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Ron Paul and the Employer/Employee Relationship

Ron Paul's Blimp is Flying High ? How About His Reputation Among Working People?
Ron Paul's Blimp is Flying High ?
How About His Reputation Among Working People?
Ron Paul and the Employer/Employee Relationship
...includingthe words of the candidate
by richard myers
Ron Pauldefends the rights of the employer on principle. He calls it liberty; i call it privilege.
Theboss has power over the employee, and may exert that power in illicit ways. Ron Paul considers the employment contract voluntary on both sides,and he thereforedoesn't recognize the reality of that power relationship. While he won't defend a manager who actually uses force to coerce sex from a subordinate, his recommended solution to sexual harassment by the boss is for the employee to quit her job.
This leads me to believe that Ron Paul hasn't a clue what it must mean to be a single mother, dependent upon a paycheck to feed her children. Anyone who would offer a sexually exploited employee some civil rights tools to defend herself is derided as a social do-gooder.
Ron Paul wants a woman in such a situation to stand on her own. She's signed that voluntary employment contract, she's free and capable of making other voluntary associations, so she must solve the problem herself, according to Ron Paul's libertarian philosophy.
In making such judgments, Ron Paul ignores centuries of history. We know that slavemasters took advantage of female slaves, and even prominent "founders" of the nation whom we might otherwise respect ? Thomas Jefferson comes to mind ? have mixed race offspring as a result. For centuries, male bosses of various stripes (whether capitalist, or slave-master) have taken advantage of women in their employ. The threat of dismissal or other punishment, coupled with the uncertainty of finding another job, has forced countless women into subservience and exploitation.
A Case History
Three decades ago I worked in a Denver factory in which women outnumbered men by five to one. There wasn't much manufacturing in the area, and we had jobs that paid comparatively well. Many of us saw the value in making this our career, and i stayed for 33 years. Some employees weren't allowed that opportunity.
Supervisors developed reputations for having numerous relationships with the women who worked for them. One supervisor routinely joked about rubbing up against women in his crew. Another was fired after multiple accusations of rape, and others were transferred for similar behavior. But it seemed that most such activity was either tolerated or ignored by upper management.
A pretty young woman walked by, and my boss blurted out in a very loud voice, "let's take her into the bathroom and rape her!" He emphasized the word "rape", and his words coincided with some animated body movement. The young woman managed an embarrassed smile and didn't say anything. Such harassment of female employees was fairly routine in the factory, and to the extent that such behavior has been diminished, i expect that is primarily due to threat of a lawsuit.
However, Ron Paul considers such a solution unacceptable. Better for the employee to quit ? just walk away, and let the managers continue their abusive games.
In fact this young woman did quit her job, and i surmise it was the taunt by my boss that caused her to leave. Was this a fair outcome? Ron Paul apparently believes so. In Freedom Under Siege, Paul has written,
Today the lack of understanding and respect for voluntary contracts has totally confused the issue that in a free society an individual can own and control property and run his or her business as he or she chooses. The idea that the social do-gooder can legislate a system which forces industry to pay men and women by comparable worth standards boggles the mind and further destroys our competitiveness in a world economy.

Employee rights are said to be valid when employers pressure employees into sexual activity. Why don't they quit once the so-called harassment starts? Obviously the morals of the harasser cannot be defended, but how can the harassee escape some responsibility for the problem? Seeking protection under civil rights legislation is hardly acceptable. If force was clearly used, that is another story, but pressure and submission is hardly an example of a violation of one's employment rights.
page 24
In my opinion, the young woman who quit her factory job because of a blatant sexual taunt was guilty of only one thing ? being vulnerable. Yet Ron Paul wonders, "how can the harassee escape some responsibility for the problem? ...pressure and submission is hardly ... a violation of one's employment rights."
It appears that in President Paul's country, employers have the right to harass. And, Paul himself has no concept of the difficulty of finding jobs, nor of the possible hardship when a job is lost.
Unemployment in our society is maintained at a certain level as a means of keeping down wages. The unemployment rate is based upon NAIRU, the Non-Accelerating Inflation Rate of Unemployment. If a person becomes the one out of twenty or twenty-five workers who are out of a job by design, then the penalty of losing a job may be severe.
Ron Paul's Rationale for Corporate Dominance
Ron Paul's websitestates that,
"Liberty means free-market capitalism, which rewards individual achievement and competence..."
What exactly does it mean, that "liberty means free-market capitalism"? Paul believes that "in a free society an individual can own and control property and run his or her business as he or she chooses." [page 24]. Paul's philosophy would set corporations free to do essentially whatever they wish.
Well, then, what rights will workers have? The freedom to seek a different employer.
But for working folk, "freedom" should mean more than the right to change bosses.
Under President Ron Paul, "do-gooding" is verboten. No one will have any right to balance the power relationship between employer and employee, by legislative or other means. Would that give us sweatshops, child labor, poorhouses, company towns? Would Ron Paul excuse and defend company unions, trusts, monopolies, cartels, blacklists, private goons, slumlords? These questions should be asked of the candidate.
Ron Paul Specifics
Under Ron Paul, an employer would be free to fire an employee "for any reason he chooses".
Paul doesn't believe that working people should have any right to "equal pay for equal work".
Under President Paul, if you're not physically attractive, you may not have aright to a job.
Ron Paul wrote in his book,
The concept of equal pay for equal work is not only an impossible task, it can only be accomplished with the total rejection of the idea of the voluntary contract. By what right does the government assume the power to tell an airline it must hire unattractive women if it does not want to? The idea that a businessman must hire anyone and is prevented from firing anyone for any reason he chooses and in the name of rights is a clear indication that the basic concept of a free society has been lost.
page 24
Note the phraseology here. Paul doesn't qualify his statement to pertain to an employment position (such as stewardess?) that is socially anticipated to have a certain image to uphold. Paul's stated principle appears to allow an airline to make attractiveness (or anything else they may choose) a hiring issue across the board.
What's to prevent them from hiring only employees with blue eyes and blond hair? Might Aryan Airlines become a viable carrier under President Paul?
Granted, Paul is no national socialist. He probably would not support the incorporation of such ideologies into government. That's because all government is inherently evil, and only the market delivers righteousness and justice.
But with recent corporate license in the nature of Enron, Haliburton, Blackwater, dangerous imports, and those responsible for the mortgage lending crisis, shouldn't this sort of "corporate freedom" also give us pause?
Some more Ron Paul specifics
  • When it comes to illness (AIDS in particular), Paul is quick to assert the "rights of the insurance company owners" [page 30]. Well of course; he is the CEO's friend, too.
  • He would allow sweatshop labor ? presumably, work such as sewing garments for long hours at low pay ? in the home [page 28]. How many children would be forced to work in such an unregulated environment? Didn't we have congressional hearings nearly a century ago and conclude that such unregulated working conditions were an abomination?
  • Ron Paul has voted to zero-fund an OSHA intiative relating to ergonomics.
  • He is against the minimum wage, and has voted not to increase it. http://www.ontheissues.org/2008/Ron_Paul_Jobs.htm
  • He crosses picket lines: http://www.laborradio.org/node/7423
What about Ron Paul's views on union rights? Ron Paul believes there should be:
...no privileges, no special benefits legislated to benefit the unions, but you should never deny any working group to organize and negotiate for the best set of standards of working conditions.
Unions with no special privileges or benefits, with members who can be fired "for any reason". Consider what sort of emasculated organization that might be.
Ron Paul appears to believe that unlimited corporate power is just fine, so long as it is market-derived. Unions under Ron Paul would be less relevant than they already are. Workers will become low-paid wage-slaves with no rights on the job, with the exit door always held open for them.
The individual liberty of the Ron Paul variety is the freedom to nakedly exploit, without regulation or constraint. Seems clear enough that Ron Paul is no friend to working people who may wish to unite for their own protection.
best wishes,
richard myers

. 15.Dec.2007 20:36

.

Excellent article! Thanks for posting it.

Dude you're totally wrong!! 15.Dec.2007 23:11

richard myers

This is how Paul would run the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT! The STATES on the other hand are FREE to govern how they please!! Hence 'States Rights." Where in the constitution do you find that it's the Presidents job to push for everything you suggested? I suppose if you want to ammend the constitution you can, and add the things you suggest into it. But would two thirds of the states agree on the exact same policy? Probably not and therefore these issues are best left up to the States! Have a nice day.

Oh yeah Ron Paul just raised over 500,000 dollars in 80 minutes!!

hmmm 16.Dec.2007 10:53

Jason

"This is how Paul would run the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT! The STATES on the other hand are FREE to govern how they please!! Hence 'States Rights."

So because Ron Paul has policy that supports money over people, the rich over the poor, I should vote for him?

Paul would de-regulate industry, make it even harder to form unions, and remove all checks to the power of wealth. You can say goodbye to a 40 hour work week, health care, overtime pay, worker compensation, some capacity to hold an employer accountable for un-safe working conditions, etc etc etc...............

Ron Paul supports unchecked corporate power. That is the very definition of fascism!

To criticize the large out of control government, without equal criticism of large out of control corporate power, is nothing more than a clever way to remove the only obstacle to complete domination by corporate power. The government, no matter how poorly it is working, is a check to unbridled wealth. Corporate power has already nearly taken over government. Ron Paul is not offering a solution to this problem. Rather he is proposing taking away the tools that have historically been used to give the average joe some protection.

You are missing the point... 16.Dec.2007 23:57

Progressive for Ron Paul

What about Ron Paul's views on union rights? Ron Paul believes there should be:
"...no privileges, no special benefits legislated to benefit the unions, but you should never deny any working group to organize and negotiate for the best set of standards of working conditions."

What libertarians are basically saying is that labor should be able to organize and do what all free people do to lobby for their cause--public outreach, raise funds, support politicans who share the same views, etc. These are not "special privileges." Likewise, Paul does not believe in special privileges for big corporations or wealthy proprietors either. He's not favoring either side.




'What exactly does it mean, that "liberty means free-market capitalism"? '

The progressive libertarian stance is that what we are experiencing now is not "free market capitalism," but rather monopoly or cartel capitalism. Republicans like Bush don't call it cartel capitalism, because that blows the cover of the racket, but when you have a few companies that are so powerful no other firm can compete and they actively form lobbies and buy politicians to their cause, then in essense it is a cartel. The Ron Paul position is very much against cartelization, off-shoring of jobs, etc. One of the main reasons the US worker has so little advantage is that industry has consolidated to the point where, as you point out, the worker doesn't have the ability to freely shop around their labor. Likewise, it's become very difficult for somebody who may have ten years of experience working in a grocery store, to start their own store. That liberty to enter the market and compete has been taken away by cartelization.

Free market capitalism in theory does not say government should not regulate markets, it says that the hand of regulation should rest as lightly on the market as necessary. Since cartelization allows a small group to manipulate prices and supply, anti-trust laws are an essential part of maintaining free markets. Removing barriers to entry and making sure that no industry become too consolidated is essential.

You will notice that not a single Democrat or Republican is making an issue out of enforcing anti-trust laws. As a result, we had the big banking mergers of the 90s which led to deregulation and the speculative credit markets that we have today. We've also seen the big oil companies merge to become Chevron-Texaco, Exxon-Mobile, etc, and basically gave back the kind of power that the government decided bipartisanly 100 years ago they should not have. Did you ever hear Hillary or Edwards or anybody else take the floor to rail against the consolidation? No, you didn't. That's the ruse. What good is it to run to government to save you when the government is being bought up by industrial cartels? THAT is fasicsm. The answer is to regulate in such a way that the corrective forces of the market work for people. Ultimately, globalism and consolidation is what has taken away workers rights and upward mobility in wages, just like it did in the robber baron days. Ron Paul is the only trust buster and anti-globalist I see in the race.

hmmm 17.Dec.2007 01:04

Jason

"What about Ron Paul's views on union rights? Ron Paul believes there should be:
"...no privileges, no special benefits legislated to benefit the unions, but you should never deny any working group to organize and negotiate for the best set of standards of working conditions."

What libertarians are basically saying is that labor should be able to organize and do what all free people do to lobby for their cause--public outreach, raise funds, support politicans who share the same views, etc. These are not "special privileges." Likewise, Paul does not believe in special privileges for big corporations or wealthy proprietors either. He's not favoring either side."

Sure... lip service... that is all. If the employer can fire someone for any or no reason at all (as Ron Paul supports), any employee who starts speaking up about forming a union gets fired. Without what you call 'special privileges' the worker, who has little power, is at the mercy of the employer who has lots of power.

Here is a fine quote which you can find on the pdx imc about page btw.

"In the struggle between the oppressed and the oppressors, those who are neutral side with the oppressors."
Paolo Friere, Brasilian educator

Ron Paul, in claiming neutrality, is choosing sides. And the side he is choosing is not mine. He chooses money over people. Thus I oppose Ron Paul.

hmmm 17.Dec.2007 01:09

Jason

'What exactly does it mean, that "liberty means free-market capitalism"? '

(long answer clipped)

please show me some quotes where Ron Paul challenges corporate power and what he intends to do about it. Everything I have read (which is not all that much granted) says otherwise.

Jason... Look at Ron Paul's website and read his editorials... 17.Dec.2007 09:12

Progressive for Ron Paul

Jason: "please show me some quotes where Ron Paul challenges corporate power and what he intends to do about it. Everything I have read (which is not all that much granted) says otherwise."

One example is quite obvious, because Ron Paul wants to abolish the Federal Reserve Bank and the personal income tax, favoring higher corporate taxes, excise taxes, cap gains and dividend taxes, to fund government. The Federal Reserve is not a federal entity, it is a private bank. True, all banks that charter in the US "buy into" the Fed, but it is controlled by about a dozen big bankers and is the world's biggest monopoly. Not many people know this, even Fed critics, but the Fed pays out a 7% dividend on all activity it brokers for the U.S. We're not buying and selling precious metals as a reserve to leverage paper reserve notes, we're just printing money based on full faith and credit of the US Govt, which means you and your labor are bonded. Bank of England, the Rockefeller banks, Warburg entities, etc, share 7% a year on all the debt they transact for we the people, free and clear. When they "pump liquidity" to big banks because of the subprime problem, they are devaluing your money and bailing out the big banks, so they don't have to sell off strategic assets and further damage their stock price. If you don't like big money ruling politics, you have to strike at the heart of the problem and that is a cabal of central bankers that can manipulate the economy to punish any politicians that don't play their game.

Also, bringing the troops home and engaging a non-interventionist policy like our Founding Fathers advocated for basically means the military-industrial complex doesn't get it's carte blanche to feed at the public pig trough. The Cold War, domino effect in SE Asia in Vietnam, War on Drugs, War on Terror... It's all a racket to funnel the product of your labor (income taxes) into defense firms like Carlylse Group, Ratheon, etc. Put an end to foreign intervention and the war machine and you deal a big blow to the worst form of corporate power, war profiteering. What's more, poor people enlist in the army and get sent abroad to die in order to secure "American interests." As Chomsky says, you are privatising the profits and socializing the costs. Ron Paul's approach is the only one (with the exception of Kucinich, who I also like) that addresses that problem.

Now, I don't agree that employers should be able to fire anyone for any reason, but as one person commented here, the main idea is that labor laws mostly should be decided at the state level, per the Constitution. Laws should be decided there. If they are found to infringe on the basic concept of equality, then they can be challenged in Federal Court. If we had stuck to the states-rights model and resisted federalist mindset, I don't think we would have so many draconian laws and things like the War on Drugs.

hmmm 17.Dec.2007 12:00

Jason

Hi Progressive,

I would like to see a quote(s) from Paul (written or spoken) where he challenges corporate power and demonstrates an understanding of its dominance of nearly every aspect of society. No offense, but your ability to write about it in no way demonstrates his. :-)

just another two party shmuck 17.Dec.2007 16:41

max

i wont waste my time arguing with a misdirected Ron Paul activist, no matter how good intentioned they might be.

Is it enough to notice that Ron Paul is in the same party as George Bush? What is a party? It is an agreed set of principles; a program on political agreements.

Both mainstream parties, as the above article nicely explains, are for the rich, for the capitalists, and thusly, they are for repression of poor people and for wars based on profit-- since the capitalists, no matter what Ron Paul says, must protect their international wealth.

Leave the two parties!!!! The so-called radicals in these parties are blinding you to the big picture my fellow progressives. Their particular policies or philosophy cannot solve the absurdities produced by capitalism.

Anger Turned Inward 18.Dec.2007 03:09

Studying You

Stirring anger inward
The enemy is easily overcome
Creating unrest internally
The War is over before it starts
Let them bicker over who is more progressive
Who can see into the future
Who knows more history
The more they think they know...
The more sure they are of their ideas...
The more they will destroy their own culture...
Silence their own voices
Indymedia......
Anti-Ron Paul???

a wolf parading as a sheep 18.Dec.2007 08:34

dex

his lust for meat overwhelms...
but now he must abide his time...
the sheep look cautiously around...
predators everywhere.

the wolf gains trust wearing ragged wool
that confuse and bewilder the sheep

what is this thing, that's crept out of the wolves den? they ask
it talks like us? and from a distance looks like us...
but a closer look reveals the truth!

the stench of a wolf is unmistakable!
beware all sheep, do not be fooled!

Indymedia....anti Ron Paul ?? 18.Dec.2007 09:20

Rosa

Yes! and anti-anybody from the two-party system as well!!!

No more asking billionaires for handouts...or to stop wars they started and continue to benefit from.

Working class political organization is the only way forward, and the likes of Ron Paul or Kucinich or any other
wannabe progressive is the biggest barrier right now.

What's Going On With Ron Paul Here, Really? 19.Dec.2007 04:56

blues

Financial Freedom Act of 1999

Representative Ronald Ernest 'Ron' Paul (TX) voted "Y".

Project Vote Smart

 http://www.vote-smart.org/voting_category.php?can_id=BC031929

~- Calls for one percent "across the board" cut in income tax rates for all tax brackets

~- Reduces the capital gains tax rates from 20 percent to 18 percent and 10 percent to 8 percent

~- Phases in an increase to the standard deduction of married couples to double that of single taxpayers

~- Expands individual retirement accounts (IRAs) limit gradually from $2,000 to $5,000

~- Eliminates estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer taxes beginning January 1, 2009~


Ron Paul's record in Congress
Sunday, November 11, 2007
-- by Dave

 http://dneiwert.blogspot.com/2007/11/ron-pauls-record-in-congress.html


~-- He opposes the right of women to be free to control their own reproductive systems if they happen to live in particular states or other countries, or if they work for the Peace Corps.

(Seven bills listed)


~-- He has tried to repeal the Occupational Safety and Health Act:

~ H.R.2310: A bill to repeal the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970.

~ H.R.13264: A bill to repeal the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970


~-- He opposes the Minimum Wage:

~ H.R.2962: A bill to repeal all authority of the Federal Government to regulate wages in private employment.


~-- He would repeal significant portions of antitrust law, including the Sherman Antitrust Act, the Clayton Antitrust Act, and others.

~ H.R.1247:
To ensure and foster continued patient safety and quality of care by exempting health care professionals from the Federal antitrust laws in their negotiations with health plans and health insurance issuers.

~ H.R.1789: To restore the inherent benefits of the market economy by repealing the Federal body of statutory law commonly referred to as "antitrust law", and for other purposes.~


The list of madness is endless.

Just suppose we get "H.R.2962: A bill to repeal all authority of the Federal Government to regulate wages in private employment." Remember, Ron Paul voted for exactly that! Places like Florida and Georgia will reduce the minimum wage to fifty cents an hour. So all industry (not that we have much left) will flee any states that have any meaningful minimum wage, of course. So all states will race to the bottom.

I no longer think that all Ron Paul boosters are just thoughtless zealots. I think many of them are insidious subversives. They INSTANTLY appear on EVERY blog where Paul is criticized. Maybe they get paid for it even. Same deal with Hillary. I'm tired of arguing with people who might be getting paid to undermine my values. How could any sane, informed, or reasonably typical person want Paul or Hillary?