Job Mobility Is a Good Thing

The price of labor, like any good or service, is determined by supply and demand. If producers of labor (workers) become less inclined to sell it, but consumers of labor (firms) are unchanged in their interest in buying, then the price of labor has to rise in order to bring the quantity supplied and the quantity demanded into line.

This is a very important point. Workers are producers, just like the companies they work for. Workers produce and sell hours of labor. When considered on these terms, the importance of a healthy win-win negotiation between business partners is obvious. Business can expect high quality hours, i.e. high productivity and low absenteeism. Labor can expect fair compensation for its product – certainly the ability to support a small family working one full-time job.

Corporations have accounted for labor as a cost-line item without intrinsic value; labor has countered by organizing and striking if necessary to establish its intrinsic value. Some corporations have unfortunately reacted by going to government and the non-labor public to shatter organized labor.

It doesn’t have to be this way. The Affordable Care Act has given many workers the ability to leave oppressive jobs, return to school and even start businesses of their own, without fear of losing healthcare for themselves and families. This can only be a good thing in the long run.

References

The Buried Lede in the CBO Report

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