Why should employees get economic rights, but not employers?

October 3rd, 2009

(this is a repost from my liveblog of Panel 3).

Perhaps I am just ignorant, and I haven’t given much thought to the issue of collective labor, but why should employees receive “economic rights” but employers should not. Why does the worker get the right, but not the employer? Why is the right to work an economic right but liberty of contract is not an economic right. Aren’t these rights two sides of the same coin? Who is John Galt?

I suppose one answer would be that unions serve a social role of leveling income distribution, and this compelling interest dictates that the workers get the rights, while giving the rights to the employers would exacerbate social inequality. I think that makes sense.