Friday, April 27, 2007

Government's proper role?

In reading about the Employee Free Choice Act, which would eliminate the secret ballots for employees considering a union, I had pretty much decided that this was a clearly mis-named bill and was detrimental to employees.

But a recent article has gotten me thinking about the overall issue of how government interfers in what should be a free market. I offer this article from the Foundation for Economic Education for your consideration as you look at this bill - and the bigger picture of freedom of choice.

As background, the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), one of the oldest free-market organizations in the United States, was founded in 1946 by Leonard E. Read to study and advance the freedom philosophy. FEE's mission is to offer the most consistent case for the "first principles" of freedom: the sanctity of private property, individual liberty, the rule of law, the free market, and the moral superiority of individual choice and responsibility over coercion.

The article raises the following point: "As might be expected, in a corporatist mixed economy such questions aren't as clear-cut as they appear on the surface. Of course, the pro-business side opposes the EFCA, while the pro-labor side supports it. Both say they want to protect workers from intimidation. But looking deeper we see that the conflict is over how a government agency, the NLRB, should manage labor relations."

I encourage you to read the article - perhaps it will stimulate your thinking as it did mine.

3 comments:

mholdri said...

In c. 1913 there was a huge strike of coal miners in southern Colorado referred to as the Ludlow Massacre. The coal miners, which were largely southern and eastern European immigrants, formed a union with the backing of a number of socialist organizations (think Mary/Mother Jones) and began an incredibly bloody strike that left many people dead on both sides.

One of the chief complaints of the miners was that the Colorado Fuel & Iron Company had so much power that they controlled every facet of the local/state government.

John J. Rockefeller Jr. described the situation as:

"The Colorado Fuel & Iron Company for many years was accused of being he political dictator of southern Colorado, and in fact was a mighty power in the whole state. When I came here is was said that the C.F. & I voted every man and woman in their employ without any regard to their being naturalized or not; and even their mules, it used to be remarked, were registered, if they were fortunate enough to have names..."

Now I ask, who more closely fits this description in Toledo today, big business (corporations), the average Joe or organized labor? I would contend that organized labor has risen to being, in many ways, the political dictator of Toledo. They do this through their campaign contributions, the forcing of public policy/legislation that solely benefits them and their intimidation of elected officials, their members and average citizens. They've become what they used to fight against.

I don't feel that unchecked power by anyone is healthy for a working representative republic or as some may call it a democracy.

There is a good video of Milton Friedman in regard to the role of government and freedom of choice on my blog at the moment.

SensorG said...

Geez Holdri...

This is like the 4th or 5th blog that you pasted this message verbatium.

Don't you have an orginal thought?

Hooda Thunkit said...

This bogus legislation is nothing more than a back door attempt to impose further socialization on America.

Of course, with the takeover of our public education system, the rest should be easy.

We're doomed, in the short term.

But, enough clear-thinking private/parochial educated should be around after America's fall to recover nicely, in a couple of generations.

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