Wednesday, June 28, 2006

March for BMW owner's rights !!

Yeah, get angry. Get out there marching. Its a national day of protest ! Show John Howard that he can't step on our rights !

Every BMW owner should get out there to fight for their rights. Like the right to get a sunroof installed at no extra cost. Or get the leather upholstery or sports kit at cheaper prices. Government should get in there and stand up for Australians. BMW owners unite

(okay okay, I'm being completely sarcastic)

Well, the way I see it, workers "rights" are not really rights at all, any more than they would be BMW owner's "rights" or cinema-goers "rights" or ice-cream eaters "rights".

What those angry unions and public sector workers are protesting isn't really for "rights" at all. Because at the moment, Australians mostly have the *FREEDOM* to form voluntary employment agreements with each other. (I say mostly because there is still too much regulation in the labour market).

If I offer to employ someone to wash my car for the wage of either a home-cooked meal, back massage or $5 cash, what business does the government have in determining whether I can make that offer or not. People who value freedom will conclude that so long as the car-washer VOLUNTARILY ACCEPTS my offer, then the transaction should go ahead.

There are thousands of households, individuals, small and big businesses out there who are all employers. At the moment, they are regulated heavily. They are forced to pay a minimum wage. They are forced to contribute 9% superannuation if I am a permanent employee. They are forced to give me 1 month notice and provide a strong reason to terminate my employment (or else be sued for unfair dismissal). They are forced to give maternity leave to pregnant women which costs them an arm and a leg. They are forced to provide 4 weeks annual leave and some sick leave too.

If an employer does not offer all of these conditions, government says they cannot offer any employment at all.. the offer is illegal. We don't even get to see if there are workers in the market out there who would accept the terms and conditions that the employer offered.

Sometimes, there are workers who are more than happy to work for the conditions that would have been offered. I would gladly work for an extra 30% or even 25% salary if I didn't receive annual leave and super. In fact, my employer would be able to save a fortune if they didn't have to provide those benefits. Sometimes workers, especially those approaching retirement, put a high value on job security. So we sympathise when government legislates that their employer give them 1 month notice and cannot wrongfully dismiss them. But if a worker values something, shouldn't they be the ones to negotiate for it with their employer? Why does every job in Australia need 1 month notice and all the leave and entitlements ?

The free market will solve all these concerns. Even if I worked for an employer who dismisses workers unfairly and without notice, and has no concern for employees happiness, then I wouldn't be fooled into being complacent and having a false sense of job security. I would be on my toes looking for a job elsewhere, where workers are happier and employers try to establish some goodwill to motivate their workers and keep them happy and productive.

On a side note, isn't it funny how the socialists out marching call themselves "workers" when its a Wednesday and they aren't at work like the rest of us ?