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Labor Freedom

April 3, 2024  |  200 words  |  Economics, Philosophy

“Economic freedom” is a phrase conservatives and libertarians are fond of.  It expresses their belief in the power of a free market to effectively address all of society’s needs in an equitable manner, with regulation or outside intervention only muddying the waters and gumming up the works.

But “labor freedom” is a new one on me.  It was recently cited by The Wall Street Journal in a short editorial criticizing the nefarious efforts of Big Labor and its Democratic allies in Congress to unionize the new, government-subsidized auto plants in our Southern states.  

In this way those staunch defenders of freedom at the WSJ are standing up for the rights of these working men and women to earn roughly half what their unionized counterparts typically make.

According to the prevailing conservative/libertarian wisdom, if down-on-their-luck locals don’t like what’s being offered at a government-subsidized auto plant that blew into town with great fanfare and a promise to revitalize the community, they have a choice.  Those employees can exercise the freedom they enjoy to find a different, better employer and go work somewhere else.    

Even if that means pulling up stakes and relocating far from their family and friends.  See, problem solved!

Robert J. Cavanaugh, Jr.

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