Economics

"Get the government's foot off the throats of private employers"

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At Forbes, legal scholar Richard Epstein has some simple advice for these troubled economic times—deregulate labor markets:

As libertarians know, government sages should first direct their fire to reduce market drag by—shudder!—deregulation. Yet on a matter that intersects health and labor, Democratic health care reform proposals predictably protect collective bargaining rights in all health care markets, thereby perpetuating highly inefficient labor monopolies.

That interventionist mindset, writ large, is killing labor markets today. This past July, a third 70-cent increase has raised the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 per hour in just over two-years. Why is anyone surprised that this 40%-plus increase caused a current sharp increase in teenage unemployment that hits minority males especially hard?…

Far worse, just keeping the misguided Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) on the legislative agenda sets up a massive disincentive for firms to hire new workers. Who wants to expand a workforce in the face of the potential double whammy of a card check and compulsory contract arbitration, capable of sending any firm into bankruptcy?

Read the rest here.