Monday, May 01, 2006

May Day: three cheers for capitalism

Eamonn Butler, in a piece from thebusinessonline.com, sums up May Day nicely.

"...the promise of “pro-labour” regulation, such as maximum working hours, can be very different from the reality. It looks as if it must benefit the workers, but in fact it can end up harming them."

Are you listening, America's Catholic Bishops and Priests?

"Minimum wage laws, for example, make unskilled workers more expensive to hire. So business people respond by hiring fewer of them, or they cut fringe benefits or impose more onerous working conditions. That is no problem for skilled workers – such as those senior trade union members pressing for the regulation – because they earn much more than the minimum anyway."

No harm to the academic, either, or to those wearing the clerical collar. In fact, "pro-labor" legislation seems to make perfect sense to those who will not benefit from its genius.

It's worth remembering why one system thrived and the other died.

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