Freeman

PERSPECTIVE

New York: David McKay Co. Inc., 1955. 224 pp. $3.00.

MARCH 01, 1956

The Right to Work:

Each job in modern American industry is created by the investment of anywhere between $7,000 and a $100,000 in tools and equipment. The man who works, whether he works at a desk or a bench, on an assembly line or at a blast furnace, does not as a rule own the capital he uses; he hires it from the owners. The more capital available, the more advantageous the terms on which it can be hired. Americans on an average, are neither stronger nor smarter than the peoples of other lands; but they are enormously more productive because proportionately more capital is +at their disposal.

The phrase, “the right to work,” means no more than that this situation shall continue, and also improve as coercive tactics are rooted out of the market place. The users of capital and the owners thereof—and most persons in our society are on both sides of this equation—shall then go on freely bargaining and making contracts among themselves. (The slogan, “the right to a job,” is a perversion of this doctrine, implying that owners have no right to their investment because job holders acquire property rights in it!)

Wherever laws have given the labor unions a monopoly, the remedy is either the repeal of the laws which confer an advantage on unions, or laws to counteract them.

In an 8-page pamphlet entitled The True Purpose of Right-to-Work Laws, the Reverend Ferdinand Falque, pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Staples, Minnesota, shows that these laws “are in reality anti-compulsion laws” aimed to prevent “workers from exploitation at the hands of labor monopolies.” His case is well reasoned, and he clearly demonstrates that compulsory unionism is in conflict with Christian social principles. The pamphlet is available from The Heritage Foundation, Inc., 75 East Wacker Drive, Chicago 1, Illinois (10 for $2.50, 100 for $15.00, 1,000 for $66.00).

Another Source of Socialism:

The International Labor Organization (ILO) is a child of the old League of Nations. It operated on its own after the demise of the League, but in 1945 the United Nations took the ILO under its wing. It has a permanent office in Geneva headed by a Di-rector-General, and a staff of about 800 persons. The Governing Body meets three times a year and consists of 20 government representatives, 10 employers, and 10 workers. The employer delegate from the United States since 1949 has been Mr. W. L. McGrath. Mr. McGrath has fought in vain against the domination of the ILO by Russia and her satellites, and now recommends that American participation be withdrawn, at least until the communist issue is resolved.

 

Mr. McGrath will send a copy of his findings and recommendations to those who write him at The Williamson Company, 3500 Madison Road, Cincinnati 9, Ohio.

ASSOCIATED ISSUE

March 1956

ABOUT

comments powered by Disqus

EMAIL UPDATES

* indicates required

CURRENT ISSUE

December 2014

Unfortunately, educating people about phenomena that are counterintuitive, not-so-easy to remember, and suggest our individual lack of human control (for starters) can seem like an uphill battle in the war of ideas. So we sally forth into a kind of wilderness, an economic fairyland. We are myth busters in a world where people crave myths more than reality. Why do they so readily embrace untruth? Primarily because the immediate costs of doing so are so low and the psychic benefits are so high.
Download Free PDF

PAST ISSUES

SUBSCRIBE

RENEW YOUR SUBSCRIPTION

Essential Works from FEE

Economics in One Lesson (full text)

By HENRY HAZLITT

The full text of Hazlitt's famed primer on economic principles: read this first!


By FREDERIC BASTIAT

Frederic Bastiat's timeless defense of liberty for all. Once read and understood, nothing ever looks the same.


By F. A. HAYEK

There can be little doubt that man owes some of his greatest suc­cesses in the past to the fact that he has not been able to control so­cial life.


By JEFFREY A. TUCKER

Leonard Read took the lessons of entrepreneurship with him when he started his ideological venture.


By LEONARD E. READ

No one knows how to make a pencil: Leonard Read's classic (Audio, HTML, and PDF)