The majority of US workers live in "employment monopsonies" where there is little or no competition for workers


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/12/21/no-bid-contracts.html


#2

Behold the green bastions of tyranny and serfdom dominated by the Coastal Elites. Fortunately for the forces of freedom, Real Americans™ are showing the rest of the country the way toward the regulation-free, right-to-work Libertarian utopia.


#3

If only there were Unions in this fine country of ours…


#4

What, and further curtail the freedom of the Betters from grinding the rest of us up into sausage that they can sell right back to us?

You, sir, have no respect for the Natural Order of Things!


#5

Wow, that sounds like some extreme bullshit. I find it very hard to think this “theory” was anything other
than an assertion without evidence, repeated until it sounded true.

I think the term “monopsony” which is obviously less understood than “monopoly” is kind of a childish language game. The idea that there is a buyer and a seller in every transaction is an obvious falsehood. Sometimes we find it clear which one is a buyer and which one is a seller, but that’s mostly just because we have a lot of magical thinking around money. If I pay $20 for groceries, it is no more true that I exchanged $20 for the groceries than it is that the store exchanges groceries for my $20.

The fact that we exchange labour for currency doesn’t make us sellers. Economists talk about the “labour market” but most people use the term “job market.” We intuit those are interchangable even though we would never interchange the terms “housing market” and “people who want a house market”.

Labour is not sold in the same way that groceries are sold. I don’t think it even makes sense to compare people having jobs to a good being sold. If you are going to compare them then it makes far more sense in the current environment to think of businesses as the sellers, selling wages for the price of labour. And it makes far more sense to talk about them having monopolies (which people understand) than monopsonies (which people don’t understand).

If they agree that we need to stop monopolists from raising prices, then they agree we need to stop them from suppressing wages. Raising a price and lowering a payment are exactly the same thing (maybe they’ve never heard of negative numbers?).


#6


#7

To be fair, there are still unions in this country. Some of the unions (police, prison guards, border guards) are loved by the “free” market fundamentalists to the same degree that others (any union involving education workers) are hated by them.


#8

You made me wonder for a good long bit whether you were trolling, sarcastic, or a trumpster trolling s… or being sincere.

Cyberpunk stopped being fun as soon as it actually happened.


#9

It looks like if you want options in where you work you need to live in or near a city.


#10

Interesting. Could this lack of diversity in rural areas contribute to “red states”? If anything the 2016 presidential election taught us is that disinformation can notably sway political opinion. And what incentive for “company towns” are there to educate their workforce?


#11

Yo, I think this is a great article and has a great point, but that graphic is literally hell for coloblind folks.


#12

It contributes to rural brain drain, that’s for sure.


#13

Hello, 1937!


#14

Roger That!


#15

For the first time in recent memory it appears that Connecticut is at the top of a list of good things.


#16

I blame the internet and Richard Florida.


#17

I’m an employer, and our business has a location in the middle of nowhere, where there is no competition for workers–but also, all the workers present are either employed already, or unqualified. As a result, we need to:

  1. Train existing residents to take the jobs; and/or
  2. Import workers from other locations, and pay them ABOVE-standard wages so that they will stay in the middle of nowhere.

It’s expensive, and good for the workers–even without the competition.


#18

a situation called “monoposony”

Seems like a pretty important word to spellcheck


#19

I think that it depends on whether there are more jobs than workers, or more workers than jobs. If there are more people wanting to work than jobs, then the employer would have the upper hand.


#20

Cory, looking at the paper it does not seem to state that the “majority of US workers live in employment monopsonies.” What it does state is that the average market is highly concentrated, which is a very different stat.

Nor is it accurate to attribute this to the decline of unions. The paper studied 26 occupations. A fair number were for managerial and non-exempt positions which were never really unionized. Nor is it terribly surprising that outside of major metropolitan areas positions such as Insurance Underwriter, Rail Car Repairers, Telemarketers, or Industrial Engineers only have a few employers bidding for their services.

In short, the source paper is worth reading, but I find the methodology more than a little shallow and your headline inaccurate.