A bit more on workplace freedom

You’ll find two responses from John Holbo and Henry Farrell to my initial post.  I recall also reading good posts from Modeled Behavior, Matt Yglesias, and here, and Miles Kimball, among others, on the topic.

In a sense, I don’t think Holbo and Farrell realize how “fundamental” my initial response was.  I don’t actually find “libertarianism and the workplace,” literally construed, to be a useful debate.  How about debating “the workplace”?  (I’ve declared my own allegiance to positive liberty some time ago, and I think this was even discussed on CT at the time.)  Or some specific proposed change to workplace law?  In general the CT blog, while overall excellent, suffers from the disease of spending way too much time on libertarianism as a target for not-so-empirical, mid-range conceptual blog posts which focus on doctrines and hypothetical philosophic comparisons rather than concrete results.  I view my own response as simply saying this: give me some (non-anecdotal) evidence, and give me some conceptual framework or model which implies something more definite than that we should maximize wealth, productivity, and move towards full employment, all good but uncontroversial ideas.  Give me something more than the time-honored arguments in favor of the civil rights movement.  Without those, in my view the initial complaint has not even been registered.  Reading the responses, I stick with my original sense, namely that a meaningful complaint has yet to be registered at all.


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