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Thread: The Arguments against socialism

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    Default The Arguments against socialism

    A)it's a simple one, no signal entity deserves the right to tell someone what they can or can't do.

    B) Taking care of someone without their permission is demeaning. Government to the people "You can't take care of yourself, so we'll do it for you".

    C) Free market is more economically sound because people are actually investing in things that the market supports(this is a big one, because the government doesn't realize this).

    D) More competition via less government bullshit to have to sift through to start a business. More business competition means lower prices, which means a market with less tension on the damn string(the recession was caused by socialized banking; and it amazes me that no one actually realizes this)
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    can you elaborate on "the recession was caused by socialized banking"?
    INTp

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    The real argument against socialism:

    It allocates resources so inefficiently that everyone leads miserable, unhappy lives.

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    This is my personal favorite style of government,
    that I feel is superior to all others:



    Though it comes with a certain set of rules, like no triple not-likelys on Tuesday.
    The rules were of course decided by the ball itself.
    Assume a final answer to all questions.
    No time left to waste.

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    B) Taking care of someone without their permission is demeaning. Government to the people "You can't take care of yourself, so we'll do it for you".
    People have to ask for help to get any form of benefit because they have to apply for them. Nobody will throw welfare at you without you asking them to do so.

    C) Free market is more economically sound because people are actually investing in things that the market supports(this is a big one, because the government doesn't realize this).
    I am not an expert on economics, but I wonder if there can be free markets that do not involve exploitative outsourcing (sweatshop labor, etc.), support of military conflict for resources (conflict minerals, etc.), and other such practices to keep prices down/increase profit. Would a free market be able to put regulations in place to compensate people in the Niger Delta for the contamination of their land with oil although these compensations would influence oil prices, for example? I guess my question is whether or not your idea of an ideal capitalist system allows all of these to happen, in which case the glorified free markets really seem to be built on the back of the poor, both on a national and a global level.

    I have read over and over again that somehow free markets will take care of these problems automatically, but I don't yet quite understand how.
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    Quote Originally Posted by discojoe View Post
    The real argument against socialism:

    It allocates resources so inefficiently that everyone leads miserable, unhappy lives.

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    Wealth redistribution (along with peace and stability and some semblence of fair trade) has led to the modernization and the rise out of poverty and illiteracy of 1/2 the world's population and the fall of imperialism in many parts of the world.

    There are problems with nominally socialist systems just as there are problems with every form of government due to the fallibility of people.

    Some of the richest countries in the world are heavily influenced by socialist thought as they are by capitalist thought.

    It is when people blindly promote ideology without practice for their own self-promotion and greed that oppression begins and malicious practices become the norm.

    What the world need is fair trade, not trade under threat of the guns. It could use education, literacy, the abandonment of superstition and dogma.

    The conflict against socialism has only lead to the abuse of some of the greatest minds of our time. Oppenheimer, Bohm, and many others. It's helped support the rise of fundamentalists and other current enemies who will prove just as great a threat. It's toppled democratically elected governments such as Guatemala and Iran, only to be replaced by far worse oppression.

    As far as Hitta's points.

    A. There's usually more the one group trying to tell you what to do.
    B. Social services doesn't work like that in most places. Nobody gets taken care if they don't sign up to be taken care of, unless they're being taken care of in prison.
    C. Assertion without evidence.
    D. The governments of the US has many rules and regulations which are there for the sake of preventing a monopoly and creating competition. It is because there are government regulation and protection of smaller business entities that they are able to exist at all.

    Wealth redistribution is about the creation of competition from the lower class against the upper class. It's unsurprising that some people would have a problem with this and seek to promote their own self-interest. It's also unsurprising that people can be indoctrinated against it when it does not serve their self-interest.

    The fact that I am able to create wealth and escape poverty as well as find future financial independence in the current system as well as many other systems is without a doubt because I'm a leech of the socialist system which we live in.

    All I hear is whiners.

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    hkkmr is one of our autistic users, and you should pretty much disregard everything he says.

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    Quote Originally Posted by discojoe View Post
    hkkmr is one of our autistic users, and you should pretty much disregard everything he says.
    All I hear is the whines of incompetence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton View Post
    "Fair" trade? How about just free trade? Whenever individuals engage in exchange, all parties involved decide for themselves in their own eyes what constitutes a fair trade—else the trade would not occur. This process requires no oversight and nothing else is necessary to establish fairness.
    That would be true if all parties involved had the same degree of bargaining power, which is not the case, especially on a global scale. If Starbucks does not like the conditions of a South American coffee farmer, it will move on to the next. But the next can only offer lower prices by compromising something, but does not have a choice if he wants Starbucks' business. Starbucks on the other hand has lots of choices.

    You can say it's ok that free trading leads to inequality based on differences in bargaining power, but you sure as hell can't say that free trade is inherently fair.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton View Post
    Actually it was the rise of industrialization that lifted the masses out of poverty and fueled the growth of the middle class. Read more history.
    Industrialization did not bring the masses out of poverty. It eroded the power of feudal aristocracy of their day and caused great poverty and degradation for serfs, freemen and the end of that decrepit system. It was worker movements in some countries, revolutions in others that brought the final destruction of the aristocratic systems and the creation of workers rights, the elimination of exploitation of the poor and the rise of the middle class. That was paid in blood by many people who fought for these ideas of social justice. You need to read your history. Industrialization had already occurred in the developed countries of the world prior to Marx and the major worker movements. But it was the idea of justice and the rebellion against exploitation that won the multitudes their freedom from economic servitude.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton View Post
    "Rich" by what standard? GDP/capita or what? How much of it is only phantom wealth from monetary inflation? How much real wealth do the people in those "wealthiest" countries actually enjoy? How much of their real earnings are frittered away and destroyed through taxation and regulation? What kind of "rich" are we talking about here?
    When I was in China, I lived in a 10 square meter house with minimal modern accompaniments. When I came here to the states I had running water, electricity, a television, a computer, and many other relative luxuries. The middle class United States was richer and more affluent by inflationary measure pre-trickle down economics, so it seems it wasn't wealth redistribution that has cause our problems but the concentration of wealth in the hands of the rich that has reduce the money the lower and middle class have access to. Nothing has trickled down, and the promotion of the free market has made many poorer while few extremely wealthy.



    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton View Post
    Hence the need for freer markets.
    Oh the irony. The call of freer markets and the deception in that idea, the deregulation of our financial markets, the deregulation of our energy markets, the deregulation of all aspects of the American economy. Are we better off then we were 30 years ago, before the start of all this free market deregulation. Sadly, not really, because the market isn't free, and it has never been, it's always been controlled by the rich and affluent with more capital and room for error to manipulate. I say let's work on a fair market, because anything else is downright suspect.



    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton View Post
    "Fair" trade? How about just free trade? Whenever individuals engage in exchange, all parties involved decide for themselves in their own eyes what constitutes a fair trade—else the trade would not occur. This process requires no oversight and nothing else is necessary to establish fairness.
    Quote Originally Posted by me
    What the world need is fair trade, not trade under threat of the guns. It could use education, literacy, the abandonment of superstition and dogma.
    Sure, but this is no more then what I said. But it always seems to me someone is bring force to the table, especially on the part of the powerful and affluent in the name of freedom. Sounds suspiciously rhetorical to me. You say free trade, I say fair trade, not that different in the whole principles, but I don't see any fair trade in what others call free trade and that's the problem I seek to address. When the rhetoric for free trade becomes what I think fair trade should be, I'll be happy to oblige your use of terminology.



    Quote Originally Posted by me
    Theft is unethical no matter the pretext. Further, if you're going to rail about the human fallibilities of greed and self-interest, then you ought to oppose any program of wealth redistribution in any form upon this same principle. Unless you're okay with hypocrisy.
    Theft involves the idea of ownership. The question of what people own and can own and what rights to that property they can have and what right of inheritance they have, this is all up for debate. Is ownership forever? is it subject to development and improvement? The nature of property is something that is established by law, by government and sometimes by force. What should we be allowed to own? Am I allowed to own you? Am I allowed to own other human beings? Am I allowed to own a dog? Am I allowed to abuse a dog I own? What does ownership entail really? What are its responsibilities?

    Fundamentally, there is a responsibility to ownership that is being developed by our mutual discussion and investigation of the ethical and material issues involved in our mutual co-existence. Theft is one of the ills that can happen in ownership, but it's just one issue. Negligence is another ill of ownership, especially in the hoarding of resources and the unconscionable removal of that resource from the use of others even when people are hungry, suffering and in poverty.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton View Post
    No, you are able to do this (at least for now) for the essential fact that some Westerners (especially Anglo-Saxons) happened to believe that individual sovereignty was a Good Idea. A core value which is necessary for the foundation of strong property rights, which are necessary in order to drive accumulation of capital, which is necessary in order to form financial institutions of scale, whose existence is what enabled the advent of industrialized society to take place uniquely in C18th Britain while the rest of the world was still ambling in the same blight of destitution, oppression, and misery characterizing the narrative of human existence in all times prior.
    Eh? I'm not working 60 hours a week in a factory for a pittance. I'm working 40 hours in a ok job for quite a bit of money. It was the civil rights movement that made it possible for me to get a job in a equal and non-racist environment, and it was the workers right movement that made it possible for me not to work in a hellhole wasting my life away if I didn't get my current job.

    Some of those white men owned slaves, that was a property right for them too and they used it to get rich, so fuck em. Some of those white men sold opium and drugs, and they got rich, so fuck em. Some of those white man took from the rest of their world for their greed and protected their plunder with their laws, so fuck em. It took a lot of people of all creed and colors and it will continue to take many people who will fight for social justice for the world to continue our future improvement. People who got rich for themselves didn't do anything for me, it was people who fought for their fair share, and fought for the fair share of exploited people's everywhere that always occupy my ideas about social justice.
    Last edited by mu4; 07-03-2010 at 04:22 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton View Post
    So long as they're voluntarily willing to work for said wages and conditions, there is absolutely nothing inherently unfair about the process. If the coffee bean farmers don't like it, they can tell Starbucks where to shove it and call up Foldgers or some other competitor.
    And face the same problem. The coffee bean farmer has FAR fewer options than the large corporation and probably a family to feed. If you seriously believe that there is a balance in bargaining power, you need to read up a bit on the economic interplay between the Global North and South.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim View Post
    And face the same problem. The coffee bean farmer has FAR fewer options than the large corporation and probably a family to feed. If you seriously believe that there is a balance in bargaining power, you need to read up a bit on the economic interplay between the Global North and South.
    Coffee bean farmers in which countries?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton View Post
    Why are you going on a racial rant?



    I don't like this talk of "social justice" because I think the notion is a complete non-entity. What does it even mean, how is it determined, where does it came from? It's no different than Rousseau with his notions of the "general will" and we saw what that lead to (what I mentioned above). "Social justice" rhetoric invariably devolves into an all-too convenient excuse for mass murder and mayhem.
    You brought up race, I didn't. I just merely tried to include non-anglo-saxons in the discussion. Everything I said was... "Some"... I did not indict or neglect a entire sector of people. But western imperialism, slavery, and drug dealing was perpetrated by SOME of these people.

    You might think social justice is a non-entity, but many would beg to differ.

    You haven't mentioned anything worthwhile, because all your examples are false. Feudalism existed long past nation states, maybe in a handful of places they lasted for a period of time worth mentioning, you might say that what changes that workers movements and revolutions could have happened in places without them, but they didn't happen and they didn't happen for hundreds of years with industrialization and aborted attempts to create new ways to govern society. You say deregulation didn't happen, but that's just wrong, what used to be state run and owned organizations became privately run. If that is your idea of deregulation, then that's just plain wrong.

    There might be more rules out there, but in the rules that matter, the rules which limit business power and responsibility to our financial welfare, they have been loosened. Lower taxes, less limits on risky business practices. There might be more hassle for the small business to start out and more paperwork to fill out, but these all play into the hand of big business, the regulation that mattered to wealth redistribution were all gutted, dividends, capital gains tax and limits on risky behavior. In that sense the American people were robbed, and the big business catering of the free-market movement has made a travesty of the market.
    Last edited by mu4; 07-03-2010 at 04:47 PM.

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    1. There is no such thing as trickle-down economics.

    2. Unions make everyone worse off, except for the people in the union.

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    Quote Originally Posted by discojoe View Post
    2. Unions make everyone worse off, except for the people in the union.
    What if everyone is in the union?
    It was in the reign of George III that the aforesaid personages lived and quarrelled; good or bad, handsome or ugly, rich or poor, they are all equal now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jxrtes View Post
    What if everyone is in the union?
    That's called socialism.

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    Quote Originally Posted by discojoe View Post
    Coffee bean farmers in which countries?
    I was thinking of countries that largely rely on agriculture and in which coffee beans are grown by small-scale farmers. From what I know, large coffee plantations in Costa Rica, for example, of course have an advantage because they produce more mass.

    I am most familiar with Uganda (and I am really not that well informed about the whole issue) and there the problem is that coffee is a hugely important cash crop, but the instability of global coffee prices puts farmers at risk. We as consumers (of let's say Starbucks coffee) NEVER notice fluctuation in coffee prices because Starbucks keeps prices up. Coffee prices have fallen lately, which is great for Starbucks because they get the coffee cheaper while charging us the same price. I am using the coffee example to illustrate where I see the problem with free trade: I don't see how it benefits EVERYONE, which seems to be the argument I hear often. I don't see how everything will take care of itself if the world market can continue to exploit the third world for labor, resources, products, etc.

    As for fair trade coffee, it works to some extent because a significant number of people will spend more money on fair trade coffee than on "generically imported" coffee (the tree-huggers, myself included). But that involved significant expenditure of resources on grassroots campaigning to make the public aware.

    But before I ramble more, this is my point: If your concern is with free markets to allow the strongest corporation free reign (because that is a necessary consequence), then can you honestly say that it won't be the demise of many small-scale production sites, domestic and abroad? I am asking this because I, personally, don't consider this to be a "solution that takes care of everything and everyone." I don't see how that could realistically be the case unless grassroots organizations continue to convince people to spend more money to support the ones who will fall through the cracks of the capitalist system people here seem to envision.

    And I am really open to explanations. I am just getting sick of "it's the best system and if you don't believe it, you are stupid and don't know enough about economics."
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    As for fair trade, agreements ensure that the farmers gain stability through being compensated in accordance with their labor and quality of product, rather than with what the big corporations are willing to pay. This also leads to more superior products because there is less pressure to increase production through the use of chemicals.
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    Quote Originally Posted by discojoe View Post
    That's called socialism.
    I don't see anything wrong with communal property or unions for that matter. If the market is free, people should be able to do what they want, including creating unions. It would be the businesses decision on how to handle them. I don't have a problem with voluntary socialism. If you think about it, multiple partner businesses are nothing more than voluntary socialism on a smaller scale. It's the forced things that annoy me more than anything, leaving the responsibility out the hands of the market and in the hands of some government entity.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hitta View Post
    I don't see anything wrong with communal property or unions for that matter. If the market is free, people should be able to do what they want, including creating unions. It would be the businesses decision on how to handle them. I don't have a problem with voluntary socialism. If you think about it, multiple partner businesses are nothing more than voluntary socialism on a smaller scale. It's the forced things that annoy me more than anything, leaving the responsibility out the hands of the market and in the hands of some government entity.
    Right on man. Under a free market system the workers trade their skills as commodities. They sell themselves to a job for a price. They're free to charge whatever they want for themselves and are free to create "partnerships" with other workers to collect more money for their services.

    I don't see any reason why labor unions aren't perfectly compatible with a free market system.

    A single labor union that everyone belongs to, run by the government, like what they had in Soviet Russia, is a bad idea though. Having the government directly deciding on labor disputes (usually against the workers' interests fyi) is right out of Mussolini's handbook of how to run a state capitalist economy.
    It was in the reign of George III that the aforesaid personages lived and quarrelled; good or bad, handsome or ugly, rich or poor, they are all equal now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim View Post
    I was thinking of countries that largely rely on agriculture and in which coffee beans are grown by small-scale farmers. From what I know, large coffee plantations in Costa Rica, for example, of course have an advantage because they produce more mass.

    I am most familiar with Uganda (and I am really not that well informed about the whole issue) and there the problem is that coffee is a hugely important cash crop, but the instability of global coffee prices puts farmers at risk. We as consumers (of let's say Starbucks coffee) NEVER notice fluctuation in coffee prices because Starbucks keeps prices up. Coffee prices have fallen lately, which is great for Starbucks because they get the coffee cheaper while charging us the same price. I am using the coffee example to illustrate where I see the problem with free trade: I don't see how it benefits EVERYONE, which seems to be the argument I hear often. I don't see how everything will take care of itself if the world market can continue to exploit the third world for labor, resources, products, etc.
    The problem with your reasoning is that it seems to presuppose that the farmers in question have no other option but to farm, and therefore that the market has "let them down" because it is making it more difficult for them to stay in business.

    But history has shown that the only thing that can keep a nation's workers locked in to specific livelihoods is corrupt and/or anti-capitalistic government. Starbucks is only able to "exploit" these workers because, despite all the workers in these countries who desperately want to work, there is very little incentive for capital to flow into these countries and bid away the "exploited" workers with competitive wages. This is not the fault of capitalism, it's the fault of precisely the opposite of capitalism.

    As for fair trade coffee, it works to some extent because a significant number of people will spend more money on fair trade coffee than on "generically imported" coffee (the tree-huggers, myself included). But that involved significant expenditure of resources on grassroots campaigning to make the public aware.
    Blame the government of Uganda, the real exploiter of these farmers.

    But before I ramble more, this is my point: If your concern is with free markets to allow the strongest corporation free reign (because that is a necessary consequence), then can you honestly say that it won't be the demise of many small-scale production sites, domestic and abroad? I am asking this because I, personally, don't consider this to be a "solution that takes care of everything and everyone." I don't see how that could realistically be the case unless grassroots organizations continue to convince people to spend more money to support the ones who will fall through the cracks of the capitalist system people here seem to envision.
    Tell me, who owes these small producers a living? Should I be forced to shop at Mom & Pop stores in order to keep Walmart from driving them from business, despite the fact that Walmart offers lower prices and in the end creates more jobs?

    That's what you're not understanding. These small producers are ultimately driven from business not because of corporate strong-arming, but by consumers voting with their dollars for the cheaper products offered by the larger, more efficient companies. The savings afforded by such companies indirectly creates more jobs that the ones lost in small production industries.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kim View Post
    As for fair trade, agreements ensure that the farmers gain stability through being compensated in accordance with their labor and quality of product, rather than with what the big corporations are willing to pay. This also leads to more superior products because there is less pressure to increase production through the use of chemicals.
    In reality, these agreements result in members being overpayed. An overpayed union takes jobs away from other people. Why should someone lose his job just to make the union worker's job more cushy?

    Quote Originally Posted by hitta View Post
    I don't see anything wrong with communal property or unions for that matter. If the market is free, people should be able to do what they want, including creating unions. It would be the businesses decision on how to handle them. I don't have a problem with voluntary socialism. If you think about it, multiple partner businesses are nothing more than voluntary socialism on a smaller scale. It's the forced things that annoy me more than anything, leaving the responsibility out the hands of the market and in the hands of some government entity.
    Unions work directly against the free market. So no, people shouldn't be free to form a collective that actively seeks to undermine a free and sound market economy.

    Also, it is easier for a collective of workers to hold a business hostage with unreasonable demands than it is for a company to hold a market hostage with high prices. While a single consumer can unilaterally choose to purchase another company's product, a company often can't afford the costliness of relocating it's factory and all its capital just to avoid a union's collective bargaining. They often find it less costly to simply give in to the union's demands than to even consider relocation. Just like big corrupt monopoly that strong-arms competitors shouldn't be tolerated, neither should we tolerate unions that hold companies hostage at society's expense.

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    Quote Originally Posted by discojoe View Post
    The problem with your reasoning is that it seems to presuppose that the farmers in question have no other option but to farm, and therefore that the market has "let them down" because it is making it more difficult for them to stay in business.

    But history has shown that the only thing that can keep a nation's workers locked in to specific livelihoods is corrupt and/or anti-capitalistic government. Starbucks is only able to "exploit" these workers because, despite all the workers in these countries who desperately want to work, there is very little incentive for capital to flow into these countries and bid away the "exploited" workers with competitive wages. This is not the fault of capitalism, it's the fault of precisely the opposite of capitalism.

    Blame the government of Uganda, the real exploiter of these farmers.

    Tell me, who owes these small producers a living? Should I be forced to shop at Mom & Pop stores in order to keep Walmart from driving them from business, despite the fact that Walmart offers lower prices and in the end creates more jobs?

    That's what you're not understanding. These small producers are ultimately driven from business not because of corporate strong-arming, but by consumers voting with their dollars for the cheaper products offered by the larger, more efficient companies. The savings afforded by such companies indirectly creates more jobs that the ones lost in small production industries.



    In reality, these agreements result in members being overpayed. An overpayed union takes jobs away from other people. Why should someone lose his job just to make the union worker's job more cushy?



    Unions work directly against the free market. So no, people shouldn't be free to form a collective that actively seeks to undermine a free and sound market economy.

    Also, it is easier for a collective of workers to hold a business hostage with unreasonable demands than it is for a company to hold a market hostage with high prices. While a single consumer can unilaterally choose to purchase another company's product, a company often can't afford the costliness of relocating it's factory and all its capital just to avoid a union's collective bargaining. They often find it less costly to simply give in to the union's demands than to even consider relocation. Just like big corrupt monopoly that strong-arms competitors shouldn't be tolerated, neither should we tolerate unions that hold companies hostage at society's expense.
    People should be able to collectively do what the fuck they want to do. Its their time, and their labor. To pass a law against unions would in actuality be the thing that undermines the free market. Businesses have the right to fire the people involved in the union if they wish. You can't stop people from associating though. That is like socialized business regulation, determining how business is always conducted, etc.
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    Quote Originally Posted by discojoe View Post
    Unions work directly against the free market. So no, people shouldn't be free to form a collective that actively seeks to undermine a free and sound market economy.
    How's that? A worker is a commodity and he can charge whatever he wants for his services, including the requirement that his boss fulfill union obligations. Putting him in jail for joining a union is anti free market; it's like putting artificial controls on the price of tomatoes.

    Also, it is easier for a collective of workers to hold a business hostage with unreasonable demands than it is for a company to hold a market hostage with high prices. While a single consumer can unilaterally choose to purchase another company's product, a company often can't afford the costliness of relocating it's factory and all its capital just to avoid a union's collective bargaining. They often find it less costly to simply give in to the union's demands than to even consider relocation. Just like big corrupt monopoly that strong-arms competitors shouldn't be tolerated, neither should we tolerate unions that hold companies hostage at society's expense.
    Should two businessmen be prevented from signing a partnership contract just because their pooled resources let them out-compete other businesses? The free market is entirely predicated on the fact that some people can gain an advantage over others.

    Weren't you saying earlier that there are plenty of people willing to work for less than minimum wage? In that case, there will always be people willing to compete with the union and make monopolies harder to form. Even if a labor monopoly does form, they would still have to maintain it or it will disappear.
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    The businesses don't have to heed to the demands of the union. They can fire them if the wish. They can let them go on strike. Discojoe keeps bringing up "economic growth" but its not just about economic growth, its about working conditions and conditions in a lot of other areas.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hitta View Post
    The businesses don't have to heed to the demands of the union. They can fire them if the wish. They can let them go on strike. Discojoe keeps bringing up "economic growth" but its not just about economic growth, its about working conditions and conditions in a lot of other areas.
    Xactly. Free market is free.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jxrtes View Post
    How's that? A worker is a commodity and he can charge whatever he wants for his services, including the requirement that his boss fulfill union obligations. Putting him in jail for joining a union is anti free market; it's like putting artificial controls on the price of tomatoes.
    No, what is anti-free market is the union itself, since it harms the rest of the market in a way that is much more acute than any single worker's irrational act of charging a greater wage for his labor than the market is willing to pay.

    Should two businessmen be prevented from signing a partnership contract just because their pooled resources let them out-compete other businesses? The free market is entirely predicated on the fact that some people can gain an advantage over others.
    There is nothing anti-competitive about being better at competition. That is fundamentally nonsensical.

    Weren't you saying earlier that there are plenty of people willing to work for less than minimum wage? In that case, there will always be people willing to compete with the union and make monopolies harder to form. Even if a labor monopoly does form, they would still have to maintain it or it will disappear.
    That's all irrelevant. In practice, unions hurt the economy and should be banned. There would be no net loss from doing this.

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