Let’s promote government force, and pretend it’s a new idea

People like to blame business for various ways they “mistreat” their employees. But if we step back and think about it for a second, we would realize that the alternative is that the business doesn’t exist at all. So really when someone argues that a business isn’t doing enough for their employees, they are arguing that the employees would be better off unemployed than, say, employed with “sub par health coverage”.

Saying “business should supply the best health coverage to all their employees” is like saying, business should not be allowed to exist within the borders of America unless they are willing and able to provide their employees with certain things that third parties decided are necessary for the workers. Why is it so easy for people to accept that kind of force in the marketplace? And are people really willing to accept the alternative?

The alternative would be that the company is not started, employs no one, and therefore cannot offer “inferior employment benefits”. Or would the rich also be criticised for not starting companies? Because here’s what happens: a company is started for the purpose of delivering a product or service for a profit. The company offers jobs which people are free to apply for, or not. No one applies? The salary and benefits increase. Everyone wants the job? The company doesn’t have to offer as much. And no one has to take that job.

Yes, contrary to popular belief, American businesses don’t actually raid poor villages and towns in order to enslave and exploit employees. Employment in the U.S. is still a choice; the employee gets to decide what skills to learn, which companies to apply to, where to live etc. He can say “no thanks” to a job offer, and he can quit and seek other opportunities.

So people get angry that a company has a better bargaining chip than a job seeker? People actually get mad that there are so many benefits of employment that job seekers have to “take it or leave it” when it comes to a job offer? People actually look past the fact that a business is providing a product, jobs, tax revenue, and argue that the business is not doing enough? And people are so bothered by these facts they want to use the force of government so that if you are a business in America, you must offer a certain trade to your employees for their skills and labor, without getting anything extra in return.

So my question is: is it more moral for a company to shut its doors than to forgo employee health coverage? Would we rather a company stop its production, fire all employees, and dismantle the business, rather than see a company offer “sub-par” or no health insurance to their employees? Or should we also use the force of government to keep businesses open against their will? (Hint: Sometimes that’s referred to as fascism).

Maybe everyone with a certain amount of savings should be forced to start a company or invest in one, since after all, people need jobs. So why not just force companies to open, and then force them to offer all sorts of benefits to their employees, while forcing them to keep their production up and forcing them to keep their prices down?

Or maybe we could just accept the fact that free transactions with mutual benefit absent of force will result in all different types of employment and all different types of compensation for that employment. Can we accept that someone might want a job with no extra benefits instead of no job at all? Or as third parties, do we know better than the employer, and know better than the employee, so we have a duty to step in and “help” the employee and punish that greedy company?

You know, the greedy company whose founder risked his or her money, time, and effort to build a business, with the possibility of failure, bankruptcy, and disappointment around every corner. The greedy business that only grew because investors believed in the founders’ ability and skill, took a risk with their money, and now need to be paid back in order to invest in and create future companies. The greedy business who provides livelihood for hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of people who trade their labor voluntarily for what is offered by the company, yet doesn’t have to be offered at all. That greedy company who pays taxes to pave the roads, to pay the welfare benefits, and to fund state propaganda that “educates” the people about the evils of free market transactions and agreements absent of force.

Or we could continue on the same path that 99.5% of human history has followed of allowing government to force individuals and groups of individuals (as in, companies) to provide certain things for other individuals, without any benefit to the former. This same old, familiar, cliché, widespread, establishment idea that somehow the government can solve all our problems and protect us from scary things–the idea supported by “counter-culture rebels” who are so anti-establishment that they support the most historically established entity on earth: coercive centralized government.

Well maybe my mind’s not open enough to accept the same old subjugation that has been going on for thousands of years. I guess I’m just stuck in the past for considering the possibility of market based societal organization absent government force–which has never fully been tried before. I guess I’m just too afraid of change which makes me want to keep the same stale system we have always lived by in one form or another.

Newsflash: promoting coercive government to “solve problems” is not a new idea, and it’s not anti-establishment; it’s a cause without a rebel.

4 thoughts on “Let’s promote government force, and pretend it’s a new idea

  1. There’s always a relevant debate about how much government should be able to regulate business behavior, but I disagree with you that the ONLY alternatives are either mistreatment of employees or not doing business. Haven’t you ever worked for a company that treated you well, paid well, and did things to benefit its employees and the community? Smart employers know that fostering good morale and positivity in the workplace reduces turnover and increases productivity. The main way to do that is by developing attractive wage and benefit packages, to attract the most qualified, desirable workers.

    Yes, we’ve all worked for dickheads out of desperation at some point. Or accepted a situation of high pay for poor treatment. But those are choices, not the only alternatives. Some industries tend to be more exploitative than others. More education and wider experience gives you a range of choice in what kind of company or profession to pursue. When employers are offered incentives through tax breaks and local support, the good ones pass part of that on to their employees.

    • I’m not quite sure you got my point here. I wasn’t saying that employers either mistreat their employees or don’t start businesses. I am saying that when people criticize employers for things like low wages or lack of benefits, they are essentially biting the hand that feeds. Here’s someone who provides a job that no one is forced to take, and yet some people always want more—I was essentially pointing out that people are being ungrateful when they rally for the government to step in and force a company to do something that they don’t want to do, or can’t do and still profit.

      That being said I agree that smart businesses will keep high morale and reach out to help the community, the positives it creates are good for everyone—another mutually beneficial transaction. I am against government forcing companies to “do good deeds” or pay their employees more than the company wants to, or force companies to provide benefits.

      In a truly free market, with only the best companies surviving, businesses would essentially have to, because of their customers, do good things, offer good compensation etc. But the government force actually stops this from happening, because companies don’t have to compete on an even playing field. But in this crony capitalist market, instead of competing for customers and competing for employees, a business can just appeal to politicians to bail them out, subsidize them, give them a grant, regulate their competitors, etc.

  2. I worked for a great company for unskilled labor. They gave on free will . Once politicians forced more taxs and coverage they moved overseas. Family owned 45 yrs the had the right to choose to leave. 800 employees understood health care insurance killed this company. 21 mill in 2010 for health care insurance.
    I just witnessed 6 feb 2014 a local bisiness put up its inventory for auction do to unisurable. One insurance comp denied insurance due to guns on property. Once a insurance comp denies its impossible to reinsure else were.
    I filed a claim for water damage now i can not increase or change my policy.

    Forced to have insurance but i would prefer not to have it.
    No free will .

    • Thanks you for sharing because those are perfect examples of how the government “helps”. Its that same old attitude that they know better, and they just cannot see all the consequences of their force. So now like you said, they took away your option to work without health coverage to the detriment of any work.

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