Wednesday, February 19, 2014


In the field of economics the primary factors of production in a free market economy are land, labor, and capital.*  This is Economics 101. Any time one of these factors is manipulated or prohibited from finding its level price in the market you don't have a functioning market society. It's that simple.
 Tennessee Republicans made it clear that they are not concerned with having a functioning market system this past week.

Last week a Republican governor, a Republican U.S. senator, and an influential Republican leader of the House of Representatives threatened to withhold tax incentives - commonly known as a corporate subsidy -  from Volkswagen if their workers voted in favor of union representation. In effect they scared workers into believing that a union in their Chattanooga Volkswagen plant would threaten job creation in Tennessee.

These same GOP politicians said nothing about industry trade associations, industry lobbying groups, or even business folk getting together to form a chamber of commerce at the local, regional, or state level. They just don't want working men and women getting together to form a union.

Think of the irony. A private company that belongs to numerous trade associations and commercial groups was threatened with having their taxpayer funded subsidies removed if workers exercised their their 1st amendment right (to assemble) and voted to organize and form a union.

Ultimately, the real goal was to prevent unions from making a come back in the south, which is part of a larger Republican goal to crush the bargaining power of labor.

Think about this the next time some one tries to tell you that we have a functioning free market system.

- Mark

* For those asking about "entrepreneurship", which is often discussed in business schools as the 4th factor of production stop asking. Bill Gates and Steven Jobs would not have been who they are today if we had not gotten land, labor and capital right. How did we get it right? Check this out (and this and this too).

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