Why is it that all the people who write about freedom are capitalists? What do socialists have to say about freedom, if anything?
You may have read in the news that Uber is guilty of exploiting workers, forcing them to drive when they’d rather be at home resting nicely with their families, and employing ‘psychological tricks’ to mask its inhumane treatment of the drivers. It's grim. 19th century sweated labour conditions, only worse. You’d think we’d have moved on from the days of the dark satanic mills, but no. We are marching backwards and before long it will be exactly like the days of prehistory when everyone was dying of the plague.
In the latest round of talks between Uber and its unhappy drivers, which are currently being conducted under the aegis of the Employment Appeal Tribunal, Uber is reduced to arguing that it has done nothing new, nothing innovative, nothing exciting, let alone revolutionary. The nature of their defence is: we deny that there is any such thing as the gig economy, or if there is, we deny that we are part of it.
There's a road, they say, that leads to a very bad place - and it's paved with good intentions.
If you begin by denouncing capitalism, the problem of inequality becomes quite easy to fix as it is pretty obvious what governments have to do. They must use tax laws to take from the rich and give to the poor.
In an ideal world, we would all fly free without ever running the risk of encountering an ill wind, and we would build our dreams without having to worry that they might come crashing down.
The idea of income security means having confidence in your ability to earn a living and make your way in the world; the confidence that barring sickness or disability or some random Act of God such as a zombie apocalypse, you will always find work for your hands to do.
Many people don’t like the term ‘human capital’. They think it demeans human beings and makes them into something less than what they are, like physical capital or finance capital, turning people into chattels that are to be bought and sold in the market like so many widgets.
What does it mean to say that a worker is being paid more than they deserve, or less than they deserve?
This is a post about chiselled features, courage under fire, and rugged individualism. Just kidding. It's a post about competitive markets. But yes, at the end of the day everything on this blog is about individual liberty, otherwise what's the point of it all?