Markets in Everything: Nein!

Markets in Everything usually deals with unusual items but today’s post is about a German website where buyers and sellers bid on labor contracts.  Here’s the idea:

concept of is simple. An employer posts a job that needs
doing, along with the maximum wage he or she is willing to pay.
Interested job seekers then compete with each other for the job by
underbidding, meaning the employer ends up with the person willing to
do the job for the least amount of money.

The system can also
work the other way, with workers entering their skills in the auction
at the minimum price they’re willing to work for, and interested
employers then push the wage up as they outbid each other.

Nothing unusual about that – freelancers as well as firms bid on contracts like this all the time.  And yet in Germany, where unemployment is at a record high, this website has generated a furious response:

…some German labor market experts have had harsh words for the Internet site. Dirk Niebel of the Liberal Democratic party even went so far as to call the premise "immoral" in an interview printed in the Berliner Zeitung on Tuesday.


"I find it strange," he said. "It smacks of a slave market."

Freedom is slavery.  Amazing.

Thanks to Mike Jackmin for the pointer.


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