Sunday, April 20, 2014

Labor Protectionism

Written on June 16th, 2012
Edited in April 2014

   I'm not saying that the value of labor should be manipulated so that it loses its value here... But absent the manipulation of the value of labor so that the effort of workers gains value (I'm alluding to minimum wage laws), the going rate for entry-level labor feels like it should be about 5 or 6 bucks an hour here in America.

   ...What I am saying - however - is that that shit should be allowed to decline naturally; that is, without artificial government manipulation; that is, government controls should be removed so that the value of labor can find its real free-market rate, and our purchasing power and our balance of trade aren't all out of proportion.

   Remember... We don't have a primarily industrial- / manufacturing-based economy anymore. We're more of a service economy now. What's allegedly "backing our money" is more labor / services than it is goods / products.

   Now... I'd imagine that there are a lot of people who want to keep minimum wage laws in place, and who even desire that the minimum wage increase. I'd also imagine that a lot of those same people oppose the outsourcing of American jobs, prefer unionized to non-unionized labor, oppose Right-to-Work laws, and oppose benefit and pay cuts for government employees providing public services.

   So we're living in a primarily service-based economy where the combined government agencies confiscate 40% of the wealth and employ over 2.2 million people, and most of the debate on labor issues revolves around government jobs.

   Most of the people on the left want the government to artificially raise the value of the efforts of workers - including its own workers - who offer services rather than produce goods. They oppose both non-interventionism in the value of labor and government intervention to lower the value of labor.

   So doesn't the left want what could basically be described as a form of mercantilism or protectionism, except one that focuses on services instead of industry? Isn't this just liberals wanting America to protect the value of its economy and its money by keeping artificially inflated the value of its most valuable assets; its workers and their labor? Aren't these people more "capitalist" (specifically, state-monopoly capitalist) than are we free-marketers?

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