Saturday, February 19, 2011
Economics as Synecdoche
The primacy, urgency and existence of the need for fiscal sanity amongst all human needs can be questioned. The primacy of dollars and cents, in general, over other measures of human life can be questioned. And the compromise of a union's freedom to contract with an equally free employer, in government or private sector, is, superficially, a passing strange position for someone to take who, as a matter of fundamental political philosophy, above all fears government power against private actors. More than revealing, though, when thought about, because those who deny the necessity for government at all deny explicitly the notion that an individual and a large multinational corporation can't bargain as equals, or that an individual needs any protection at all other than the ability to make choices in a market. Unwonted government power against unions. Unchecked corporate power against individuals. These positions precisely contradict each other if taken at face value. On a deeper level, sadly, they do not.