4-5-14 Weekend Reading

Saturday, April 05, 2014

I was fighting a stomach flu for most of the week, so time spent catching up on other things -- including rest -- accounts for today's shortened post. I hope you enjoy the commentary linked below.

Have a great weekend.


"It's not about authority; it's about respecting reality, the core of mental health." -- Michael Hurd, in "Is Anorexia a Strictly Medical Problem?" at The Delaware Wave

"Would you rather work for a struggling one-man company that just as badly needs you, because if it can't hire you, it will go bankrupt? Or would you rather work for a company that is very rich, secure, has lots of room for your upward career path, and a good pension program?" -- Harry Binswanger, in "Ayn Rand Was Right About Unions: Workers Need Unequal Bargaining" at RealClear Markets

"Debates about health care often start at the level of economics, but inevitably require deeper discussion of the proper role of government in people's lives." -- Paul Hsieh, in "What the US Can Learn From the Australian Health Care Debate" at Forbes

-- CAV


Steve D said...

'Would you rather work for a struggling one-man company that just as badly needs you, because if it can't hire you, it will go bankrupt?'

Binswanger seems to be equating wealth with bargaining power. They are not the same thing.

Gus Van Horn said...

Binswanger is addressing the leftist trope that economic power is political power in his column. Perhaps this causes him to look like he is making the equation when, I think, he is really just trying to show that it is false by means of applying it the other way.

Steve D said...

Sure. In fact, when you use the terms economic power and political power you are assuming slightly different meanings of the word power. Otherwise economic power becomes an oxymoron.

Bargaining power is not exactly either of these. In many cases a company doesn’t have that much bargaining power.

Like this situation: An engineer or scientist with a unique skill set who works for a large corporation that requires that particular skill set. He/she has almost no economic power or wealth (at least not compared to the company) but he does have a great deal of bargaining power.

Also, if the conditions are such that labor is in demand that would give workers with more ordinary skill sets much more bargaining power, regardless of the relative wealth difference between them and the company.

Best case scenario (for me). The company I want to work for has a lot of money but I have a lot of bargaining power.

Gus Van Horn said...

Okay. I see your point now. I'd need to mull it over a bit, and would really be interested in what HB himself would say about it.

HB has noted that the commenters at RCP are a more thoughtful breed than those at Forbes, where he used to write. I also see that he has answered some of the comments on that piece. If you decide to take this up with him over there, let me know.

Steve D said...

No, it’s a fairly minor quibble anyway. I agree with his main point; I just question the utility of his particular analogy, mainly because I’ve been in that position before (strong bargaining power but rather poor) since after my final postdoc, I had three job offers at once.