Getting the Raw End in Wisconsin

David D’Amato on the class conflict being played out in Wisconsin.

In the political phraseology of the United States, bogged down in the vacuous false choice of Republican versus Democrat, proponents of the “free market” are allegedly not supposed to concern themselves with scoundrels like government workers’ unions. They are rather to be regarded as the enemy, as conducting an incessant attack on taxpayers in order that they might get something for nothing.

But the anti-union turgidity of the Republican variant of the “free market” obscures the actual — as against the imagined­ — effects of the state’s pervasive interventions in the economy. When the state creates monopoly or oligopoly conditions, limiting competition to favor political and corporate elites, it also creates monopsony or oligopsony conditions for its own purchase of labor. In the same way that the state’s restrictions on the services that it and its cartels sell drive up the cost of those services, its strangulation of the number of buyers of labor allows those buyers to hire workers for pennies on the dollar.

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