Sunday, December 11, 2011

It's Not a Free Marketplace...


...  when government restricts freedom of action

It's not a free marketplace when a union can cry for government to use its coercive powers to tell a company that it can't open that new airplane factory it just built. That is exactly what happened in the Boeing case that was just resolved.

The National Labor Relations Board has dropped its controversial case against airline manufacturer Boeing, which had become a lightning rod for conservatives.

The labor board argued for much of the past year that Boeing decided to locate a new plant to build its new 787 Dreamliner jets in South Carolina, a right-to-work state, in retaliation for strikes by unionized workers at its existing facilities in Washington state. (The Hill - NLRB Withdraws Boeing Case)
"Retaliation" is a natural reaction to market forces

What if Boeing decided to lower all wages by 10 dollars per hour and workers quit because of it, going to a company that pays more? Why isn't that worker retaliation against the company? A better question is, why would government prevent employers or employees from "retaliating?"  Retaliation is just a dirty word for a reaction to a previous market force. If Starbucks jacks up the price of a vento to $10 dollars a cup, I ain't buyin' no more coffee there.

Coercion is the Key to Progressivism 

This also reveals the coercive mindset of progressivism. There are still people in America today insisting that our economic decline is due to the decline of unions, despite the lack of evidence to support their contention. The only way enforced unionism works is if you chain down businesses and take away their free agency.

This is why Detroit, a once-thriving union dynamo, collapsed into a liberal junk heap. Union Labor bid its prices up too high, Big Business foolishly accepted, and government failed to protect them from the free market "retaliation."  Tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs headed south to non-union climes, and foreign imports further impinged upon the Big Labor-Big Business fantasy land of price-setting insulated from market forces.

Progressives would use government power to prevent such free-market reactions, setting up trade barriers that would spark trade wars resulting in higher consumer prices, tying down companies and forcing them to "take it," which is what the big three pretty much did voluntarily, to their ultimate detriment.

Communism, Fascism, Corporatism

Back in the bad old days, raw communism would do this by expropriating the capitalists' property, eventually running the confiscated enterprises into the ground, murdering those who resisted, and miring their societies in misery.

Fascism, communism's little leftist cousin, was more sophisticated, adding some sweeteners in for the bourgeoisie. Fascists were smart enough to leave the means of capital in the hands of the business owners; it was more convenient and efficient to just shake down everybody at the factory door as they left for the day.

The modern-day way of chaining down a corporation is with state-sponsored corporatism. Businesses will stay put so long as they are protected by an archipelago of government regulations, protections, exemptions and other formidable barriers that protect them from competition, giving them free rein to continually jack up prices with government-sanctioned impunity, making consumers a captive audience.  

As an added bonus, they can freely dip into the government coffers to the tune of tens of billions when their unsustainable business model inevitably fails.

Welcome to Corporate America.

Further Reading:
Rothbard - Power & Market, Ch 6

28 comments:

Always On Watch said...

IMO, the only reason that the NLRB backed down with Boeing was the fact that the NLRB's tyranny was exposed in even the mainstream media. Also, Boeing is a big company. With a smaller company, the outcome would not have been the same, IMO.

LD Jackson said...

I'm glad they backed down, but the NLRB should have stayed out of the fight between Boeing and the unions. It makes me wonder where they will stick their noses next.

Ducky's here said...

What if Boeing decided to lower all wages by 10 dollars per hour and workers quit because of it, going to a company that pays more? Why isn't that worker retaliation against the company?

----------

I assume you understand there is an enormous oversupply of labor. Bad assumption on my part.

And the wage overseas is being lowered by a lot more than 10 dollars to the point that we are almost back in an environment that supports the labor theory of value.

dmarks said...

Are you in the 90%?

The 90% of American workers who say "Union NO"?

-----------------

One thing that is pretty hard to get pro-union folks to admit is that there's a big problem with unions if they only way they can survive (according to them) is by forcing workers to join unions against their will.

Ducky asked: "What if Boeing decided to lower all wages by 10 dollars per hour and workers quit because of it, going to a company that pays more? Why isn't that worker retaliation against the company?"

There's nothing wrong at all with that. It's the free market in action. If the wages are too low, workers will leave. If there are too few workers, then the company will raise wages to attract them. It all works great. No unions needed.

As for the Boeing situation, and the NLRB's war against Boeing's workers, if they had kept it up they would have probably forced Boeing to locate its factory in another country.

Silverfiddle said...

@Ducky: I assume you understand there is an enormous oversupply of labor.

Yes, that happens in recessions, high unemployment and all...

Thank you Demican-Republicrat statist government.

Ducky's here said...

No Silverfiddle, I am referring to worldwide labor. Doesn't have D-R.

It has less to do with the asinine Libertarian meme that you just pack up for a higher paying job.

Z said...

AOW wisely asserts "IMO, the only reason that the NLRB backed down with Boeing was the fact that the NLRB's tyranny was exposed in even the mainstream media."

If only the mainstream media would discuss more of what's going on, perhaps Americans would vote differently....

Anonymous said...

Sorry to post OFF TOPIC right out of the bag, but you really ought to watch this video (below).

I don't know about you guys, but I missed the Republican Debate on ABC last night, because I didn't know it was scheduled. I never watch ABC, and of course no one else would have mentioned it, would they? Presidential politics in an election year are not very important, are they?

This is a clip from that debate:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNBtxdl_1UQ&feature=youtu.be

~ FreeThinke

Silverfiddle said...

Watch the republican debate? I'd rather poke myself in the eye with a sharp stick...

We put up the Christmas tree and decorations and listened to Christmas music and sang along. Much more enjoyable, and a much better use of my time.

Anonymous said...

If you only knew the kevlar web of regulation manufacturing businesses have to deal with - making anything here in the United States.

Most facilities have to hire a full time compliance person to keep an eye on new federal regulations, or even worse, the new interpretations of those regulations... which are usually decisions by unelected bureaucrats.

I believe that it is too late to work within the system to return it to its former glory. Is there an electable candidate who can fix the system?

http://sfist.com/2004/08/23/sausage_king_on_trial.php

Silverfiddle said...

Ducky: Asinine? Yeah, like the progressive global system we have now is working so well...

Shane Atwell said...

Excellent post. In my opinion the root of our problems with unions is that 'collective bargaining' was recognized, which compels employers to negociate. If their right to say no and walk away or fire people was recognized we'd not be where we are now.

dmarks said...

"@Ducky: I assume you understand there is an enormous oversupply of labor."

That's what happens when government puts in regulations just for the hell of it and makes it hard to work or hire workers.

Anonymous said...

Well, MERRY CHRISTMAS to you and yours, Kurt.

I'm glad that you have a nice family to share the joys of The season with.

Certainly would never want to suggest otherwise.

You would, however, enjoy the clip I referenced. It features extensive remarks eloquently made by Ron Paul the great bulk of which was perfectly in tune with your own ideas on government, the economy and the ill effects of crony capitalism.

Funny! I mistakenly typed "coronary capitalism" at first.

An astonishingly apt Freudian Slip no doubt.

At the rate things are going The Nation is certainly headed for the moral equivalent of a "coronary."

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

~ FreeThinke

Ducky's here said...

Z, it doesn't matter how you vote.

The anger you sense from critics stems from the fact that they see this as a brilliant game of good cop/bad cop. Obama is good cop but the corporatists run the game and just try to assure the suckers that they have an option.

My frustration with Siverfiddle is that he seems to get it but his response is to cave in to laissez-faire which is exactly the goal of the high rollers running the game. I understand the response of the suckers who have been trained to look under the bed for Muslims and socialists. Maybe they wise up, I doubt it.

What I can't understand are people like Silverfiddle who will sell us out in good faith.

Trestin said...

A I'll tell you. What we have now is very close to what Mussolini was doing in Italy.

Silverfiddle said...

@ FT: Coronary Capitalism is right!

Ducky: Liberty is the answer. The reason people like me get tarred by people like you as Founding Father worshiper or whatever, is because the founders struck just about the best happy medium mankind can produce. The Constitution is easy to understand, as is the underlying philosophy.

Nothing is perfect, man is corrupt. They understood that, and they came up with a pretty good system. The further we stray from it the worse off we are.

So how would you have it Ducky? More and bigger government?

Ducky's here said...

Well Silver I would not advocate for more government. Right now it serves little function unless you're a corporatist.

I wouldn't even start with government. We need media that is going to start reporting accurately.

As I said, good cop/bad cop. Does your bookie care who wins the game?
Do the corporatists care who wins the election? No.

But before we pitch it in and give in to the Leviathan I would like some informed discussion. Sorry but when I hear Founding Father cliches I just don't have much hope.

Train in the tunnel. We figure something out or even the Ladies Who Lunch will have it figured out for them.

liberaldude said...

More anti union rhetoric by those who have been sold a load of good from the right. Yeah, let's go back to the sweat shop era!

Silverfiddle said...

No. Lets go back to the freedom era...

Z said...

Ducky, why must you constantly sound so elitist? If people here don't agree with you, how can you imagine they're less informed or have lesser values than you? That's ridiculous and, again, elitist.
By the way, I promise that I work harder than you do and I'm a "Lady who Lunches?" I'm flattered with your obsession (it's kinda cute!) but it's just plain WEIRD. Still, I kind of like it, to tell you the truth, in a Sondheimy kind of way :-)

And the last thing Silverfiddle would do is sell our country out, so you need to rethink that, too.
How can you, a socialist, tell an American who, yes, DOES understand and revere the motivations and plans of our Founding Fathers, actually think HE's selling us OUT? Anti-Capitalism is the thing that sells us out, of course. Again, just because you have very different philosophies doesn't make you right, does it.

Chakam said...

Kurt,

I nominated you for The Liebster Award!

Check it here.
http://ecc102.wordpress.com/2011/12/11/the-coveted-liebster-award-i-have-been-nominated-by-loopyloo305/

Silverfiddle said...

Chakam: Thank you! I guess I'll be doing a post this Saturday on it!

Always On Watch said...

Z said: Ducky, why must you constantly sound so elitist? If people here don't agree with you, how can you imagine they're less informed or have lesser values than you? That's ridiculous and, again, elitist.

Ridiculing those who disagree with him gives him some sort of high.

I, for one, am sick and tired of all those who think that I'm stupid because I don't agree with them.

Always On Watch said...

Silverfiddle said, and I agree: Nothing is perfect, man is corrupt. They understood that, and they came up with a pretty good system. The further we stray from it the worse off we are.

Now, clearly, we have recently seen the worst aspects of capitalism. Why? The greed factor is one reason, of course. But the "modern" greed factor goes far and beyond the greed factor before "modern times." It's some kind of entitlement greed factor.

And let us not forget that the greed factor also applies to power and control. Therefore, The Nanny State is dangerous in and of itself -- never mind how much the Nanny folks keep telling us about the greater good.

dmarks said...

Liberaldude: "More anti union rhetoric by those who have been sold a load of good from the right. Yeah, let's go back to the sweat shop era!"

1) What "bill of goods" have we been sold?

2) Am I really anti-union? Consider my attitude on the ACLU. I believe people should be able to join if they want, or not if they don't want. All I want is for union membership decisions to be the same. No one forced. Is that really anti-union?

3) No union means sweatshop, right? Well, consider the fact that unions control 10% of the workforce in the US right now. If what you claim is true, 90% of workers are in sweatshops (non-union). But we know that is not the case. You have been caught lying again, haven't you?

dmarks said...

Ducky said: "Z, it doesn't matter how you vote."

Actually, it matters. And I hope Z votes, as he is rather informed on the issues. You have a right to vote, Ducky, but it's not a good idea right now for you to do so. Not until you become more civically aware.

"to cave in to laissez-faire which is exactly the goal of the high rollers running the game."

Not at all. In laissez-faire, ALL the rollers get to make the decisions. The opposite of laissez-faire is socialism, in which there is one high roller who owns it all.

"I understand the response of the suckers who have been trained to look under the bed for Muslims and socialists. Maybe they wise up, I doubt it."

Socialists represent a real threat. In the US, every one of their actions is to reduce the freedom and prosperity of the average American. Globally, and in history, they are responsible for the slaughter of 100+ million when they get in power.

"What I can't understand are people like Silverfiddle who will sell us out in good faith."

You have no evidence that he has. I read Silver's comments and posts. Do you? For the most part, he advocates sound policy and consistently opposes the true destructive social and political forces.

Silverfiddle said...

@ Dmarks:
2) Am I really anti-union? Consider my attitude on the ACLU. I believe people should be able to join if they want, or not if they don't want. All I want is for union membership decisions to be the same. No one forced. Is that really anti-union?

Amen! I am not anti-union either. I merely oppose their infestation of our government via NLRB, Dept of Labor and other imperious perches. They should be on the same footing as corporations.

I understand that banking and Wall Street also enjoys special insider status, and that needs to stop as well.

Government should be the disinterested referee, not beholden to special interests. I realize this is a quaint ideal in this day and age...