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Home | Blog | Unions, Thugs and Storm Troopers and the "Right to Work"

Unions, Thugs and Storm Troopers and the "Right to Work"


Tags Big Government


For a great follow-up to George Reisman’s recent commentary on unionism, “Labor Unions, Thugs and Strom Troopers” see Walter Block’s recent piece on right to work laws at http://www.LewRockwell.com where he provides a libertarian analysis to right to work laws as an antidote to improper uses of coercion and force by union forces.

This is Walter at his best – making one clearly think about how to best apply libertarian principles and economic analysis to a complex issue. A must read.

Walter’s conclusion:

If we are to effectively promote libertarianism, we must start off by accurately understanding our own philosophy. Proponents of "right" to work legislation fail in this regard. At the very least, if they fully understood libertarianism, they would say something like: Of course, there is no "right" to work. However, rampant unionism is running amok, and the only way we can deal with this menace to civilization is via right to work legislation (or prohibiting them from engaging in the political process, or shoving democracy down their throats, etc.) We favor right to work laws not because they are just, per se, but due to the fact that they ward off a far greater evil.
I don’t say that I favor engaging in this sort of second bestism. There are problems with it. It is all too similar for my tastes to Milton Friedman's proposals for school vouchers, etc. But, at least people who argue in this way demonstrate a keen appreciation of what libertarianism is all about. There would be something to be said in behalf of these laws on that ground alone.

John P. Cochran (1949-2015) was emeritus dean of the Business School and emeritus professor of economics at Metropolitan State University of Denver and coauthor with Fred R. Glahe of The Hayek-Keynes Debate: Lessons for Current Business Cycle Research. He was also a senior fellow of the Mises Institute and served on the editorial board of the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics.

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