Nov 082007

I’ve never understood the concept of going on strike. If you’re unsatisfied with your work conditions, pay scale or benefits, quit your job and find another one. If you aren’t satisfied with any of the offers in your industry: quit and find another one. I suppose I’ll have to do a post on the evils of labor unions under our current system in the near future, but for now I just want to point out the irony that Wired first pointed out to me.

If you own a television you’re probably aware that the television writers are out on strike. Apparently it’s got something to do with online viewing of the shows they write, but I really haven’t been paying attention. As Wired so poignantly asks, though: can’t they come up with better slogans? “What do we want?… INTERNET!… When do we want it?… NOW!” Wow, I gotta wonder if one of their six year old children came up with that one. “Writers want fair share” Genius! And their signs are even worse: “Writers Guild Of America On Strike“. If that doesn’t knock your socks off then you’re probably smarter than a 5th grader. I’ve carried more than my fair share of signs and am very aware that they need to be short and to the point in order for passing cars to comprehend them, but these are supposed to be some of America’s ‘best and brightest’ when it comes to writing.


  5 Responses to “Reason #1,872 To Detest Striking Workers”

  1. This one isn’t even a sponsored post? Are you sure you’re really an anarchist?

    The problem is that most industries are organized as a cartel.

    The TV industry is dominated by a few large corporations, who offer identical working conditions to their workers. There’s no true “free market” in writing for TV shows.

    Given the constraint of a non-free market, workers organizing into unions is their best option. The problem is that unions are heavily regulated. This makes unions an extension of the state, rather than true advocates of workers’ rights.

    Of course, I’d prefer a free market. In a truly free market, workers would be able to quit their job and find an equal or better job pretty quickly.

  2. Are you sure you’re an anarchist? I’m curious where you’re getting your definition of the word. It’s a pretty simple one – “no rulers”. Unions force their rules upon people in nearly the same way government does. And they steal the fruits of our labors without our consent in the same way (though they call them dues rather than taxes).

    Why is it a problem that most industries are organized into cartels? If they weren’t using the force of government to create and maintain those cartels then it wouldn’t be a problem.

    So what if the TV industry is dominated by a few? Where did the writers get the right to be a television writer? Besides, there is actually a much more free market in writing television then there is in most industries. Anyone is free to write a television show and offer it for sale to to the television production companies (or start their own). It happens all the time. I have a couple of friends from my poetry days who have done just that on more than one occasion. And there’s a pretty well known Libertarian activist in New Hampshire (Gardner Goldsmith) who has been doing so for years. All without the benefit of some union contract.

    It’s amazing to me that you constantly argue both sides of an issue and yet still claim to be “correct”, somehow. Do you believe unions are an extension of the state or not? If so, then as an anarchist I would think you’d be against them. But I’m far more interested in your use of communistic terms such as “worker’s rights”. PLEASE explain to me what worker’s rights are and how they came to have such rights.

    Of course, I’d prefer a free market as well. But restricting the market further by creating and supporting unions only moves us farther from that goal. I prefer to work towards my goals.

    Are you claiming that television writers are indentured servants? Are they chained to their desks and refused food until the script is completed? Even in this regulated market workers ARE free to quit their job and find another whenever they like. Finding an “equal or better job pretty quickly” is not a ‘right’ in any sense of the word. It’s a nice thing, but no one is owed a living.

  3. Aahz says:

    Why is it a problem that most industries are organized into cartels? If they weren’t using the force of government to create and maintain those cartels then it wouldn’t be a problem.

    That’s precisely the problem! Government force has caused each industry to be organized in a bunch of cartels! Government force creates barriers to competition. This cartelization causes the labor market to be biased against workers, who form unions to compensate. Government force means that employers are running a Distributed Costs and Concentrated Benefits scam. The workers respond by running a Distributed Costs and Concentrated Benefits scam of their own.

    Suppose the government disappeared all of a sudden, or declined to intervene in the dispute. What would happen?

    The workers are free to strike. The TV stations are free to hire replacement writers, or hire writers who break ranks with the union. I never said that it was immoral for the TV stations to hire replacement writers.

  4. I agree 100% with your last statement. At no time did I claim or imply that the workers were NOT free to strike. I, however, am also free to think they’re being ridiculous and detest them as whiny entitlement brats. Which I do 🙂

  5. […] a topic I promised to further expound upon all the way back in November 2007 in a post titled Reason #1,872 To Detest Striking Workers.  That post was the first to generate a revocation of my “anarchist credentials” (as […]

  6. you just stated the critical thing about employees

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