The Libertarian Case Against Right-to-Work Laws

An earlier generation of libertarians and classical liberals condemned so-called right-to-work laws.

It’s not widely known, but an earlier generation of libertarians condemned so-called right-to-work laws as anti-market. For example, Milton Friedman, in Capitalism and Freedom, compared right-to-work to anti-discrimination laws. The Spring 1966 issue of the libertarian student-run journal New Individualist Review carried Professor Hirschel Kasper’s article “What’s Wrong with Right-to-Work Laws.” NIR was edited by University of Chicago libertarians Ralph Raico, Joe Cobb, and Jim Powell. Among its editorial advisers were Friedman, F.A. Hayek, and Ben Rogge, a classical liberal long associated with the Foundation for Economic Education. (Of course this does not mean that any of these men necessarily agreed with Kasper, although [with one exception] that may not be an unreasonable inference, considering that NIR never published a pro-right-to-work article. The exception is Hayek, who wrote, curiously, in The Constitution of Liberty that “closed- and union-shop contracts … must be treated as contracts in restraint of trade and denied the protection of the law.”)

Percy L. Greaves Jr., a student and friend of Ludwig von Mises and a close associate of FEE founder Leonard E. Read, also made the libertarian and Austrian-economics case against right-to-work laws. The essay was published in a festschrift to Mises, On Freedom and Free Enterprise, which was assembled in 1956 to honor the 50th anniversary of his doctorate. One may draw one’s own conclusion about how Mises saw the issue, given Greaves’s choice of topic in this context.

In light of the controversy surrounding the recent passage of a right-to-work law in Michigan, Greaves’s lengthy argument is worth examining. For the record, no one was more fully devoted to laissez-faire than Percy Greaves, a dedicated promoter of Mises’s work. (See his Mises Made Easier.) And he was no union sympathizer—or, to be precise, he had no sympathy for compulsory unions under the legal regime created by the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 (the Wagner Act).

But Greaves was consistent, and when he saw businesspeople asking states to pass right-to-work laws, which forbid employers from agreeing to make union membership a condition of employment, he objected. Let’s first be clear about what these laws do. The 1947 Taft-Hartley Act, which amended the Wagner Act, contains provision 14(b), stating that Taft-Hartley should not

be construed as authorizing the execution or application of agreements requiring membership in a labor organization as a condition of employment in any State or Territory in which such execution or application is prohibited by State or Territorial law. [Emphasis added.]

Thus states may forbid a particular kind of contract between an employer and a union. (Under Wagner a majority of employees can authorize a union to represent them regardless of an employer’s wishes, and employees who do not want to join must still pay fees to the union.)

Mass Myopia

Support for banning a voluntary agreement did not sit well with Greaves even if the ban is intended to counter an earlier government action. “The mass myopia of our age has been a reactionary reverence for government intervention,” he wrote in “Is Further Intervention a Cure for Prior Intervention?” “When anything goes wrong, from a train wreck to a change in stock market prices, the craven crowds always clamor for just one more law.”

He found “most astonishing” that businesspeople “seldom … ask for a repeal of the laws which are so often the root of their troubles. In accordance with the religion of the day, they ask for new legal restrictions which they think will protect them from the ills produced by the interventional laws already on the statute books.” (Here he invoked Mises’s “critique of interventionism”: intervention creates problems that, unless the original intervention is repealed, beget further intervention, and so on.)

Greaves knew well that those “who advocate the so-called right-to-work laws [believe] these laws will remedy some of the sins of the federal labor laws that now grant special privileges to labor unions.” (For a statement of this “second-best” argument, see this.) He had no sympathy for the Wagner Act, but he wasn’t buying the excuse: “Two wrongs never make a right. The economic answer is to repeal the bad intervention and not try to counterbalance it with another bad intervention. Such moves only provide the politicians with greater power over the entire economy.” In other words, the end doesn’t justify the means.

He continued,

Those who advocate a legal ban on union shops seldom realize that they are sealing their own doom and placing their future fate in the hands of legislators who are only too eager to assume control of all economic activity.

Personal Involvement

Greaves was closely involved in the issue. At the request of Sen. Robert A. Taft in 1946, he helped draft a precursor to Taft-Hartley. According to Greaves, union activity had caused the Wagner Act to fall out of favor with the public. Taft wanted an ameliorative bill that would win enough votes to override a veto by President Harry Truman—in another words, a watered-down bill. Then, after the Republicans won the White House and Congress in 1948, they would pass a better law.

Greaves “opposed this thinking on the basis that it would be better not to have any new law at that time, [contending] that a successful veto of a better law would result in a growing public pressure for the repeal of the Wagner Act and the election of the party that espoused such a move. The senator was not willing to go that far.” Greaves feared that “if the senator’s plan were successful, the public would be persuaded that the then evident economic distress flowing from union activity had been remedied and the next tide of public opinion might well be in the other direction.”

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  • Rick Santorum||

    It’s not widely known, but an earlier generation of libertarians condemned so-called right-to-work laws as anti-market.

    I suspect that was because an earlier generation of libertarians weren't fervently anti-labor.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    I suspect that was because an earlier generation of libertarians weren't fervently anti-labor.

    And you would be stupid wrong. They simply lived in an era when they still had a modicum of hope that perhaps the state would see its role in society, and stick to a principle of limited government. After 80+ years of government crowding out every other option seeking to be everything to everyone, despite failing miserably at virtually everything it undertakes, it seems the best we can hope for is more government intervention that might help ease the strain its own earlier action placed on society.

    When was the last time a bill was repealed?

  • Robert||

    And you would be wrong too. Over the period that was written of, there was much less hope for ltd. gov't than there has been in the past ~30 yrs. Libertarian activists then commonly had a "remnant" strategy thinking that it wasn't for theirs, but a future generation that would roll back such crowding out. Libertarian ideas are far more acceptable now than they were 1940-70.

  • Rick Santorum||

    They simply lived in an era when they still had a modicum of hope that perhaps the state would see its role in society, and stick to a principle of limited government.

    After all those New Deal and Great Society programs? Yeah, right. Libertarianism is more palatable now than ever before.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    You're a Producerist, not a Libertarian. Why would anyone here care what you have to say?

  • Rick Santorum||

    Why would anyone here care what you have to say?

    I'm a nativist, too, and you should give a damn about what I have to say because I'm sympathetic to your cause.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Libertarianism believes in liberty, which includes the liberty to engage in voluntary, non-coercive economic transactions. Nativist Producerism, by definition, doesn't. We have no common cause.

    Rushdoony and company may call themselves "libertarian", but then again, Jews for Jesus also insist that they're Jewish.

  • Rick Santorum||

    Nativist Producerism, by definition, doesn't. We have no common cause.

    I guess that advocating for Constitutional conservatism, freer markets, less government spending, and a return to federalism is not something that libertarians agree with.

    Rushdoony and company may call themselves "libertarian"

    Implying I believe in theonemy or the Calvinist drivel that Rushdoony spouts.

  • Pound. Head. On. Desk.||

    I suspect that was because an earlier generation of libertarians weren't fervently anti-labor.

    "Anti-labor?" I am labor. Hell, I was labor even when I was a business owner.

    You have the right to quit and I have the right to fire you. Here's your last check and there's the door. If you really are that valuable, you'll be working for my competitor and it's my loss. If that doesn't suit you, then do your job now. I will not tolerate anyone who "strikes," that is, trying to strangle me by claiming a monopoly on a job he has walked away from.

  • Nuked||

    ^^ This

  • Pound. Head. On. Desk.||

    ^^ This

    When all that happened the court disagreed with me. So I sold it off and moved to Virginia. The new people couldn't keep it running under the conditions the court said. Instead of somebody having that job at a slightly lower wage, nobody got that job at any wage. California can eat my shorts.

  • Xenocles||

    Yup. If you skip work in order to break my balls you're gone.

  • Virginian||

    It's that fucking simple. A job is a contract between two parties. One party pays the other for doing work that they do not have the time and/or training to do properly.

    At the end of the day, the striking unionist is just one more childish leftist who wishes to be given something without exchanging something of equal value. There is no difference between a UAW member demanding that the government force the car company give him 80 dollars an hour to push buttons, and a grungy Gender Studies graduate in Zucotti Park demanding the government force lenders into "forgiving" his student loans.

  • ||

    One party pays the other for doing work that they do not have the time and/or training to do properly.

    Actually, under the theory of comparative advantage, it still might be a good idea for you to pay someone else to do a job that you have the time and training to do properly, if they have a comparative advantage in doing that task.

    If you can produce two widgets per hour, and you value your time at $100 per hour because of other work you can do, it will pay you to hire someone who can only produce one widget per hour, but who will do so for any amount less than $50 per hour in total compensation (including taxes and benefits).

    You are better at producing widgets than them, but you should still hire them below a certain price point.

  • Xenocles||

    It feels like that counts as not having enough time to do that job.

  • Alex the wolf||

    "I will not tolerate anyone who strikes"

    That is being anti labor. Labor seeks the right to strike and male piket lines. What they do is seek above the market wages and benefits and prerrogatives to prevent the employer from firing and hiring other employees at lower wages.

  • ThomasD||

    Labor can strike and make picket lines. No law against that.

    What you are really talking about isn't a right, it is labor using the force of law to impose upon the employer an inability to replace the striking worker. That and a tolerance for threats or violence being used to prevent other potential laborers from crossing the picket line.

    There is no freedom of contract in the presence of that form of legislated coercion.

  • Alex the wolf||

    Yes, I agree with you. I am for RTW, maybe I didnt express myself properly.

    Although picket lines are indeed ilegal, or should be.

  • Sevo||

    Rick Santorum| 12.16.12 @ 8:19AM |#
    'I suspect that was because an earlier generation of libertarians weren't fervently anti-thug'

    FIFY

  • Bruce Majors||

    I suspect it was because then unions weren't mainly unions of government employees seeking to exploit taxpayers.

  • Generic Stranger||

    Probably because in their day unions didn't have quite as much support from the government.

    Are RTW laws ideal? No. Ideal would be removing government support for what are essentially labor monopolies. Ideal would be to allow full freedom of association for both employers and employees.

    We don't live in an ideal world however. Just like it would be ideal to have marijuana completely legalized with no taxation, most libertarians are willing to accept medical marijuana laws and taxation as steps in the right direction. So it is with RTW. Perfect is the enemy of good enough.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Perfect is the enemy of good enough.

    It depends on what you're calling "good enough." Good enough to whom?

  • Generic Stranger||

    Perhaps "good enough" is a bad term, as it has a bit of finality to it. How about "perfect is the enemy of getting things done"?

  • BarryD||

    How about, "perfect is the enemy of moving in the right direction?"

    Forced union membership robs workers of their liberty. It prevents market forces from keeping unions honest.

    RTW prevents employers from voluntary agreements that allow a union to take money from employees with no guarantee of any goods in return.

    Let's see... Freedom from extortion vs. the right to extort.

    I really am not seeing the problem with Right to Work laws, which protect the liberties of millions while banning a form of extortion.

    Sure, the government should not give unions any special treatment. No problem there. The Wagner Act should be repealed in its entirety. Sure. I'd like to see us go with anarcho-capitalism all around, in fact.

    But be that as it may, RtW is a threat to liberty in the same way that a law against burglary takes freedom away from burglars.

  • wareagle||

    even sweeping change takes time. If the people pissed off by "good enough for whom" are the bureaucrats and policy hounds who wish to control folks, that passes my definition of good enough.

  • Alex the wolf||

    How about Politics is the art of the possible?

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Support for banning a voluntary agreement did not sit well with Greaves even if the ban is intended to counter an earlier government action. “The mass myopia of our age has been a reactionary reverence for government intervention,” he wrote in “Is Further Intervention a Cure for Prior Intervention?” “When anything goes wrong, from a train wreck to a change in stock market prices, the craven crowds always clamor for just one more law.”

    He found “most astonishing” that businesspeople “seldom … ask for a repeal of the laws which are so often the root of their troubles. In accordance with the religion of the day, they ask for new legal restrictions which they think will protect them from the ills produced by the interventional laws already on the statute books.” (Here he invoked Mises’s “critique of interventionism”: intervention creates problems that, unless the original intervention is repealed, beget further intervention, and so on.)

    Spot on. People never seek to repeal bad law, simply to amend it, or "fix" it. NOT having a law is anathema to statist believers.

    Leftists like to see themselves as non-religionists, but the aren't fooling me. Rightists simply seek to use the state as an extension to what they already believe. Neither can fathom not having government take some action. They must always Do Something™.

  • Sevo||

    mad libertarian guy| 12.16.12 @ 8:29AM |#
    "(Here he invoked Mises’s “critique of interventionism”: intervention creates problems that, unless the original intervention is repealed, beget further intervention, and so on.)"

    A valid critique, but in this case, the RTW law supplants rather than adds to existing law and (again in this case), that results in a net gain of freedom.
    What is really strange is that the loss of freedom lands on the employers rather than the employed and yet those who claim to desire greater freedom for labor oppose it.
    It is pretty clear that the claimed desire for freedom from those is an outright lie, right, Santorum?

  • mad libertarian guy||

    A valid critique, but in this case, the RTW law supplants rather than adds to existing law and (again in this case), that results in a net gain of freedom.

    It's a 2 steps forward, 1 step back kind of ordeal. Employers gain freedom by not having to hire union members. Workers gain freedom by not having to join unions despite protest. Neither can choose a union-only shop, which, though I loathe the modern labor movement, isn't conducive to freedom.

    What is really strange is that the loss of freedom lands on the employers rather than the employed and yet those who claim to desire greater freedom for labor oppose it.

    Not being able to work for a union only shop is a loss of freedom. The best labor law is no labor law. Let employers and employees figure it out themselves.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Neither can choose a union-only shop, which, though I loathe the modern labor movement, isn't conducive to freedom.

    The fact that no one would voluntarily choose that makes this line of argumentation specious.

  • Brett L||

    That's flat untrue. I know of several employers who would just as soon outsource all of their training and certification to the union for skilled workers in their employ. If that's what unions were and did, along with advocating for their members in contract dispute and negotiation, providing group insurance at discounted prices, and other financial planning services that would be an excellent thing.

  • Sevo||

    Brett L| 12.16.12 @ 10:36AM |#
    "I know of several employers who would just as soon outsource all of their training and certification to the union for skilled workers in their employ."

    And nothing in RTW law prevents them from doing so.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    And nothing in RTW law prevents them from doing so.

    Until a worker decided that he didn't want to be union anymore.

  • Bruce Majors||

    That depends on what the RTW law says in its details. You don't have to join a union to get a job, but you might have to get training which only or mainly a union provides.

  • Cdr Lytton||

    And some already do. Usually they seem to be state licensed professions such as plumbers or electricians where the union has a (state approved) apprenticeship and training.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    If that's what unions were and did, they'd be businesses engaged in exchange, and not unions at all.

    But hey, i like your style, let me try.

    Drone strikes aren't bad because if the drones were showering $100 dollar bills on unsuspecting people, everybody would love them.

  • db||

    There's a significant difference between employee unions and craft unions.

    Employee unions (locals attached to specific employers or work sites such as a refinery or a power plant) typically don't do any training, etc., leaving it up to the employer/owner of the facility to do that. The employer often provides retirement and health insurance plans or pays the union local to do so.

    Craft unions typically provide labor to employers and facilities when the demand for labor at a facility or on a project exceeds the permanent staffing of a facility. This commonly happens during scheduled or emergent outages at power plants, or maintenance turnarounds at chemical plants. These employees are typically trained by their union local or international training center. The union usually administers (or contracts the administration) of its own retirement/insurance plans from a general fund.

    Both types of unions have their pluses and minuses, but employee unions typically make it harder to fire workers who do not perform or break rules. Craft labor (contracting) unions are less restrictive. If I have a craft labor force working for me and a worker doesn't perform or breaks a safety rule or such, I can have him removed from site and make sure he's never allowed back relatively easily. The craft unions tend to police this fairly well, so that workers who refuse too many jobs or get thrown out too often don't get called back.

  • Coriolanus||

    Please don't give the Fed any cute ideas for their next round of "quantitative easing"...

  • BarryD||

    There would be no union-only shops to choose, if the government did not give unions special treatment, both in the form of special legal provisions, and extralegal failure to enforce laws against extortion, assault, racketeering and other organized crime style activities in which unions engage.

  • Sevo||

    "Not being able to work for a union only shop is a loss of freedom"

    Not sure you're serious here. What 'freedom' is lost?

  • VG Zaytsev||

    It's just like making the argument that the 1st amendment is anti-liberty because it limits the ability of people to voluntarily submit to government censorship.

  • Sevo||

    That's what seems to be involved here. Every time I ask for specifics, the answer seems to be couched in entirely too many dependent clauses; 'the loss of the loss of the possible loss...'

  • An0nB0t||

    I signed a contract with Mrs. Anonbot to fuck her exclusively with no secondary fucking of other parties. In return for granting reasonable fucking privileges, Mrs. Anonbot receives the promise of fuckee exclusivity.

    This is the nature of voluntary contracts, and it's a bizarre start to my Sunday to see intelligent libertarians complain that legally constraining the natural right to contract is somehow adding to freedom.

    Rothbard was, as usual, correct: we should be pushing for the most radical anti-state policy possible, namely the repeal of the NLRA and the complete dismantling of the NLRB and leave it to court libertarians like Friedman to offer quick-and-dirty fixes like RTW laws.

  • Sevo||

    An0nB0t| 12.16.12 @ 11:51AM |#
    ..."it's a bizarre start to my Sunday to see intelligent libertarians complain that legally constraining the natural right to contract is somehow adding to freedom."

    A law with lesser restriction on freedom replacing one with greater restriction on freedom does indeed 'add to freedom'.
    So imagine my surprise at those arguing *against* it.

  • sloopyinca||

    Answer me this, AnOnBOt: if your contract was for 2 years, and on the day the contract ended, Mrs Anonbot said she wanted to go and fuck some dude down the street named Mr Tulpa, would you be OK with the government forcing her back into the room with you to negotiate a new exclusivity contract? (And remember, your contract has expired.)

    That's what we're dealing with (just ask Boeing), and since the FedGov is in no way going to change that, incremental freedom at the state level is the only logical step to take.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Mrs Anonbot said she wanted to go and fuck some dude down the street named Mr Tulpa, would you be OK with the government forcing her back into the room with you to negotiate a new exclusivity contract?

    Well, if she wanted to fuck Tulpa, that's prima facie evidence that she's mentally incompetent and cannot engage in a contractual agreement with sound mind.

  • sloopyinca||

    Good point. Replace Tulpa with Kendall Schultz then.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Once you go Tulpa you can't go back.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    That's because you aphyxiate them.

  • Agammamon||

    Well, it works doesn't it? Never heard any complaints.

  • robc||

    It isnt incremental freedom at the state level. It is incremental restraint of freedom that also sticks a finger in the eye of the assholes causing the problem.

    I find the last part amusing, and like with gay marriage, it doesnt really bother me when the other 56 states do it, but its still a move in the wrong direction.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    In return for granting reasonable fucking privileges, Mrs. Anonbot receives the promise of fuckee exclusivity.

    Unless you get Oral with an Anal option, I'd say you got a raw deal.

  • ||

    I think he has an ATM card he can use.

  • Bruce Majors||

    Hey, you know Ann too?

  • anon||

    It's the same backwards thinking that pervades progressive speech. Not taking is giving, etc.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    The freedom to work at a place of employment where only union members may work. Some people, hard as it is to conceive, may actually want that kind of environment. Under RTW laws, they cannot do that. Nor can an employer have a union-only shop.

    RTW laws are better than mandatory union laws, surely, but are not the end-all.

    No labor law is best. Lets employers and employees work these things out for themselves, either on their own or collectively, however they choose to do business.

  • anon||

    The freedom to work at a place of employment where only union members may work.

    So, the freedom for a small group of arbitrary people to coerce the majority to conform to their will...

    Yeah, that doesn't sound like a group of thugs at all.

    You're advocating giving thugs power over everyone else. I am not.

  • Sevo||

    "So, the freedom for a small group of arbitrary people to coerce the majority to conform to their will..."

    Nope, can't go this far; no one is forced to work anywhere (at least yet), so coercion is not evident.

  • Sevo||

    mad libertarian guy| 12.16.12 @ 11:10AM |#
    "The freedom to work at a place of employment where only union members may work."

    Now, there is no restriction on working where *only* union members work, simply a restriction on *requiring* the other workers to be union members. IOWs, your buddy *is* a union member, but no one required him to be so, and therefore you have lost some freedom?
    Now, this time in English, please explain how that represents any loss of freedom.

  • robc||

    The loss of freedom is to the employer, who can no longer choose to run a closed shop.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Sort of like banning sodomy with power drills restricts the freedom of people who want to have that done to them.

  • robc||

    Yes, its pretty much exactly like that.

    So we are in agreement then?

  • Bruce Majors||

    And that should be banned because those people in up costing the taxpayer money in the ER.

  • BarryD||

    There are lots of things employers can't do, like, for example, require that you be butt-raped every day as a condition of employment.

    Requiring you to pay union dues is hardly any different. Why should an employer have the freedom to require you to pay a percentage of your wage to any outside entity, regardless of services provided by that entity, in order to work?

  • Bruce Majors||

    Somewhere in Las Vegas...

  • Xenocles||

    "Not being able to work for a union only shop is a loss of freedom."

    I think you mean that not being able to provide a union-only shop is a loss of freedom.

  • ||

    Not being able to work for a union only shop is a loss of freedom.

    In the same sense that not being able to sell yourself into slavery is a loss of freedom.

  • ||

    Spot on. People never seek to repeal bad law, simply to amend it, or "fix" it. NOT having a law is anathema to statist believers.

    I propose a Constitutional Amendment:

    For the next 30 years (or until repealed), for every law congress passes, they must repeal 3.

    I figure that would eliminate about 10% of the worthless laws.

  • Raven Nation||

    Or you do want Jefferson wanted: every law has a pre-defined length of authority. I think Jefferson suggested 20 years although, given what government does these days, I would say 10 (or less would be better).

    Several good concepts in that: (i) you don't have to repeal bad laws, they just lapse; (ii) if you want to re-enact bad laws, politicians have to go on the record doing so; (iii) if you want to vote against bills that cut taxes, you would have to do so.

  • Raven Nation||

    "you do WHAT Jefferson wanted"

  • ||

    I love that!

    Of course, as mentioned above, the hard part is convincing the population that restrictions are bad for them.

    Back to square one.

    *looks on dejectedly*

  • C. Anacreon||

    Along these lines, I have always wondered why the "Bush tax cuts" had an expiration date. The Rs had both houses and the presidency at the time, why didn't they just make the changes permanent? Right now there wouldn't be an argument about the impending fiscal cliff, but perhaps an argument about raising taxes vs cutting spending.

    Tax hikes in the last 20 or so years didn't have expiration dates, far as I can tell.

  • Agammamon||

    At least until, at the close of every renewal period, congress simply introduces the whole of federal law and regulation as a single bill to be voted on.

    Considering that it would take a small dumptruck to move the printed version, the opportunities for graft and corruption would be considerable.

  • Raven Nation||

    True. And that's really the fundamental problem: no matter how you design the system there is always going to people that want power. This is one of the gaps b/w the 1780s & today: hard to imagine any of the founding generation (except, MAYBE, Hamilton & his group) wanting a government with the sheer volume of power that it has today.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Even Hamilton would scoff at the idea that we need a fedgov such as we currently have.

  • Bruce Majors||

    Funny, in a way laws are like debts, especially since so many of them now create debt or mandate or obligate one to spend. Wasn't there a biblical limitation on how long a debt could last?

  • Ted S.||

    It’s not widely known, but an earlier generation of libertarians condemned so-called right-to-work laws as anti-market.

    This of course is nonsense, based upon the heated discussion that shows up here every time a RTW article is brought up. :-)

  • mad libertarian guy||

    There is a CURRENT generation of libertarian opposed to RTW laws, people like myself, but also realize that repealing bad labor law is virtually out of the question. Asking government to repeal laws and stop trying to steer society is like trying to ask the sun to not rise tomorrow morning.

    It seems the best hope we have is to stack less bad law on top of really bad law as I can't recall a single law ever having been repealed as a mea culpa from government. Government is far too narcissistic to admit failure.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    Legalizing small amounts of weed and taxing them may not be libertarian but it sure beats keeping it fully illegal. This is the same debate over and over. Incremental vs true scotsmen day one. I have my opinions but I wish we could devote more resources to this type of discussion instead of the basic premise that Gov has any role in these facets of life.

    So long and short of it is until we get farther down the road ANY improvement is ok with me.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    I'm not saying that taxing weed isn't better. I would never say that.

    But the drug court/mandatory rehab model (that we just pay for) that the fedgov is seemingly pushing isn't really anything but a side step. It's better than prison, but it isn't freedom. It's not even close.

  • anon||

    Well, I hate to tell you, but Rome wasn't built in a day.

  • johnl||

    Not even destroyed in a day.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    In CO, it is full legalization ... not sure what you are referring to.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    The fedgov, and the other 48 states.

  • Bruce Majors||

    The fact that they can tax and regulate it.

  • wareagle||

    I would settle for every legislative body devoting a good deal of its work to combing through existing laws and getting rid of the ones that are outdated or have proven unwieldy. Instead, effectiveness is often gauged by how many new pieces of legislation elected officials produce.

  • Robert||

    But new pieces of legislation usu. repeal old pieces in part.

  • wareagle||

    do they? Look around you; no one ever talks about doing away with an existing law, just piling more words on top of it to make stronger or more effective or some other bureaucratese.

    The law requiring some tax to fund the Spanish-American War was (I think) finally repealed a couple of years ago. I don't see the rule and reg book getting any slimmer and neither do you.

  • Robert||

    "Narcissistic", "admit", "mea culpa"...you're writing as if gov't were a person! There is no personality tied up in the acts of legislatures. Over time it's not even the same people.

    Stuff's being repealed all the time. Just look in your state's consolidated laws, and you'll see loads of repeals listed.

  • BarryD||

    Would Henry David Thoreau have been in favor of forcing people to pay a union for the privilege of working for an employer?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    It's very well to say the Wagner Act should be repealed or rolled back by Congress, but what if you're not in Congress? What if you're in the Michigan Legislature, and you have to choose between letting the federal government force closed shops on businesses, or passing a state law forcing open shops on businesses?

    The choices suck, granted, but once you're properly grieved for the limited choices, you still have to vote one way or the other. Which is the lesser evil?

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Except that it wouldn't matter either way if Wagner was still in place. Federal law still trumps state law. And Wagner is no longer in place. It itself was replaced by less bad law, yet still fraught with anti-freedom nonsense.

  • TomD||

    What if you're in the Michigan Legislature, and you have to choose between letting the federal government force closed shops on businesses, or passing a state law forcing open shops on businesses?

    Federal labor law doesn't force closed shops; it merely allows them. RTW law bans them.

  • Cdr Lytton||

    Taft-Hartley banned closed shops, not RTW. You don't have to be a union member to be hired (closed shop) or join once hired (union shop).

  • mad libertarian guy||

    But you still have to pay dues. Under RTW law, you don't.

  • Cdr Lytton||

    You don't pay dues if you're not a member. Without RTW, you have to pay an agency fee only. Still money out of your pocket but less than dues.

  • Don Mynack||

    I do have hope that RTW forces unions to actually compete for workers, and change for the better to do so. However, it just may lead to more thuggery to "encourage" membership.

  • ||

    To be fair, Cdr, the Taft-Hartley act banned closed shops AND allowed states to pass RTW laws, so there's not much of a distinction between the two (though T-H does not REQUIRE states to pass RTW).

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Something tells me that the “reality based” party of “science” will completely disregard objective reality as they push forward for more ways to curtail my rights.

    They will do ANYTHING to make themselves feel safer, even if that something does fuck all to make them safer. Some might argue that whatever action they will push would not only decrease freedom, but also safety.

  • Jerryskids||

    ‘Are there any sanctuaries left?’’ Kaleka asked. ‘‘Is this a fact of life, one we have become content to live with? Can we no longer feel safe going Christmas shopping in a mall, or to temple, or to the movies? What kind of society have we become?’

    What kind of society have we become? The kind that looks the other way while One man runs a drone campaign to make sure some people never feel safe going shopping or to temple or to the movies. And then tells you to mind your own damn business if you question just where he thinks he got the authority, and operates a government which increasingly looks like the sort that thinks questioning the drone program might require a droning.

  • wareagle||

    What kind of society have we become?

    the kind that has made self-determination and self-responsibility damn near impossible. In the CT aftermath, people have blamed guns, video games, Hollywood, even the news media. To follow that line of thinking, society would have already banned Kool-Aid, fertilizer, and airplanes as each was used in a previous mass murder.

  • Jerryskids||

    I understand the argument "employers should be free to require employees to belong to a union just as much as they should be free to require employees to *not* belong to a union". (And perhaps as much as they should be free to require their customers to belong or not belong to a given race, color, creed, national origin, etc.)

    The disagreement seems to be "given that employers are *not* free to require employees to *not* belong to a union, should we celebrate making them not free to require employees to belong to a union as well"?

    Libertarians, I think, are better than most at seeing the ramifications and unintended (although entirely foreseeable)consequences of actions. It seems to me that a ramification of RTW laws is that you are no longer seeing the question as to whether or not employers should be free to compel or prohibit unions, it becomes a question of whether or not the government should have the power to grant employers that freedom. Once you accept as a given that government has the power to grant freedom, you have a harder time arguing that a government with the power to grant freedoms is not necessarily a government with the power to take freedom away.

  • BarryD||

    Shorter: we should never support any legislation, no matter how de facto libertarian it may be, since simply supporting it at all has serious symbolic meaning.

    Better that we be slaves, than that we allow imperfect metaphor to occur.

    Even shorter: We are the Judean People's Front crack suicide squad! Suicide squad, attack!

  • Lost_In_Translation||

    The RTW vs Wagner Act debate is rediculous and caused because labor unions and businesses in rust belt states competed to see who could ruin a partnership first. If the unions weren't completely broken and dysfunctional, no one would be promoting right to work. Bad businesses fail, how do you kill a bad labor union?

  • anon||

    Bad businesses fail, how do you kill a bad labor union?

    With fire.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Bad businesses fail . . .

    Unless they're Too Big™.

    how do you kill a bad labor union?

    Nuke it from space. It's the only way to be sure.

  • johnl||

    Making union membership compulsory makes them less accountable. RTW should lead to unions that are more responsive to their members and potential members.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Making union membership compulsory makes them less accountable. RTW should lead to unions that are more responsive to their members and potential members.

    Or to more busted knee caps.

  • Sevo||

    OT, but related:
    Businesses that can legally shaft investors seem to have a hard time finding investors! Lefty columnist surprised:
    "Fewer than 80 California companies have taken advantage of a nearly year-old law..."

    http://www.sfgate.com/technolo.....120463.php

  • anon||

    . It seems at least possible that certain investors will avoid businesses that wield such strong legal shields against their shareholders.

    AHAHAHAHAHAHHA oh wow.

  • larryseltzer||

    It doesn't seem to be any more, but I remember back in the 70's, the Libertarian Party platform specifically opposed Right to Work laws. It didn't really explain why and confused me at the time. I'm still sort of confused.

  • Robert||

    It was for the reasons given in the article.

  • JeremyR||

    Which fail a common sense test, I'm afraid.

    People should be forced to join unions if they don't want to because they are somehow more free that way?

  • VG Zaytsev||

    So early libertarians, Hayek notably excepted, made the perfect the enemy of the good and thereby helped grease the slide to fascism.

    Good work boys!

  • The Late P Brooks||

    It’s not widely known, but an earlier generation of libertarians condemned so-called right-to-work laws as anti-market.

    It's not widely known, but there is no Libertarian Bible which lays out a specific highly structured framework of permissible beliefs.

  • BarryD||

    It would be easy to miss this fact, sometimes... :)

    Also, a shitload of people call themselves "libertarians", and some of them have their heads far up their asses.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Hayek, who wrote, curiously, in The Constitution of Liberty that “closed- and union-shop contracts … must be treated as contracts in restraint of trade and denied the protection of the law.”

    Umm, yeah; CURIOUSLY.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    For some strange and undoubtedly unlibertarian reason, I found myself unable to slog through more than a few paragraphs of this this slobbery appeal to authority.

  • BarryD||

    Ditteaux.

  • anon||

    the exception is Hayek, who wrote, curiously, in The Constitution of Liberty that “closed- and union-shop contracts … must be treated as contracts in restraint of trade and denied the protection of the law.”)

    Yeah, there was nothing "curious" about that.

    Unions are nothing more than thugs trying to extort money from an employer.

  • BarryD||

    And Hayek didn't waste his time spinning bullshit, either.

  • anon||

    Actually, it might be both better economics and better expediency to let present laws go their limit, so that people might soon learn how bad they really are.

    False premise. People don't learn.

  • johnl||

    Disaster libertarianism. From page one of the Libertarian Guide to Failure.

  • Robert||

    Yeah. When did libertarians forget about not sacrificing the good of some people for the potential good of others? For surely there would be those who would suffer & die before the turnaround came, even if it came.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    The exception is Hayek, who wrote, curiously, in The Constitution of Liberty that “closed- and union-shop contracts … must be treated as contracts in restraint of trade and denied the protection of the law.

    I would have to disagree with Messr. Hayek here. If a person's business is their own property, then they should have the right to bargain with their workforce as they see fit, whether singly or as a collective. Or, as history has amply demonstrated, an owner should have the right to hang himself and his business with a union contract if it pleases him to do so.

  • anon||

    Sheldon left out the part where Hayek wrote that unions are thugs because they force everyone to have the same pay, and advocated each individual negotiate their own pay based on their own merit.

  • anon||

    It’s not widely known, but an earlier generation of libertarians condemned so-called right-to-work laws as anti-market.

    You miss the point. No libertarian would advocate a law which ever gives unions the power of extortion.

    In Libertopia, "unions" could exist as private contracts between the employers and employees, with no government power except that to enforce the contract made.

    The government's role is to protect property and liberty; no more and no less.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Should employers be "free" to require their employees to join the Sierra Club?

  • anon||

    Sure!

    Hey, if a business is dumb enough to require shit like that, then let them.

  • robc||

    Yes.

    Usually you ask harder questions than that.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Should employers be "free" to require their employees to join the Sierra Club?

    robc| 12.16.12 @ 11:12AM |#

    Yes.

    And then we're a short step from the federal government requiring that their contractors can only employ Sierra Club members.

    It's all 'volutary' so you'd be ok with that right?

  • anon||

    Since the federal government in such a society would be negligible, I'm fine with it.

  • robc||

    There are distinctly different rules for government and private business.

    I think businesses should be able to racially discriminate in hiring, I dont think government should be able to.

    So your argument falls flat as soon as you bring government into it.

  • anon||

    Yeah, I almost posted again to state as much. But look, if you're removing the NLRB entirely, I'm excited.

    Not to mention the fact that requiring every contractor employee be a sierra club member is 1: absurd and 2: unworkable. Such would soon become self-evident were it attempted.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    If you're making a "principled" argument, you have to deal with all possibilities. You can't switch to pragmatics mid-stream and say "oh that would never happen". When you're making a principled argument, that's question begging.

  • ||

    False choice, Tulpa. It's bullshit to claim someone can't argue from pragmatism AND principle. Someone doesn't have to deal with every sort of trumped-up lifeboat ethics argument in order to argue from principle. Arguments like the above essentially ask the question, "If your principles were wrong, would you still believe in them?" It's a fixed question so either the answerer's beliefs are "proved" wrong, or it's "proved" that the answerer doesn't actually hold to them. And I honestly don't see pragmatist and principled as different arguments, since my principled argument would try to be pragmatic. If your principles can't be put into action, what sort of principles are they?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Someone doesn't have to deal with every sort of trumped-up lifeboat ethics argument in order to argue from principle.

    Yes, they do. If the principles don't apply in lifeboat ethics situations then they're not principles, and you're just arguing from nothing.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    So your argument falls flat as soon as you bring government into it.

    Well it's good thing that everybody, including the socialists, are as principled as you.

  • robc||

    They are just as principled as me, its the principles they stick to that are scary.

  • ||

    Your idea that the government would require companies to employ only Sierra club members is flat-out ridiculous. If "but the government might do pass a law restricting freedom of contract!" is your reasoning why the government... should pass a law restricting freedom of contract, you're off your rocker as usual.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Pot, kettle, black. You guys are arguing for a freedom that no company actually wants.

  • ||

    Not according to some of the people in this thread. I forget who, but one of them says they know people who only want to hire union.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Your idea that the government would require companies to employ only Sierra club members is flat-out ridiculous.

    You're showing amazing faith in the top men that run governments.

    You just might survive the purges.

  • ||

    You're showing an amazing amount of stupidity in thinking they'd screw themselves for a very minority group like that.

  • ||

    Just admit you're a complete moron, Zaytsev. You've got nothing except retarded arguments like "OMG, IF COMPANIES CAN HIRE BASED ON WHATEVER THEY WANT GOVERNMENT WILL FORCE THEM ALL TO HIRE SIERRA CLUB MEMBERS!"

  • VG Zaytsev||

    "OMG, IF COMPANIES CAN HIRE BASED ON WHATEVER THEY WANT GOVERNMENT WILL FORCE THEM ALL TO HIRE SIERRA CLUB MEMBERS!"

    Are you really this dense?

    I'm saying that there is no difference between
    a) the government creating a false choice between paying dues to join a private organization (the Sierra Club in this instance) or not accepting employment

    and

    b) the government creating a false choice to join a private organization called a union in order to accept an employment offer.

  • ||

    I'm saying that there is no difference between
    a) the government creating a false choice between paying dues to join a private organization (the Sierra Club in this instance) or not accepting employment

    Government wouldn't be "creating" ANYTHING by not prohibiting that type of employment condition.

    b) the government creating a false choice to join a private organization called a union in order to accept an employment offer.

    Choosing between being a member of the Sierra Club in order to be employed by a certain employer or looking elsewhere for a job isn't a "false choice". Those WOULD BE the choices for someone wanting to be employed by that sort of company.

    You're claiming that NOT prohibiting a type of employer requirement ("All employees will be [blank]") would result in that type of contract becoming mandatory by legislative fiat. This idea was idiotic when you said it before, and it's still idiotic now that you've tried to rephrase it.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    You're showing an amazing amount of stupidity in thinking they'd screw themselves for a very minority group like that.

    I'm arguing the principle not exactly this particular.

    But yes, I think the democrats would love to get a large number of people to forcibly contribute to a group that then kicked a portion back to the democrat party. That is essentially what modern unions are anyway.

    And I have no doubt that the dems would use government contracting as the mechanism to do that if they could.

    Is it a stretch from where we are today?

    Sure, but considering how far we've come in the last twenty years, you're a fool if you think it just an impossibility.

  • ||

    I'm arguing the principle not exactly this particular.

    Yes, the principle that a lack of government intervention in the labor market will result in intervention in the labor market.

    But yes, I think the democrats would love to get a large number of people to forcibly contribute to a group that then kicked a portion back to the democrat party. That is essentially what modern unions are anyway.

    I think different politicians would love ALL SORTS of things. That doesn't mean I think all of them will happen. I rate the probability of most politicians wanting something like this, and keeping office long enough to pass it, while defeating all the attempts to replace them or get it invalidated, to be quite low. Who knows what will happen in the future, but the climate we have had during my lifetime, and for the foreseeable future, makes me think this to be quite unlikely.

    Sure, but considering how far we've come in the last twenty years, you're a fool if you think it just an impossibility.

    Impossible? No. But you're a fool if you think it's likely to happen, and you're even more of a fool if you really think not outlawing union shops, in and of itself, is only a "short step" from mandating them.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Should the Sierra Club be "free" to force General Electric to require as a prerequisite of employment that everybody who works for General Electric to join their club?

  • anon||

    Should the Sierra Club be "free" to force General Electric

    I don't know the specifics of the situation, such as who owns who, etc.

    That said, if GE and Sierra Club have such a contract, then it's not "forcing," so sure, whatever. They'll get shit employees that are too dumb to make good decisions and be broke in a year. Oh wait, GE already failed, so...

    Otherwise, no, a company can't "force" another company to do something. I don't understand the point that I think you're trying to make here; You're free to enter any contract you want, it's the government's job to enforce it.

    If I draw up something saying all employees must fuck monkeys once a month, that should be legal. Anyone dumb enough to sign up should have to fuck monkeys once a month.

  • BarryD||

    To what extent should contracts be enforced, between parties A and B, binding party C to some action?

    Bear in mind that party C might be under duress, as in, one has the option to take a forced-union job in Michigan, or go hungry.

    In few situations can I see any justification whatever for enforcing contracts between A and B, that bind C.

  • BarryD||

    (Bear in mind that C, the employee, is entirely willing to meet her obligations to party A, the employer, by working for her wages.)

  • anon||

    in my view a better stopgap would have been to let states opt out of the Wagner regime. In other words, rather than prohibiting voluntary union-shop agreements between employers and unions, a state legislature could pass a bill simply declaring that the NLRB had no jurisdiction in that state.

    Naive at best. You really think that won't wind up in a federal court that laughs at the state trying to preempt government law?

  • robc||

    There is a very valid 10th amendment argument that labor laws are a power reserved to the states.

  • anon||

    And we see how well the 10th amendment has been holding up these past 150 years.

  • robc||

    I comment based on the real world, you know, the one where the 10th amendment says what it means.

  • anon||

    Too bad it doesn't mean what it says according to our government.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    That's not the real world.

  • robc||

    I agree, the government doesnt operate in the real world.

    You were responding to anon at 11:49, right?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Then why are you complaining about the government when it has no impact on the real world?

  • robc||

    The same reason I complain about the performance of players on my fantasy baseball team?

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Should the Sierra Club be "free" to set the terms of employment and level of compensation for any individual anywhere in the country, and then skim their paycheck for the privilege?

  • anon||

    Should the Sierra Club be "free" to set the terms of employment and level of compensation for any individual anywhere in the country, and then skim their paycheck for the privilege?

    You seriously aren't making sense today. You know that the protection of liberty and property dictates that nobody should be allowed to take my shit without my consent.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "He found “most astonishing” that businesspeople “seldom … ask for a repeal of the laws which are so often the root of their troubles."

    We'll get to that, I'm sure, right after we repeal the income tax, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and the individual mandate.

    But if we want to see better results in our own lifetimes, then we probably shouldn't just hold our breath until our faces turn blue.

    "Greaves’s bottom line is that if Wagner is the root of the evil, one should work to repeal it rather than support new interventions."

    Shultz's bottom line is that if the majority in a democracy won't support his right to make choices for himself by way of repealing the status quo, then suffering the consequences of bad law--just out of principle--is absurd.

    We suffer from too much of the wrong kind of democracy (representative democracy) in this country. Just like a business man selling product, we have to take what the market of ideas will give us at the moment--and if all they'll give us is another law that makes things better...

    Here's to hopin' for a better tomorrow, but I gotta live and work in the present.

  • anon||

    I concur. If I'm going to get fucked, I'd rather it be with lube.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Yep.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I forgot.

    My right to not work at all has not been violated, so I have no standing to complain.

  • robc||

    Anyone who claims there is a "right to work" is a slaver. And you, of all people, know what slavers should do.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    A must read in the wake of Newtown.

    This rarity means that very distinctive circumstances are needed to explain mass killings, and that widely available conditions cannot be very accurate predictors. There are approximately 190 million firearms in the civilian population in America, in a population of 310 million. The vast majority of these guns are not used to kill people. Even if we focus on the total number of yearly homicides by gun (about 12,000), the percentage of guns that kill someone is about 12,000 / 190,000,000, or 1 in 16,000. Another way to put it: of approximately 44 million gun owners in the US, 99.97% of them do not murder anyone. It is not surprising that their owners resist being accused of abetting murder.

    This FACT is completely drowned out in all of the screeching, but it's one that needs to be hammered over and over and over and over again.

    (cont)

  • mad libertarian guy||

    A couple of other points of interest . . .

    My aim here is not to enter the political controversy over banning guns. Many people who own guns are gun-cultists, for whom guns are symbolic objects, connected with their identity and lifestyle (analyzed in Collins, Interaction Ritual Chains). The political argument over banning or retaining guns has strong emotional overtones on both sides. Anti-gun-cultists dislike not only guns but the lifestyle and the values of the people who have them; this is evident in the case of anti-hunting movements, including the recently successful anti-foxhunting movement in England. (US surveys indicate the favorite TV shows of liberal Democrats are comedians satirizing conservatives; conservatives' favorites are college football. Experian, 2012) Both sides blur the gun issue with symbolic politics. What can be said analytically is that banning guns is trying to manipulate a variable that is a very weak predictor of mass homicides. It resembles TSA procedures of searching everyone who enters an airport gate area; airplane terrorists are also extremely rare, and thus the vast majority of the persons who are searched are innocent.

    Logic has won a very important battle with this one, a leftist by his willing admission that he is an advocate of, at least, certain kinds of gun bans (fortunately, Heller and McDonald has theoretically preempted full-on bans). He clearly understands the math.

    (cont)

  • mad libertarian guy||

    But what caught my eye is that, as studies have shown, liberals live their daily lives via hating on those they disagree with; conservatives just live their lives. Their entertainment and social life is based around their own caricature of those with whom they disagree, while conservatives watch football or sci-fi.

    What they desire through their gun bans is not the suppression of large scale massacres, but of a culture they disdain. They can't even stand the sight of a hunter who has just secured enough meat to feed his family for a month or more, much less tolerate that we are here and in great numbers with great numbers of guns.

    (cont)

  • wareagle||

    boiled down to a single word, their desire is to control. That this control is wielded over people whom the left dislikes is just the icing.

    I read that piece; pretty interesting and much deeper than the pabulum "let's ban guns or video games or news stories and bring back god" fap that has dominated the news. Which, of course, means very few people will read it.

  • Raven Nation||

    Weird, related post. Some academics of my acquaintance are currently denouncing "gun fetishists." B/c, say the academics, said fetishists are focusing on a "straw man" argument that some people want to ban guns. No-one, claim these academics, want to ban guns.

    Of course, under their definition of fetish, most academics would be "academic freedom" fetishist.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Of course, under their definition of fetish, most academics would be "academic freedom" fetishist.

    Especially considering that so very few of them actually believe in academic freedom.

  • ||

    Logic has won a very important battle with this one, a leftist by his willing admission that he is an advocate of, at least, certain kinds of gun bans (fortunately, Heller and McDonald has theoretically preempted full-on bans).

    I didn't actually read anything in his post that indicates, let alone outright states, that he's in favor of gun bans. The closest he gets is to say that he COULD join those wanting to ban guns. He never says he desires to. It's just used as part of his introduction to the topic.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    He says he hopes to see them. It's right there. Either that, or I'm completely misreading him and his use of hope in regards to gun bans.

  • ||

    I suppose it depends on what he means by "It is a hope; it is not a guarantee." I'm unsure of what he means by that. Does he mean it is a hope that we can ban guns? Than you'd be right, mlg. His wording is awkward, though.

  • robc||

    99.97% is about 3.5 standard deviations.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    As much as I want it to, my edumacation in medieval literature doesn't help me understand what the fuck that means.

    Can we get it in English rather than math? And I tried looking at the standard deviations wiki, to no fucking avail.

  • ||

    It means it's really, really abnormal.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    I'm dumb, Warty, not stupid. I got that part.

    I guess what I'm asking is if someone could explain the math to a guy who was always good at math, but enjoyed swords and spears more, so (stupidly) decided to pursue that rather than something that is economically feasible and only took what math was absolutely necessary in order to graduate from college before moving on to grad school.

    Thank goodness my (Theater Degree) wife speaks 5 languages, making her highly employable in central Kentucky, or we'd be fucked.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    First: SD for the non-Math guy.

    Secondly, you're gainfully employed, right? If so, I don't understand the obsequious apology you feel is necessary for admitting that you pursued an education in something that was interesting to you, as opposed to treating college as simply a glorified voc-tech program.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    No, I am not employed. Though that is by design, as I'm a stay-at-home dad. My wife is a much better "people person" and has skills that enable her to do things few others can in the area.

    What I'm suggesting is that were my wife not proficient in 5 languages, we'd be living a very different life.

  • ||

    I read that the other day. It's really good.

  • db||

    What can be said analytically is that banning guns is trying to manipulate a variable that is a very weak predictor of mass homicides. It resembles TSA procedures of searching everyone who enters an airport gate area; airplane terrorists are also extremely rare, and thus the vast majority of the persons who are searched are innocent.
  • Generic Stranger||

    These stats are off. There are 290 million firearms in circulation, not 190 million.

    There are also at *least* 80 million gun owners. That's a very old stat, and there are a lot of new gun owners in the past decade, so it could be well above 100 million.

  • ||

    This guy doesn't have a lot of posts on his site, but they all seem interesting.

    Here's his latest one:

    MATERIAL INTERESTS ARE AMBIGUOUS MOTIVES; INTERACTION RITUAL FOCUS IS BETTER PREDICTOR OF POLITICAL BEHAVIOR

    Here's an interesting bit early on:

    In discussing politics and writing history, we typically explain what people do by their interests. But interests are often in dispute; people are accused of doing things that aren’t in their own interests and failing to recognize their best interests-- when they vote, go to war or not, follow a particular economic policy, etc. “Interests” are the rhetoric of modern politics, not an accurate predictor of how people rise into action.

    Of course there are other motives besides material interests: power, honor, prestige, sympathy, religious or ideological values. But even if we put these aside, and confine ourselves to material interests--- people seeking money, property, and the luxuries and necessities of life-- interests still do not predict very well what people will actually do in a specific circumstance. There are two main reasons: (a) interests are generally ambiguous; and (b) interests do not determine the tactics people will use to reach them.

    It gets even better, with what I would say is an almost Austrian look at things, but those paragraphs were too long for this comment.

  • Brother Ken||

  • ||

    Fuck off, Slappy.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    It appears that our school system itself may be partially to blame for these kinds of school shootings.

    The sequence of events begins with struggle over low rank in the social hierarchy of the school. In all known school shootings, the perpetrators were outside the popular group; many of them had been [badly bullied]. Like most school shooters, Michael was unathletic, unattractive, and easily dominated: a clear counter-ideal by which the teenage status hierarchy could remind itself of what it is not, and an easy target for attacking the weak. He did not fight back when attacked.

    Rampage shooters are not only humiliated by the school hierarchy, they hide their humiliation. They try to go on faking it on the outside, not admitting that the bullying and put-downs are getting to them. This gives an additional significance to the pattern that they rarely confide in teachers or parents, much less their compatriots, about their feelings of humiliation. This is not just an instrumental issue of failing to get help; being unwilling to confide is in fact a realistic assessment, if the problem is regaining status in the student hierarchy, which is lost by enlisting adults as allies against students. But this cuts off an avenue of expressing shame which could have turned the emotional dynamics away from the cycle of bypassed shame and humiliated rage (emphasized by Scheff 1991).

    (cont)

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Our school system has now moved in to a mode that not only highly discourages bullying (though there are certainly problems all over the map with their methods and even their definitions of what constitutes actual bullying), but also punishes those who might actively fight back. If one can buy the theories presented here, it is not fighting back which sets the initial stage for this kind of violence. Years of frustration build up and it all comes out at once. Those who are bullied might seek to hurt those who bullied them. Those who don't seek that satisfaction seek to hurt the entire institution which contained the bullying. If you actively keep the bullied from fighting back by punishing them, you are inviting much larger scale violence in reprisal. The psychologically hurt person needs to be cleansed. Punishing them for cleaning it in public pushes it underground to the private where these kinds of acts emerge.

  • ||

    I'd like to point out that bullying is by no means practiced exclusively by asshole students. Teachers and administrators are the biggiest bullies on the block. The rules they make to "prevent" students from bullying other students ignore three fourths of the problem.

  • wareagle||

    from childhood, I have believed the best remedy to bullies is a punch in the mouth. You don't have to win the fight, just show you are willing to have it. Most bullies are pussies; they seek the path of no resistance. But school rules make retaliation just as bad as instigation.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    But school rules make retaliation just as bad as instigation.

    That's the major issue. It should not only not be punished, but fighting back should be encouraged.

  • ||

    Never gonna happen since it would take any lawyer 30 seconds to say the school was encouraging fighting. It's much easier (and cheaper) for the school to say any fighting, even if only defending yourself, is punishable.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    It's much easier (and cheaper) for the school to say any fighting, even if only defending yourself, is punishable.

    And they're going to continue dealing with the unintended consequences of that path, be it higher numbers of dropouts or truancy by those who simply don't want to be in that environment where they can't fight back, to school shootings where a kid tries to destroy the entire institution for rendering him unable to fight back without punishment.

  • ||

    Yes, but I don't think they're particularly concerned about the long term effects. School admins tend to be bullies themselves, so as far as they're concerned the dropouts were no-good shits. To their way of thinking, if that kid comes back and shoots up the place, well he was always a no-good shit anyway, so it's certainly not their fault. They're completely divorced from reality.

  • Mickey Rat||

    The unintended consequence of that path is relatively hidden, while the consequences of lawsuits are straightforward. They are not likely to expose themselves to lawsuits when they can claim they do not undrstand the dropout rates.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Better clues come from considering the micro-sociology of this kind of violence. Any kind of violent confrontation is emotionally difficult; the situation of facing another person whom one wants to harm produces confrontational tension/fear (ct/f ); and its effect most of the time is to make violence abort, or to become inaccurate and ineffective. The usual micro-sociological patterns that allow violence to succeed are not present in a rampage killing . . .

    Another major pathway around ct/f is attacking a weak victim. But in almost all violence, the weakness is emotional rather than physical-- even an armed attacker has to establish emotional dominance, before he can carry out effective violence. One might think this is simply a matter of using a gun or displaying a weapon, which automatically puts the armed person in the position of strength, the others in a position of weakness. Nevertheless, detailed analysis of incidents and photos of armed confrontations show that groups without guns can emotionally paralyze an armed opponent, preventing him from using his weapon.

    (cont)

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Imagine what just 1 teacher WITH a gun could do to an attacker like these school shooters if all it takes to diffuse this kind of violence is confrontation. These shooters get off on the terror of it all. It's what finally gets them noticed, and they need that terror in order to live what up until now has been a fantasy well hidden from anyone else.

    I don't buy that's it's a simple matter of looking a guy in the eye and telling him sternly to stop, but it may well be that it's not far from that. Confrontation is something he has never been able to face in his life. He isn't going to start now.

  • tarran||

    In the case of Adam Lanza, I doubt it would work. They'd already *had* a confrontation with him and he had come back with guns to finish it.

    This is not your ordinary spree killing. This was more of a mass murder of personal enemies rather than the homicide of faceless strangers.

  • sloopyinca||

    Yep. He had a list of people that were gonna die.

  • db||

    cite?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    That's messed up. I sure hope BO comes up with a way to stop people like that.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    I'd also like a citation.

    The kid was 20. What business could he have possibly had at an elementary school that he neither attends nor works at?

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I don't know the specifics of the situation, such as who owns who, etc.

    Just for fun, let's say the CEO of General Electric, a professional manager and EMPLOYEE of the shareholders of the corporation, likes the Sierra Club; likes it, so much that he thinks it would be a good idea to force all of the employees of General Electric to join, and makes it a compulsory requirement of employment.

    Let us then postulate that the Board of Directors catches a massive earful of shit from results-oriented shareholders (and subordinate managers who run various business units) who believe profitability and efficiency are being impaired because the corporation is losing out on talented people who don't want to join the Sierra Club, and go to work for other corporations, instead. If the board then removes the CEO and replaces him with somebody who couldn't give a fuck less if the spotted owl Sierra Club lives or dies, what happens when the government steps in and says GE is bound to the Sierra Club in perpetuity and prevents them from dissolving the bond with the Sierra Club?

    Where's your freedom of association now?

  • anon||

    You're also assuming that a board of directors would allow ANY contract which binds the company eternally. I think this is a false assumption. Not to mention the fact that the lawyers for GE would never allow such a contract without an "out."

    Even assuming all your false premises were true, the company could still manage some kind of bankruptcy to nullify the contract.

  • anon||

    Also, GE could get around the contract by creating a subsidiary company (GE Employment Opportunities, inc.) and subcontracting all of GE's employment to GEEO.

    If a company is dumb enough, let them do it and fail.

  • Ken Shultz||

    By the way, now that we're talking about the libertarian case against right to work, does that mean there's a libertarian case in favor of monopolies?

    Because what we're talking about here is letting unions monopolize access to an industry. That's the whole strategy of unions, actually--monopolize access to labor and extract monopoly profit.

  • tarran||

    Ken, there's a large body of work that argues that absent government coercion monopolies cannot extract massive profits without inviting competition.

    In the case of the union that would be scabs who contract with the co the replace striking employees.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    In most industries that is the case, but in situations with high barriers to entry (many of which are natural, not govt-created) or a market that can only support one provider (like a small town movie theater) monopolies can extract larger profits than competing firms could.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Ken, there's a large body of work that argues that absent government coercion monopolies cannot extract massive profits without inviting competition.

    True,

    But the in arguing against RTW, people are accepting government coercion in favor of unions monopolizing labor.

    So Ken's point is valid.

    Are libertarians now in favor or monopolies and the preceding governmental coercion?

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Ken, there's a large body of work that argues that absent government coercion monopolies cannot extract massive profits without inviting competition."

    Is there any risk that the government's about to get out of the coercion business?

    I'm working with the world the way it is. If somebody wants to work on getting rid of the NLRB, I'll be the first to make a donation to the cause.

    Until then? Unions are seeking to monopolize my access to whatever industry. They may use the cooperation of government to achieve that, but if there's no stopping that government cooperation, that doesn't mean I just have to grab my ankles and take it for the sake of principle.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    You're also assuming that a board of directors would allow ANY contract which binds the company eternally.

    Nice capework. The point in this reductio ad absurdum exercise is that the Board, having finally roused from their slumbers, has moved to void the contract. However, the National Environmental Relations Board, responding from a panic-stricken call from the Sierra Club, has asserted their authority to declare the contract unbreakable.

    See where we're going?

  • robc||

    And once again, the problem is at the FedGov level. Overturn the NERB law. No need for a state level Right to Work without being an enviroweenie law.

  • Generic Stranger||

    Yeah, because it's so much easier to get these things done at the federal level.

  • sloopyinca||

    I'm fine with closed shop union or an employer that chooses to only hire union labor. What I'm not fine with, and what this RTW law begins to address, is the fact that if a union contract expires, the employer is no longer free to seek an alternative, but rather is compelled to bargain with a union that may no longer be in his best interest to utilize. Once the FedGov got out of the business of enforcing the contract between the union and employer and got into the business of compelling employers to negotiate with a union he doesn't wish to, then RTW laws like this became necessary.

    Just look at Boeing, people. It's all you need to know about the role the FedGov has decided to take. These state laws combat that idiocy, and I applaud them.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    from

    to

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Anyone who claims there is a "right to work" is a slaver.

    Anybody who claims a union has a right to intercede in negotiations between me and a potential employer in order to protect their monopoly status knows what they can do, too.

  • sloopyinca||

    It's funny that these armchair libertarian intellectuals who jump up and down cheering when states like Colorado and Washington legalize small amounts of marijuana, manage to boo and hiss when another liberty-killing enterprise gets cut a time or two.

  • sloopyinca||

    It's as if they're not consistent when a federal problem has no solution in sight and some people at the state level choose to incrementally correct the problem.

    And their inconsistency shows every time they cheer when a state legalizes marijuana.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    "Yay federalism!...when I get what I want."

  • mad libertarian guy||

    No.

    What we're saying is that no law either compelling or barring union shops is best.

    Michigan would have done much better to repeal the law that made it necessary to be part of a union, or contribute dues even if you don't want to be in a union, rather than tack a RTW law on top of it.

    Repeal. Not "fix." A government "fix" to a government problem is no fix at all. It's merely a band-aid.

    I would have said the same for both WA and CO: the better route would have been simply to repeal the laws that made marijuana illegal rather than superseding really bad law with better, but still "the very wide open possibility of it becoming bad law" law.

    Don't make it legal to smoke marijuana. Make it not illegal by getting rid of laws, not creating new ones.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Michigan would have done much better to repeal the law that made it necessary to be part of a union

    Let me know how Michigan can repeal a federal law.

  • robc||

    Let me know how Michigan can repeal a federal law.

    KY and VA resolutions

  • Generic Stranger||

    Yes, because that's obviously relevant in light of the 214 years of history that has happened since then.

  • robc||

    I think we all acknowledge that those 214 years have most gone the wrong way, when it comes to fedgov power.

  • Generic Stranger||

    That is true. Unfortunately, we can't just wish it away.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Of course, any of these discussions are dependent on whether we are talking about an individual owner/operator or a large scale corporation.

    I find it infinitely less objectionable if Fred Sanford says, "If you ain't in Rag-Pickers Local 739, you can just march right back out the same way you came in" than if some professional manager hiding behind a large desk in a larger office is colluding (if for no reason larger than to relieve himself of responsibility for decisions he has been hired to make) with the Teamsters or the UAW to waste money which ultimately is the property of the shareholders who employ him.

  • Cdr Lytton||

    Colluding is a good word for how labor relations work in a unionized corporation. The supposed antagonism is as phony as between red & blue congressmen in DC and a front for the audience.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    If a manager is managing poorly the shareholders should fire him, no? Nothing coercive about that situation.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    their inconsistency shows every time they cheer when a state legalizes marijuana.

    Well, it goes without saying no true libertarian would ever approve of a regime in which it might not be possible to buy marijuana after midnight, or on a Sunday!

  • kinnath||

    The current federal laws on unions cannot be rescinded without a filibuster-proof senate (60+ republican senators), a republican majority in the house, and a republican president.

    It doesn't do any good for people to keep saying we should do the right thing and repeal federal law when it is pretty much fucking impossible to do.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    The current federal laws on unions cannot be rescinded without a filibuster-proof senate (60+ republican senators), a republican majority in the house, and a republican president.

    Can you imagine the outraged howling if such a thing even reared its head in committee?

    It would make the War on Womynz look like National Butterfly Appreciation Day.

  • kinnath||

    It may be possible for the federal laws to be tweaked from time to time. But there is never going to be a significant change to the exiting laws on unions.

    Majority control of state legislatures and governors do actually take place from time to time. If the people of Michigan decide they don't like RTW, they can change it.

  • sloopyinca||

    I'm happs that states are taking this issue on. The FedGov has refused to recognize when union contracts end, and until they properly enforce those contracts the states have no choice but to enact legislation like this.

    If you leased a car and when the lease was up, the FedGov came and told you you had to negotiate with GM and continue the lease, would you think that was fair? Well, that's what they do on a daily basis with expired union contracts.

    Why libertarian talking heads would support that system over RTW passed at the state level tells me they are either retarded or they want to make sure they get invited to all of the best cocktail parties this holiday season.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Good to see I'm not alone anymore in sounding the alarm on Reason turning to port.

  • ||

    Yes, you are. Sloopy saying someone's wrong isn't the same as your hysterical ramblings of bias based on the opinions of one or two people one an issue.

  • robc||

    Instead of passing a RTW law, why didnt Michigan just pass a "end of contract" law?

    Yeah, sure, they shouldnt have to, that should be common law by default, but that I could get behind.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Supremacy claus

  • sloopyinca||

    You just gave me another Christmas movie idea.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I love union tears
    Union tears are so yummy
    I love union tears
    So write amother story and cry for me!

  • sloopyinca||

    Unions bleed us dry
    They kill rights of employers
    And employees too

  • AlmightyJB||

    And they do most of that with the State riding shotgun. The Government-Union relationship is all about coersion, it has nothing to do with freedom. Their coffers support the worst big government statist a**holes every election. As has been said here many times, if the government has the power to give you something, they have the power to take it away. Sinking in yet unions? Unions don't want government interference? Great! I'm sure Rand Paul will be exited to hear about all of the union campaign money he'll be getting when he runs for president. Fuck unions. Did I mention fuck unions?

  • AlmightyJB||

    Waiting for the winds of change
    To sweep the clouds away
    Waiting for the rainbow's end
    To cast its gold your way
    Countless ways, you pass the days

    Waiting for someone to call
    And turn your world around
    Looking for an answer
    To the question you have found
    Looking for an open door

    Whoa, you don't get something for nothing
    You can't have freedom for free
    You won't get wise
    With the sleep still in your eyes
    No matter what your dream might be

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • JohnLocke||

    In other words, let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Since it is unlikely we'll ever get unions made illegal as the abusive cartels that they are (as they would be if they were businesses that behaved in the exact same manor), lets just do our best to mitigate their existence. Right to Work does that.

    Otherwise you're simply saying, like a toddler, that if you cannot have chocolate cake you're going to starve yourself.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    simply saying, like a toddler, that if you cannot have chocolate cake you're going to starve yourself.

    If I can't have cake, NOBODY CAN!

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    If you needed proof that Reason is tilting leftward, behold the stream of anti-RTW articles in the past few days.

    I'd totally support repealing RTW and the Wagner Act together and restoring libertarian perfection wrt labor relations. But you guys know that's not going to happen.

  • American||

    And right when they are asking for our money too!

  • robc||

    RTW isnt a left/right issue.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    In America, neither are endless wars or throwing people in cages for getting high.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Sure it isn't. Are you talking about your world of platonic forms or the real world?

  • ||

    In theory it isn't a right/left issue; in practice it is, at least for the moment.

  • ||

    If you ever needed proof Tulpa's a retarded partisan, just look at him whine about bias when 1 person disagrees with the rest of the writers on an issue while another 1 merely writes about the history and nature of the disagreement, and Tulpa characterizes this as a "stream".

  • ||

    Tulpa just likes to argue. If strawmen are needed to do so, that's OK by him.

  • American||

    God not even RTW is safe from the cosmatarians. They want to be leftists, make the left like them so fucking much. What they can't get through their heads is that a closed shop union is a federal government institution. There is no natural right to join a federal government institution. This is an institution with the federally mandated power to violate the rights of others. What RTW does is it makes it optional to join this institution in a state. If workers wanted to join a "closed shop," they could theoretically make a non-government protected contract, however tht would be a violation of the Wagner act and anti-discrimination law. Bottom line: right to work does not take any right away from anyone, the right to join a government union is not a legitimate right.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    What the fuck is a "cosmatarian"? Whatever it is, it sounds better than your Know-Nothing, "HANDS OF MY MEDICARE!" Producerism.

  • sloopyinca||

    What the fuck is a "cosmatarian"?

    IIRC, it's someone that goes into space, but ironically.

  • American||

    A cosmatarian is someone who admires the left, has a hates the religious and the right, thinks that cultural liberalism is a part of libertarianism, quotes Steven Jay Gould, hates Charles Murray, thinks that "diversity" is a virtue, thinks that expecting your partner to be faithful(wink, wink) is "collectivism, thinks that the Palestinians are not savages, thinks that culutre has absolutely no effect on the well-being of a nation, and generally accepts liberal positions and arguments. Steve Chapman is our resident cosmatarian, with his articles about how those who oppose Obama are "crazy," about how the drinking age should be kept at 21, or about how inflation is good for the economy. Mike Godwin is even more of a cosmatarian, endorsing Obama because of "gay marriage," and writing an article blaming "public schools" because an illiterate homosexual felt "left out." Then there are the ones who admire "anti-government activists" who also happen to be communist. There are the ones who admire the "free love" idiots, thinking that individual responsibility stops at the bedroom. There is that "libertarian feminist" who said that it is morally equivalent to tell a woman not to go through a door than to tie her up so she can't go through it. I think you get the point.

  • iggy||

    Expecting your partner to be faithful is fine if you're in a relationship where it's obvious that sex outside of the relationship is unacceptable. This is true of most relationships.

    The problem, American, is that you blame 'sexual freedom' for virtually every problem currently facing America. You don't stop at expecting your partner to be faithful. You literally argue that we should shun people who CHOOSE to be in an open relationship, which is a collectivist position to take, since it's opposed to the freedom of choice. Also, most Palestinians aren't savages, because most Palestinians aren't Hamas. Claiming that they're savages because of evil people doing evil things is like claiming Americans are savages because of Adam Lanza. Again, it's a collectivist, anti-libertarian position to take. My objection to that position has nothing to do with being a 'cosmatarian.'

    You've claimed I'm a liberal before because I argued in favor of immigration. You see liberal boogeymen everywhere, which is not our problem. Nor is it proof that we're all 'cosmatarians.'

  • ||

    THE problem? I'm afraid it's simply one of many, many, MANY problems with our resident Merkin here.

  • ||

    Not to mention, iggy, that almost every single thing Merkin here says is a "cosmatarian" position or characteristic isn't held by the people here he accuses of being a "cosmatarian".

  • American||

    There is nothing anti-libertarian about collectivism. If I want to shun people, that should be my right to do so. Libertarianism is simply a governing philosophy. My opinions about slutism are irrelevant. Cosmatairanism argues about stuff like that, taking your position. My argument is simple. People who cheat on their spouses or abandon their children should not be respected. Why doesn't anyone care about the children here?

  • iggy||

    You're not cheating on your spouse if it's an open relationship you fucking moron.

  • Turd in the Punchbowl||

    You were expecting an actual alternative to the One Party Borg? If that's what you're after, look elsewhere.

  • ||

    Sorry, we're not interested in the Dalek Imperium any more than we want the People's Republic of the Borg. Fuck off, shithead.

  • iggy||

    Hasn't that guy posted that article like 15 times? It's one of the worst written pieces of crap I've ever read, but Turd in the Punchbowl seems to think that it's a genius level governmental treatise.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Bottom line: right to work does not take any right away from anyone, the right to join a government union is not a legitimate right.

    The 14th Amendment says otherwise. And I'm not at all sure what kind of libertarian one could be if they didn't recognize a right of people to associate with any group they choose.

    Evil though unions may be, people absolutely have the right to join them.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    RTW doesn't prevent anyone from joining a union if they want to.

  • American||

    I was talking about a government union. Government controls unions. And while it does we should fight them.

  • robc||

    I dont use the C-word (even spelled incorrectly) due to a promise on here 4-5 years ago, but Im not even remotely that. I was using it as an insult.

    I just support an employer's right to run a closed shop.

  • Generic Stranger||

    Ken got you to stop saying cunt?

  • VG Zaytsev||

    God not even RTW is safe from the cosmatarians. They want to be leftists, make the left like them so fucking much. What they can't get through their heads is that a closed shop union is a federal government institution. the proglodytes hate freedom and will never like them

    FIFY.

  • Robert||

    Sheldon, in the statute you quoted, is "labor organization" a technical term? In discussion during the past week, a commenter here said that RTW prohibited only those unions which had been certified locally under the NLRA. Could that be the kind of "labor organization" referenced above? If so, then this is a matter of equitable election; the union local in a RTW state has to choose between the privilege bestowed by the NLRB (and therefore the restriction imposed by RTW) and contracting freely with the employer. That state of affairs would make Taft-Hartley not at all an imposition on anyone's freedom.

    Could it be that libertarians have misanalyzed the provisions of Wagner-Taft-Hartley all these years? That Percy Greaves and all the rest took "labor organization" to have its ordinary meaning, when actually it was defined in the NLRA to mean only unions privileged by its terms?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    OK, Samsung is making me puke with their new Santa Claus sexting commercial. Is nothing sacred?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    So a commercialized version of Nikolaos of Myra created by the Coca-Cola company, about 100 years ago, to advertise its product is somehow supposed to be seen as "sacred"?

  • ||

    Yes, if you're an idiot.

  • robc||

    Thats harsh. If Tulpa wants to worship Coca-Cola Santa, that is his 1st amendment right.

  • ||

    Don't be silly, robc. I'm pretty sure Tulpa is a strict adherent to Red Bull Reform Santa Claus.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Well, according to my upcoming novel (and movie staring Adam West and Evelyn Lin) The Santa Code, Santa Claus is just a secretly appropriated Hotei, anyway.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • sloopyinca||

    I want to do a movie called Santa Clizzy about a black dude from the hood that ends up at the North Pole and is forced to save Christmas with nothing but his flying Escalade and a Boost Mobile phone.

  • robc||

    I thought morality was irrelevant. Isnt "sacred" a morality concept?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Morality is irrelevant to law, not taste in commercials.

  • Rick Santorum||

    Morality is irrelevant to law,

    What a stupid thing to say. Libertarians talk about morality constantly.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Not law and order libertarians.

  • Ted S.||

    Oh, I've seen worse. (Or, at least, more bizarre.)

  • sloopyinca||

    We need to bring back ads like this

    or maybe at least this. It puts the holiday in perspective at least.

  • sloopyinca||

    OT: Brett L did warn everybody that he was going with Eli and the Giants this week. Those of you that did not heed that warning have nobody but yourselves to blame.

  • Rick Santorum||

    Freedom is slavery. If you don't let the government take away guns, you're diminishing the freedom for liberals to make laws taking away guns. WHY DO YOU HATE FREEDOM?

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I just support an employer's right to run a closed shop.

    Fred Sanford, yes.

    Dan Akerson, no.

  • sloopyinca||

    Just seeing the hit in the Colts-Texans game and the subsequent penalty, I'm convinced the league would like to just emasculate all defensive players and be done with it. Pathetic.

  • Hyperion||

    They should just make it touch football, so wiminz can play, because it's not fair the that wiminz can't play.

    And more rules too, like no name calling. If a player calls someone a mean name, like poopy head, that should get them banned from the game for life and put on a terrorists watch list.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    the league would like to just emasculate all defensive players and be done with it. Pathetic.

    This is what made me abandon all interest in football.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    You just need to pay attention to your neighbours to the north!
    But not this guy.

  • Hyperion||

    Those idiots up there in Canuckistan can't help that they are so stupid, they get brain freeze living in those little igloos.

    I would suggest we just invade and take the little narrow band of barely habitable land that they have, and send all of them to Eurotardia so they can quit worrying about what we are doing down here south of the tundra.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    The real question we should be asking ourselves is, "Should Cosmetarians be licensed?"

  • ||

    Fucking principles, how do they work?

  • American||

    Suppose the government created an institution called a socially responsible corporation, with the right to take away people's land. A state, wanting to protect it's citizens from this, makes a law forbidding businesses from forcing there workers to join this institution, or hell, maybe even forbidding the workers from joining it even if they want to. Would cosmatarians like you support the employer right to force there workers to join this federal government body?

  • ||

    So the government creates what are essentially eminent domain corporations? Corporations that are allowed to steal? And then the government would outlaw joining the eminent domain corporations, whose sole purpose is stealing, that it created? Outlawing the joining of a criminal enterprise is problematic HOW? You really don't even understand your own argument, do you Merkin?

  • American||

    Reading comprehension of the day!

  • ||

    Moronic statement of the day. A corporation that can "take people's land" is EXACTLY an "imminent domain corporation" performing legalized theft. Prohibiting people from joining a literal (though limited in scope) thieves' guild is supposed to be a problem? This is (part of) why no one takes you seriously, Merkin. You're a complete idiot whose comparison example designed to make unions look good only makes them look worse.

  • Patriot||

    I could be wrong, but I think he was saying that states SHOULD have the right to ban these "corporations."

  • American||

    I wonder if cosmatarians like Richmann would oppose state sponsored homosexual marriage because "one more law doesn't solve this, two wrongs don't make a right?"

  • Rick Santorum||

    cosmatarians

    Brilliant.

  • iggy||

    I love that Rick agrees with American. The shitheads are congregating.

  • johnl||

    Has any strike in the last 60 years not been been supported by a sympathy work slowdown by the police union? Those federal limits on unions don't seem to be working.

  • ||

    Actually, RTW laws aren't a case of using one law to repeal another. Look at this from the article:

    "The 1947 Taft-Hartley Act, which amended the Wagner Act, contains provision 14(b), stating that Taft-Hartley should not

    be construed as authorizing the execution or application of agreements requiring membership in a labor organization as a condition of employment in any State or Territory in which such execution or application is prohibited by State or Territorial law."

    Thus, RTW laws are simply states choosing which option to exercise under a federal law that in effect requires each state to make such a decision. It doesn't matter that it is set up to give an automatic default (not a RTW state) -- each state nonetheless has to choose which legal regime to participate under.

    And, the RTW option is the more libertarian option.

  • Sevo||

    "Thus, RTW laws are simply states choosing which option to exercise under a federal law that in effect requires each state to make such a decision."

    Hence, it is not subject to Mises’s “critique of interventionism”: intervention creates problems that, unless the original intervention is repealed, beget further intervention, and so on.
    It can be seen as similar to opting out of Obamacare exchanges; a state decides which option to select, not what law to paste on top of an existing law.

  • Sevo||

    American| 12.16.12 @ 5:14PM |#
    ..."But ultimately we are still dependent on looting wealth from mother earth."...

    Yep, that ol' mud-momma gettin' raped agin, right, Murkin?

  • ||

    Shut the fuck up you pathetic little racist fuck. Seriously, go kill yourself, now.

  • Sevo||

    "So I'll make you a deal. When you can reverse CO2 levels, create efficient green energy, assure water secuity, stop land development, and stop the inflation of land values, of prices for natural resources, and produce enough food to feed 12 billion people, then you can import all the third world savages you want, and you can pay for them too."

    I'll make you a deal: Grow a brain-cell and I won't make fun of you anymore.

  • iggy||

    Yeah, except more land can be farmed because of technological advances, there's less crop loss because of modern pesticides and farming techniques and we can get to more oil because of modern drilling techniques. Fracking allows for a type of gas that was not available in the past. Oh, we can also use more water from the rivers because of modern techniques that result in cleaner water and modern, efficient irrigation.

    In other words, everything you said is factually untrue. How about that, fuckhead.

  • Patriot||

    "we can get to more oil because of modern drilling techniques. Fracking allows for a type of gas that was not available in the past."
    Yay! Even more CO2 in our atmosphere!

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Then you can import all the third world savages you want, and you can pay for them too."

    Who died and put you in charge of what I can and can't do?

    If you want to protect the environment, feel free! Don't use natural resources then. If you don't want to hire immigrants, then nobody's making you do that either. But why should other people have to ask you for permission?

    As pathetic as your racism, childish views on economics, and Pollyanna environmentalism are--it's your authoritarianism that makes you one of America's most horrible people.

  • anon||

    Oh fuck, Tony has offspring.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    ultimately we are still dependent on looting wealth from mother earth.

    Holy fuck you're stupid. We loot from the SUN, you moron.

  • Sevo||

    "We loot from the SUN, you moron."

    A mere intermediary!
    All hail the Higgs boson!

  • XM||

    If you object to RTW on libertarian grounds, then you probably have to go a step further and repeal the Civil Rights Act (or even parts of the constitution), so employers are truly free to hire or not hire anyone.

    In theory, that is freedom. In practice, I'd be just a *little* upset if 3,4 companies rejected me because I'm Asian, didn't vote for a president of their choice, isn't part of their religion, not married, etc.

    For liberals (not the classic kind), there should be no objection to RTW. If a company wants to only hire / offer contract to unions, you're theoretically discriminating against non union folks.

  • General Butt Naked||

    In practice, I'd be just a *little* upset if 3,4 companies rejected me because I'm Asian, didn't vote for a president of their choice, isn't part of their religion, not married, etc.

    They can do that now, they just can't say that's why they didn't hire you.

  • anon||

    If you object to RTW on libertarian grounds, then you probably have to go a step further and repeal the Civil Rights Act

    So?

    (or even parts of the constitution)

    Sure, commerce clause is #1.

    In theory, that is freedom. In practice, I'd be just a *little* upset if 3,4 companies rejected me because I'm Asian, didn't vote for a president of their choice, isn't part of their religion, not married, etc.

    So... you'd rather work for a company that's stupid enough to deny your employment based solely on the what ethnicity you happen to be?

  • XM||

    Of course I wouldn't work for that company, but I might have wanted to if they allowed me to.

    Yeah, in a free market system, the inclusive company will win out. But there are countless subjective reasons why an employer might want to not hire you. Who knows, maybe the employer doesn't like working with fat people. Or Obama voters. Or gun owners.

    Can't boycott them all.

  • Turd in the Punchbowl||

    Yeah, in a free market system, the inclusive company will win out.

    A proposition often claimed, but no actual evidence supporting it has ever been seen in the wild. If it were true, why would we have anti-discrimination laws? Presumably the companies who discriminate would be out of business. Oddly, that rarely seems to happen in real life.

  • XM||

    Probably because the discrimination is covert. Like someone else said, smaller businesses already hire members of their ethnicity or mostly Latino laborers. Or someone with connection.

    As long as you don't actually kick out customers of color for obviously racist reasons, the media will leave you alone, and your business will be fine. And without a lot of noise from the media, the Americans are slow to discern actual racism.

  • Bruce Majors||

    Lots of people profit off anti discrimination laws, like "non profit" groups that fund themselves from court ordered punitive damages when they "test" real estate brokerages to see if they treated different clients differently allegedly based on race age etc.

  • JeremyR||

    If we take this argument to its most ridiculous extreme, then we should bring back slavery, because there are people out there who want to be slaves (and people who want to own businesses only run by slaves). And if people can't be slaves or own them, then they aren't truly free.

  • johnl||

    Not extreme enough. We should bring back banditry, because some people want the liberty to give other people their belongings for no reason at all.

  • MSimon||

    Ah. The "worse is better" theory of public policy.

  • ||

    Of course it would be better to repeal Wagner. Tell you what, you hold your breath waiting for that to happen, and we'll wait til you concede the argument by breathing again before we pass RTW.

  • Bruce Majors||

    Of course, in the 1950s most union jobs were not government jobs.

  • Bruce Majors||

    I'm curious about consistency over three positions for libertarians, right to work, gay marriage, and treating pot like wine. I find myself favoring right to work laws since most union jobs are government jobs and most private sector workers do not belong to a union, though in theory I am against RTW. Similarly I favor gay marriage, that is marriage equality in obtaining state marriage licenses, even if it brings along anti discrimination law suits against private actors in adoption or chapel renting etc, though I really favor ending state marriage licenses. And I favor legalizing pot and allowing it to be taxed rather than keeping it illegal, though I would rather have it be an unprosecuted "black" market.

    How many of you inconsistently support the the radical and pure position on one issue but to the others?

  • TexasRasta||

    Taking a statist view on behalf of the workers is no different than taking the views of the state. I this article was in many ways, but not all. I break it all down to the freedom to associate or NOT! FORCED membership violates that constitutional protection.

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