Labor Must Help Free Markets

If labor wants to fix inequality, fix free markets. If we had less consolidation of markets we would have more demand for labor which would drive up wages. Where is Teddy Roosevelt when you need him and where are the unions?

I am a Republican who has taken a sabbatical until my party gets back to being what George Bush called a compassionate conservative. This is one who believes in free enterprise, competition and having a strong government to control free markets. These conservatives also recognize there are some objectives of society that are better overseen by government rather than the private sector.
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Minimum wage

The problem to address is a lack of free markets. If many industries were not controlled by oligopolies/monopolies there would be more competition for labor which in turn would raise wages. The government needs to do a better job enforcing antitrust laws.

The world is more complex than raising the minimum wage. Competition is international today and raising the minimum wage puts all of us in the United State at a competitive disadvantage. Yes the fast food industry is not directly affected by wages in China, but it is indirectly. If you raise the minimum wage economic forces will require all wages to ratchet up. One reason causing the fall of the auto industry was ignoring pricing oversees. 

Instead of the government must enforce antitrust laws and break up oligarchical control of markets. Fast food is not one of these industries, but if there was a greater demand for labor in other industries it would force the fast food industry to compete for labor while at the same time their profit margins would decrease.

Labor and Oligarchs

In the 1960’s the auto industry was part of an oligopoly that included the UAW. Before imports, they could raise prices and pass on some of the profits to union workers in the form of higher wages. Now they longer can do that.

Today more industries are controlled by oligarchs that do not include unions. These oligarchs are not buying off the unions because world competition does not allow it. If Apple raised its prices on their smart phones to pay their workers more they would lose business to Samsung in South Korea.

By “crushing” oligopolies the consumer would have more choices because of competition and labor would have higher wages because there would be more companies seeking to hire good workers.

The problem of competing against foreign labor would still exist, however it would be somewhat offset by technology, shipping costs, etc. It would also force shareholders at the domestic companies to put the squeeze on wages paid to their board members and senior executives in order to remain competitive.

Today the “Captains of Industry” are paid egregious salaries to maintain the companies monopolistic position in their respective industry. After enforcing anti-trust laws they will once again be paid to deliver the products and services the consumer wants and to run an efficient operation.

Oligarchs and Labor

In the 1960’s the auto industry was part of an oligopoly that included the UAW. Before imports, they could raise prices and pass on some of the profits to union workers in the form of higher wages. Now they longer can do that.

Today more industries are controlled by oligarchs that do not include unions. These oligarchs are not buying off the unions because world competition does not allow it. If Apple raised its prices on smart phones to pay their workers more they would lose business to Samsung in South Korea.

By “crushing” oligopolies now, the consumer would have more choices because of competition and labor would have higher wages because there would be more companies seeking to hire good workers.

The problem of competing against foreign labor would still exist, however it would be somewhat offset by technology, shipping costs, etc. It would also force shareholders at the domestic companies to put the squeeze on wages paid to their board members and senior executives in order to remain competitive.

Today the “Captains of Industry” are paid egregious compensation to maintain the companies monopolistic position in their respective industry.  After enforcing anti-trust laws they will once again be paid to deliver the products and services the consumer wants and to run an efficient operation. The consumer will end up with better prices and service.

Right To Work

There is discussion going on about “Right to Work Laws”. There should be discussions about “Right to Compete Laws”. Our businesses are being controlled by oligarchs and there are fewer businesses offering consumers choices. It also means a consolidation of places to work. We are at a crossroads. If we want to stop our drift towards socialism, protect free markets from crony capitalism.

A struggle is going on between oligopolies and socialism. Control over industries in our economy is becoming more centralized everyday. As this happens power, both monetary and political, is more centralized. Our markets are becoming less free and the economic playing field is skewed in favor of the oligarch.

As this centralization of power and wealth is occurring, government can step in and try to “equalize” the playing field by either creating more social programs for the needy or better regulate industries so they are not dominated by crony capitalist. Since the depression of the 1930’s the government’s tendency has been to create more social programs.

This country was founded on the principle that everyone is born with the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Our forefathers decided the best economic model to reach these pursuits was capitalism. Free markets were chosen to best attain the nations economic objectives. Capitalism is here to serve society. Society is not here to serve capitalism…. More