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The Clash of the Libertarians

In the past week I was on a forum discussing third parties with a Ron Paul libertarian. On many of the most provoking issues of the day we were in agreement; Iraq War, Patriot Act, AFTA”s. 

The Libertarian thought we should put all our populist rage to supporting Ron Paul.  I pointed  out while I admired his position on free trade (against it), Ron Paul has some strong anti-labor positions.

proletariat, I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume you are a Marxist, no? You certainly sound like one. All labor contracts are neccessarily exploitation of the worker, eh?

“Fair labor value” is the same as “fair market value” – the wages of workers in a free market will be the marginal production minus the costs associated with finding the worker. It is not fair for workers to be paid more than they produce, nor is it economically sound. A business which employs workers at a higher cost than their production will fail, plain and simple. Which is why minimum wage laws cause unemployment amongst low-productivity workers. Ron Paul is your enemy if you are an skilled, established union member who wants to price out lower cost workers. Otherwise, he is a friend of labor.

So, what do we say about those businesses whose cost of production are kept low by social welfare programs. Since you are pushing a right wing libertarian line, would not those subsidies go against the logic of a free market.

I think we both know your so called fair market value will decrease until there is some force that stops it. It could rightly be argued that the modern welfare state above all else keeps wages low. If businesses paid their fair labor value (believe that’s Ricardo) defined as subsistence (livable wage) without state welfare supports the wage would be much higher. I am only arguing  businesses pay their full labor costs so state welfare supports can be eliminated. Sounds to me that would something a libertarian could support.

Proletariat, libertarians don’t advocate government interventionism to destroy the effect of government interventionism. That is just piling harmful bureaucracy on top of itself. I would instead argue that we should get rid of both the welfare state and the minimum wage. Both of which are detrimental to everyone except the bureaucrats.

Well that’s easier said than done. One would not need a big welfare state if employers were paying their fair labor value would they?. My point is if it be pollution, fair labor value, or a host of over subsidies, that businesses do not pay the full cost of doing business.

It is when businesses pay below the fair labor value (living wage) that by necessity government must act to buffer the ill effects of what you call a fair market value (lowest subsistence wage possible). We should see social welfare spending for what it is, the transferring of businesses’ labor costs to local, state, and federal governments.

“Fair labor value” is an artificial construct of what sounds like neo-Marxism. It is not the government’s job to make up for the discrepancy between what you consider “fair labor value” and what the market considers “fair labor value.” Again, in a free market people are paid based on how much they produce. If you don’t think that is “fair” then you have a fundamental issue with the free enterprise system. If you want to transfer wealth from the more productive members of society to less productive members of society, via coerced labor contracts which have no connection to the value of the labor or by government transfer programs, then you have the right to hold that view but do not misrepresent it. That’s socialism, plain and simple.

Nothing to misrepresent. Businesses should be responsible and accountable for their fair labor value. Certainly when businesses are paying sub standard wages in which employees must go on state health care plans, federal housing, and other programs they are not paying their full labor costs. In fact, they are barely paying half in many situations (Think Wal-Mart). You may call that a free market, I call it a government subsidized market. It will not be a true free market until businesses pay the full cost of their labor.

For the record I do take issue with the free enterprise system, along with free trade, and free labor. I take issue with the free part and ask free for whom. Certainly not for the workers, they pay a very heavy price.

Yes, I am probably best categorized as a socialist – socialist libertarian to be exact. The original libertarians mind you, the right wing variety is a rather recent phenomenon. I am a socialist as in more democracy – economic democracy to be specific – not necessarily more state. A standpoint that’s not too far from the economic populist movements throughout U.S. history.

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2 responses to “The Clash of the Libertarians

  1. EddyPo

    Nice posting Proletariat. I like what you had to say.

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