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At Law and Liberty, I took part in a symposium debating the libertarian scholar Richard Epstein’s comparison of labor unions to predatory monopolies, which he described as the “classical liberal” view.  In my contribution, I pointed out that both Adam Smith and J.S. Mill, who were classical liberals by any definition, rejected the idea that wages were fixed by automatic market forces instead of what Smith called “higgling” or negotiation, and both Smith and Mill emphasized the inequality of bargaining power among employers and workers.

Click here to read the symposium.

Michael Lind
Michael Lind is a columnist at Tablet, a fellow at New America, and the author of more than a dozen books, including Hell to Pay: How the Suppression of Wages is Destroying America (2023).
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Join our team working to restore an economic consensus that emphasizes the importance of family, community, and industry to the nation’s liberty and prosperity.