Register to reply

Labor Day and the Creation of Free, Anti-Feudalistic Labor Through Regulation

Share this thread:
BWV
#1
Sep6-11, 02:26 PM
P: 328
Interesting blogpost on the unfree state of free labor in the early industrial period

Edit by mod: We don't allow personal blogs as sources

more here

I'm still deciding on this student paper.
http://tuvalu.santafe.edu/~snaidu/pa..._2011_nber.pdf

British Master and Servant law made employee contract breach a criminal offense
until 1875. We develop a contracting model generating equilibrium contract breach and
prosecutions, then exploit exogenous changes in output prices to examine the eects
of labor demand shocks on prosecutions. Positive shocks in the textile, iron, and
coal industries increased prosecutions. Following the abolition of criminal sanctions,
wages dierentially rose in counties that had experienced more prosecutions, and wages
responded more to labor demand shocks. Coercive contract enforcement was applied
in industrial Britain; restricted mobility allowed workers to commit to risk-sharing
contracts with lower, but less volatile, wages.
Phys.Org News Partner Social sciences news on Phys.org
Violence rates can be halved in just 30 years, say leading experts
Power isn't enough: Study reveals the missing link for effective leadership
Persian Gulf states have new role to play in Israeli-Palestinian conflict resolution
256bits
#2
Sep8-11, 05:40 PM
P: 1,499
Timely,
You should compare this aspect of labour with the following aspect as depicted in the post

http://www.physicsforums.com/archive.../t-527731.html

Organized labour has self-destuctive tendancies also, is what I am trying to say here.
BWV
#3
Sep8-11, 06:40 PM
P: 328
These rules are bloody ridiculous. We cannot post real studies using public data sources & blog posts from established economists but crackpot financial newsletter writers and purely personal speculation is OK?

Pyrrhus
#4
Sep8-11, 06:55 PM
HW Helper
Pyrrhus's Avatar
P: 2,277
Labor Day and the Creation of Free, Anti-Feudalistic Labor Through Regulation

BMW, was the question deleted? I am not sure I follow what is you question or topic of discussion?
Evo
#5
Sep8-11, 07:21 PM
Mentor
Evo's Avatar
P: 26,661
Quote Quote by Pyrrhus View Post
BMW, was the question deleted? I am not sure I follow what is you question or topic of discussion?
If you want to read it, here is what was deleted.

http://rortybomb.wordpress.com/2011/...tion/#comments

Labor Day and the Creation of “Free,” Anti-Feudalistic Labor Through Regulation
Posted on September 5, 2011 by Mike
Happy Labor Day! Peter Frase encourages us to celebrate workers, not work. Good Magazine has a list of 10 things the labor movement has brought you – weekends, 8-hour work days, etc. One thing I’d like to add to that list is that labor unions were key in restricting the freedom of contract to actually create what we take for granted as “free” labor in the 20th century. Consider this a #11 to the list: fighting against backwards, regressive, hierarchical, feudalistic forms of labor contracts.

Let’s take a typical worker who had a bad day at the office in 19th Century England (quotes, graph below and analysis from from Steinfeld’s excellent Coercion, Contract, and Free Labor in the Nineteenth Century; also see Steinfeld’s The Invention of Free Labor and Orren’s Belated Feudalism). What did his employer do to punish him?
If the OP wanted to discuss labor day, there are links http://www.dol.gov/opa/aboutdol/laborday.htm

If he wants to post about the "history of labor" in I'm guessing England and early America, then we have a history subforum.

We don't use blogs as sources in this subforum because there is too much thrown around to fact check. Even a link to "History of labour" wiki cites sources to make validation easier. Which is why we have rules about citing sources.
256bits
#6
Sep8-11, 07:29 PM
P: 1,499
Quote Quote by Pyrrhus View Post
BMW, was the question deleted? I am not sure I follow what is you question or topic of discussion?
The topic of study was the evolution of the labour market, from what could be described as a feudal relationship between the employer and employee in early industrial society, to the free market labour system in the present day, especially in relation to that in Great Britain.
For economists the study of labour and its related laws affect the marketplace and society in general is quite common. Just consider when a government increases the minimum wage and by how much. Does that actually infer a benefit to workers who experience more wealth, or actually hinder as companies may then not hire and more people will be unemployed.

These ideas area is bit off topic but to give a historical reference: in olden days dating back centuries to a time, companies or the state literally owned you. Consider how they sometimes acquired a crew for a ship to sail at sea - after a free binge you would wake up on at ship at sea. Or in the military, at war if you refused to fight you were given the chance to fight now or be executed by your own lieutenant. And you had no recourse except to abide - no lawyer or judge would ever consider that you had been ill-treated.

The question I guess is what influence and how much did labour, including the form as organized labour, but not necessarily unions, have on bringing about a more civilized employment situation for workers with benefits of 2 day weekends, holidays, vacation, sick days, refusal of unsafe tasks, etc., and the main point - the ability to leave your place of work permanently (quit) without repercussions so severe as being fined or sent to jail as was a common occurance at the dawn of indutrialization in the 1800's or so.

( I wrote this before I knew Evo had posted , so rather than waste no, want no .... )
BWV
#7
Sep8-11, 07:39 PM
P: 328
what the moderators spared you from was a blogpost from Mike Konczal

Mike Konczal is a fellow with the Roosevelt Institute, who also blogs at New Deal 2.0. He works on financial reform, the 21st century economy, unemployment, inequality, access to financial services and what it means to have a social contract in a financialized, post-industrial economy. He’s written papers for the Roosevelt Institute about financial reform several times as well as the deficit and the unemployment crisis. His work has appeared at The American Prospect, NPR’s Planet Money, Slate, Baseline Scenario, Atlantic Monthly’s Business Channel and The Nation. Originally from Chicago, he enjoys finance, economics, sociology, theory, tacos and center-left politics on the side.
which without the Imprimatur from a print media source must be widely unreliable.

The point was that the feudalistic legal environment of the 19th century with its punitive treatment of employment contracts made it far from what most think a Laissez Faire labor marketplace looks like today
Evo
#8
Sep8-11, 07:48 PM
Mentor
Evo's Avatar
P: 26,661
Quote Quote by BWV View Post
what the moderators spared you from was a blogpost from Mike Konczal



which without the Imprimatur from a print media source must be widely unreliable.

The point was that the feudalistic legal environment of the 19th century with its punitive treatment of employment contracts made it far from what most think a Laissez Faire labor marketplace looks like today
You posted the entire blog, there is simply too much to validate. Blogs aren't reviewed for accuracy, it's an opinion piece.
turbo
#9
Sep8-11, 07:50 PM
PF Gold
turbo's Avatar
P: 7,363
There are back-stories that should be addressed, too. In Europe, your parents had to pay to get you indentured to a master in the guild system. You worked for room and board while learning your trade and enriching your master. Eventually, you could progress to journeyman status, at which point you could expect to be paid a wage, and you were allowed to marry, if you could afford it. No matter how skilled you were at your trade, you would not be admitted as a master if the guild thought that there were already too many masters in the trade.

Next, let's address indentured servitude. This was very popular in early Colonial America. Poor young people would seek passage to the colonies, and would agree to work in the service of the people who paid their passage - often for 7-8 years - with nothing more than room and board in harsh conditions. Upon completion of the servitude (which was enforced by law), the servant might be able to qualify for a small cash payment or perhaps a piece of land in compensation, depending on the situations of the land-owners buying and/or trading the indentures.

Similar abuses have extended well into the 20th Century as workers in coal-mining communities were dunned for housing their families in company-owned camps, and were paid mostly in scrip that could only spent in the "company store" to the benefit of the mine-owners.
256bits
#10
Sep8-11, 08:17 PM
P: 1,499
Eventually, you could progress to journeyman status, at which point you could expect to be paid a wage, and you were allowed to marry
Thanks for bringing that up about the part of marriage - I had completely forgotten about it - you had to be established somewhat before a respectable girl would even look at you.
That aspect extended even into the 1950's, 60's, 70's where if you were getting married you automatically were granted a wage increase as now there were two mouths to feed and soon more little mouths, and you were considered stable.
BWV
#11
Sep8-11, 09:04 PM
P: 328
A point was made in the comments that the legal tradition prevented what would otherwise be voluntary contracts - the fact that the criminal code was invoked when an employee broke an employment contract can be compared to the restrictions against manumission in the pre-war South or how a marriage contract could not supercede the societal view of the status of women. For example, it was taken as a given that there was no such thing as marital rape - the woman had in the marriage vows given a perpetual consent. No private contract would have been recognized that outlined a different view of the institution
BWV
#12
Sep9-11, 02:10 PM
P: 328
Quote Quote by BWV View Post
I'm still deciding on this student paper.
http://tuvalu.santafe.edu/~snaidu/pa..._2011_nber.pdf

Don't be ridiculous, NBER published the final paper - its not a "student paper"

http://www.nber.org/papers/w17051
DoggerDan
#13
Sep9-11, 07:08 PM
P: 77
Quote Quote by 256bits View Post
That aspect extended even into the 1950's, 60's, 70's where if you were getting married you automatically were granted a wage increase as now there were two mouths to feed and soon more little mouths, and you were considered stable.
I don't think things have changed, much. Most respectable women will think twice before marrying a deadbeat.


Register to reply

Related Discussions
Oil by Labor Day General Discussion 38
Labor as a commodity General Discussion 0
Labor and Energy Classical Physics 1
Child Labor in Decline Current Events 5