“Employees would get the automatic right to club together to buy their company if it is put up for sale or floated on the stock market…” more
What is about to happen in England should be an American, if not worldwide, fight as well. Activists should not be asking for a minimum wage cage that kicks the can down walled streets. Minimum wage laws should be abolished as they legislate an illegal rental of humans. The laws are “illegal” because wages, and/or the rental of humans, turns humans into things, or non-persons, but human action, like basic human rights, is inalienable/non-transferable and universal. Wages (and salaries) violate those rights, and are therefore invalid. Minimum wage should be abolished. To hell with dollars/hour, to hell with being a cog, ownership and the positive (and negative) fruits of labor is the default right of every worker.
The human association which in fact produces and distributes wealth, the association of workmen, managers, technicians and directors, is not an association recognised by the law. The association which the law does recognize — the association of shareholders, creditors and directors — is incapable of production and is not expected by the law to perform these functions. We have to give law to the real association, and to withdraw meaningless privilege from the imaginary one. Eustace Percy
The employment system seems to involve a mismatch between legal responsibility and factual responsibility. While the positive and negative legal responsibility goes to the (working or absentee) employer, the positive and negative factual responsibility is with both the working employer and the employees. The renting of people certainly seems to violate the standard justice principle of assigning legal responsibility in accordance to factual responsibility.
But the employees are said to voluntarily give up their responsibility for the results of their “labor services.” How can one “give up” factual responsibility?
…How can the problem be fixed? Today, the renting, hiring or employing of people seems as “natural” as owning people did before the 19th century. In either case, most people in such a society take it for granted. But what if the abolitionists’ achievement of abolishing the owning of other people was followed up with the “neo-abolitionist” goal of abolishing the renting of other people? It would mean that all the people working together in a given enterprise would be the owners or members of that enterprise. They would jointly own what they jointly produce, and they would jointly pay off the costs for all the resources that they jointly used. In short, they would jointly own both the positive and negative “fruits of their labor” so private property would be re-founded on the justice principle.
…The neo-abolitionist argument is that there is something inherently wrong with voluntarily renting, hiring, or employing a person as opposed to a thing just as there is something inherently wrong with the self-sale contract to voluntarily buy another person (and it was abolished along with involuntary slavery). With the person rental contract abolished, people would rent, lease, or borrow the things they need for work which they don’t already own–and the owners of things (like your capitalist of today owning machinery, raw materials etc.) would not have the option of renting people to “employ” on his machinery, raw materials, etc.
It’s a normative argument about implementing the responsibility principle in ordinary work. The problems of getting from here to there are quite thorny like the previous problem of abolishing the system of owning other people involuntarily or voluntarily. David Ellerman
- The standard employment contract seeks to transfer responsibility for profits and losses from the employees to the owners of the business, pretending that the workers are not responsible for their actions.
- Since workers are actually responsible for appropriating any profit or loss, they should have governing control of their business. This leads to democratic management by the members of a business.
- In order to bring employment into alignment with peoples inalienable rights, worker owned democratically managed business or worker cooperatives are needed.
- and see these posts: Worker Coops Vs. Capitalism, and Is Technology Killing Capitalism?
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