Friday, April 24, 2009

There is one more RIGHT we all need, THE RIGHT to WORK, it will fix a lot of what ails us.

As we reflect on the financial mess we find ourselves in a common thread is starting to appear.  Unrestrained labor costs have devastated our major industries.  They have caused manufacturers to shop their labor costs around the globe.  This has led to enormous job losses in manufacturing.  Restrictive union agreements have even prevented manufacturers from replacing labor with ingenuity and automation.  At least consumers have benefitted from the lower cost of goods from abroad.  The market used the portability of labor to mitigate the effects of coercive labor contracts.  Unfortunately an ever larger proportion of our labor is less portable and thus potentially less competitive.  In order to have an efficient market we will have to introduce a local mechanism for competition.  This is the Strict Right to Work regime.

It is not as unusual a concept as you might believe.  In fact, it is the way we have always done it until the evolution of the large union.  In fact, the majority of jobs are still negotiated in this way.  A position is advertised and applicants present themselves and their qualifications.  As part of the negotiation working conditions and compensation are discussed.  Inevitably the candidate and the employer come to the best deal for both.  Virtually all non union jobs work this way now.  I propose that this be extended to as a right to ALL jobs, union or non-union.  Just as it is unconstitutional to deny a candidate based on race, gender, religion etc., it would be unconstitutional to prohibit the free negotiation between any parties.

This approach is essential to provide the most efficient services to be purchased by governments (for the people).  It is fascinating that all levels of government are obligated to provide for open tendering for purchases of goods and services.  None of them use this process for the acquisition of labor other than at the non-union level.  The pre-established pay rate tables are  equally anti competitive.  As ever greater portions of our economy are consumed by the levels of government it is absolutely necessary that we reestablish these competitive principles.

We tend to forget that we are in competition with other countries for goods and services.  We are all richer for our ability to access the efforts and ingenuity of the whole world’s economies.  We all should pursue the most effective ways to achieve our goals.

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