Sign up to receive The Commons posts in your inbox.

Are Labor Unions Predatory Monopolies?

| Aug 03, 2020 | Unions

Re: Labor and Management Remain Unequal

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.


Return to the Commons

Michael Lind is a professor of practice at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin and the author of more than a dozen books, most recently The New Class War.