User Rating: 0 / 5

Star inactiveStar inactiveStar inactiveStar inactiveStar inactive
 

STRIKES

You could strike

And then, we have the right to strike.  In an Absolute Austro-Libertarian system, as an employee and lacking any other contractual conditions, you would be able to strike. However, if you do, you are responsible for the loss of profits that that causes to your employer. This is the case where only Master Contract conditions apply.

That's assuming there are no clauses in the contract imposing fines if you strike.  Which seems rather harsh because as an employee you are locked into a contract and you cannot do anything to increase your salary without incurring a debt.  And that debt can be significant. 

But at the same time you have to understand that the loss is real to the employer and part of that money was assigned to pay your salary and your benefits.  To that degree, making you responsible for the loss is a fair proposition.

You must remember that you voluntarily entered into an agreement with your employer. Nobody forced you. You could have walked away or requested different conditions or sought a different employer. But you did not. You assumed the full responsibility of the contractual obligations.

Unions would be horrified by these conditions.  But the truth is that throughout the world most employees and employers operate just fine without unions or unionized workers. With few exceptions, on average, unions only comprise anywhere between 15 to 35% of all active workers throughout the world. If working conditions would be so terrible, workers would join Unions in droves. Alas, they don’t.

Most workers do not feel the need to strike; they don't feel that they have been cheated because they have found a better way of living than they had had before.  And that is a good deal.

Now let’s take a look at places resembling an Absolute Austro-Libertarian system where workers do strike, such as China. In China about 90% of the workers are Unionized and the government tolerates limited and local protests related to wages or other issues.   As a matter of fact, there are quite a significant number of strikes in China. Does this mean that our premise is faulty? No.

We need to look deeper. If you look at Chinese strikes, they are almost invariably related to wages. This does coincide with our premises.

However, what is odd is the large percentage of wage increases demanded by the Chinese employees: anywhere between 10 to 50%!! Does this seem normal to you? Of course it isn’t. Does this mean that Chinese workers feel somehow oppressed or exploited? Of course not. What they complain is about inflation.

Those numbers can only exist if there is massive inflation going on. And there is. China is inflating (i.e. creating funny money out of thin air) at a rate not lower than 30% per year. Is then any wonder that Chinese workers are upset? Of course not! Does this fact invalidate our premise? Of course not!

In  an Absolute Austro-Libertarian system there is no inflation whatsoever. The system is based on hard money. Money that cannot be counterfeited by the state. Money that actually dis-inflates over time. This is, money increases its value over time simply because more goods and services are to be had. Supply and demand working for the workers!

If you take a look at most massive strikes anywhere in the world, you will notice something unusual, something special. The biggest Unions belong to government employees and the biggest strikes do too!

What a surprise. Governments mis-managing wages. Does this shocks you? Of course not. Think. When was the last time you have seen a massive strike called by a Union representing private workers in an economic segment? You will have difficulties to remember, since there aren’t that many.

The truth is that in an economic situation where people  can contract freely and the economy is growing normally, without artificial, governmental interventions, strikes are quite unusual.

And so in an Absolute Austro-Libertarian system that is exactly what will happen. There would be very few strikes, because they would not be necessary.

 

Or you could walk

And so in an Absolute Austro-Libertarian system, all the rights that workers had obtained through artificial monopolies granted to them by governments and enforced through the use of force, would become unnecessary.  Would there be abuses?  Of course there would be, they always are. Even in today’s system, they very much exist and that would not change.  But what would change is that governments or laws would be unnecessary.

Actually, the most powerful weapon that any worker has in any part of the world is to simply walk away.  If you could just walk away from your employer and you operated in a free market, the employer would have a big problem.  So, if you're interested in punishment, this is the worst punishment that you can inflict on an employer: massive loss of employees.

Things have changed. Employers can no longer afford to lay out employees massively and replace them overnight with new ones. Even if they could do so, even if their contracts would allow them to do so, would they do it? Most employers would not. The reason is very simple. It takes time, effort and training to develop reliable employees; even for the most mundane tasks. Laying out employees massively would equate to economic suicide.

Times have changed and will continue to change in favor of the employee. Situations like in the past when entire manufacturing facilities were laid out would be gone. There would be exceptions, of course, but in general terms, nobody could afford to do so any longer.

In an Absolute Austro-Libertarian system the options an employer would have are simple: negotiate in good faith or go bankrupt.

 

INDUSTRIAL HYGIENE AND SAFETY

There is one more point we need to review. Would there be any health and safety protections for employees in an Absolute Austro-Libertarian system?  The answer is yes.  We have explained in the previous sections why employers would need to negotiate in good faith and why they would take good care of their employees. It is simply in their best interest to do so.

For details dealing with compensations in the event of accidents, it all comes down to the content of the contract between employer and employee.  But as we explained before in the lesson Justice in the Austro-Libertarian System – Part 1 companies would most likely be insured, so even when harm does come to an employee the insurance company would pay. This is nothing unusual; actually, it is very common. For example, all the doctors are insured in such a manner. Insurance fees are fairly high, however all the doctors, expensive or not, continue to provide services without any problem.

These reasons and methodology to protect employees’ health and safety are not only possible, but they are actually viable and are happening.

But how much compensation would workers be receiving? More or less that what they are receiving today? It depends of the contract, its terms and conditions. Some contracts would provide higher compensation and some would provide lower compensation; there will be room for negotiation.

But again, that's were specialists come in. They will advise employers and employees, for a fee.  And again, this is not that unusual since what most intelligent lawyers do today, is to negotiate fees. Nobody wants to go into expensive trials because that would consume time and fees. Therefore they negotiate and extract as much money from the employer as possible. And that's exactly what would happen in an Absolute Austro-Libertarian system. So you see, an Absolute Austro-Libertarian system is not that different from the way in which the current world operates.

 

KEY ASSUMPTION

All these arguments are dependent upon one assumption: the in- balance between supply and demand.  This imbalance depends upon three factors:

Demographics

We are assuming that less people of working age will be available over time. This has proven to be the case. As the standard of living increases, the number of births decrease. This is not a theory, it is a fact. So, demographics plays in our favor.

Economic growth

We are assuming that an Absolute Austro-Libertarian system will increase economic growth beyond the capability of the markets to provide employees. And that seems to be the case. If one studies history and reviews the times where conditions approximated Absolute Austro-Libertarian principles, one noticed that employees were always scarce. Slavery begun this way.

No externalities

Many people tell us that finding employees is not a problem. Immigrants from over or largely populated countries are always available. This is true, for now. But as the Absolute Austro-Libertarian system takes hold, standards of living anywhere in the planet will tend to reach the same levels. There will be no more over or largely populated countries where to obtain inexpensive employees. In economists’ terms, there will be no more externalities.

So yes! All the available information supports our claims.

 

CONCLUSION

In our system you would have all the benefits that workers currently have, and more, but without the need of any government or regulations.

 

You now know that it is possible. A better and mutually beneficial relationship between employers and employees is most certainly possible. It is now your choice. Choose wisely.

Note: please see the Glossary if you are unfamiliar with certain words.

Comments | Add yours
  • No comments found
English French German Italian Portuguese Russian Spanish
FacebookMySpaceTwitterDiggDeliciousStumbleuponGoogle BookmarksRedditNewsvineTechnoratiLinkedinMixxRSS FeedPinterest
Pin It