world standards by creating labor unions? They
can't because they don't have the capital to increase the output of
their workers. So they are stuck in a low wage situation. This is unlike
our problem here where we have high wages but just fewer and fewer jobs.
We don't buy Big Labor's propaganda and you shouldn't either.
Franklin said: I don't understand. If someone punches you in the nose,
who will you turn to for redress?
Mike: Try punching me in the nose and find out. Trust that it won't take
an act of congress to deal with it.
Franklin said: The law wouldn't outlaw this form of business. It would
simply cease to recognize it.
Mike: The law must recognize a form of business that is established
contractually. It's not the law's job to have an opinion about it. The
law's only job here is to assist in the enforcement of contracts.
Franklin....you can continue to discuss this with the rest of the group
if you want.
See you around...