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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/5488/do-you-have-a-license-to-work-x-amount-of-hours/

Do you have a license to work X amount of hours?

August 19, 2006 by

A recent internal investigation by Apple Computer into the labor practices by one of its suppliers discovered that many of its employees in foreign domiciles were working “excessive hours” — 60+ hours per week.

Unsurprisingly, unionists and their allies have raised quite the bugaboo surrounding these “sweatshop” hours.

However, Big Labor practices a double-standard in renouncing these “slave-like” hours. For instance, individuals entering into the following professions can endure “excessive hours” as well: lawyers, doctors, accountants, teachers, and stock brokers.

Recent graduates or those trying to make partner typically work more than 60 hours a week for years on end. In fact, doctors alone have to face 3-5 years of 80+ hour work weeks during their apprenticeship stage called Residency. And what about all the high school teachers that teach from 8-4 and are active advisors in extracurricular activities (athletics, music, and a plethora of other clubs)?

Could it be that because these are State licensed professions the State-enfranchised Union movement suffers momentary amnesia, and refrains from biting the hand that feeds it?

More: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

{ 18 comments }

Jason Ditz August 19, 2006 at 12:58 pm

Most salaried workers end up working more than 40 hour weeks from time to time… it’s a wonder anyone hired people for full-time, hourly work anymore.

Urbanitect August 19, 2006 at 3:37 pm

I had no idea medical training was this corrupt. I’m glad I didn’t become a doctor!

A Anarchist August 20, 2006 at 2:03 am

The professions you cite such as doctor or lawyer are not ones in which the doctor or lawyer must submit to the exploitation of a boss or a manager. The “sweatshops” are more paradigmatic cases of the “live-or-die” mentality that capitalism embodies, where greedy bosses exploit the local populace with the aid of the state. Down with capitalism and sweatshops!

Geech August 20, 2006 at 2:52 am

An actual socialist or an incredible simulation? Sometimes it’s tough for mre to tell the difference between the real ones and people making fun of them.

TGGP August 20, 2006 at 8:27 am

Doctors and lawyers never have bosses? Don’t they tend to work for hospitals and firms?

What does “the “live-or-die” mentality” mean? What is the alternative to living if not dying?

Lastly, define sweatshop.

Curt Howland August 20, 2006 at 1:20 pm

It seems to me that “A.Anarchist” is a troll. How can someone read Mises.org and then call themselves an anarchist, while espousing socialism?

It may be a confused teenager drawn here by the recent posting to Digg. I would suggest looking under the Media section for “anarchy”, to play on the iPod your daddy got you. Let Robert Murphy run around in your head for a little while before you talk about “anarchy” again.

jeff August 20, 2006 at 1:50 pm

A.anarchist is a troll. I would recommend the old rule, Don’t Feed The Troll.

anarkhos August 20, 2006 at 2:40 pm

The author missed a more obvious case of “excessive hours,” that of computer programmers!

Perhaps if the “sweatshops” offered flex time there would be fewer complaints as the work hours increased to 80+. Naa…

quincunx August 20, 2006 at 10:33 pm

I too am considered a ‘troll’ on computer security blogs, because I disagree with everyone that the gov makes things ‘secure’, or ‘secure for who?’.

Whenever they mention a terrible computer security problem, I point out the many moral hazards and the history of particular interventions that have accelerated the problem while preventing the solutions. I urge privatization of everything, so you can imagine the comments I get.

I would point An Anarchist in the right direction, before dismissing him outright.

Ryan Fuller August 21, 2006 at 2:49 am

Waste. Of. Time.

He’s a troll.

Yancey Ward August 21, 2006 at 8:48 am

A Anarchist may not be a troll. It is entirely possible to call yourself an anarchist and say “down with capitalism”. In other words, there are anarchists who believe capitalism will not exist in anarchy, and there are anarchists who believe it will. If anarchy is possible, then one or the other may be wrong, but not intentionally so.

Of course, if A Anarchist’s only contribution to the comments section is a continuous repeating of the phrase, in one form or another, that “capitalism is exploitation”, then, yes, he is a troll.

However, he is completely incorrect about the hierachical structure of the medical and legal professions.

greg August 21, 2006 at 5:23 pm

Yancey> A Anarchist may not be a troll. It is entirely possible to call yourself an anarchist and say “down with capitalism”. In other words, there are anarchists who believe capitalism will not exist in anarchy, and there are anarchists who believe it will.

“A” is the first initial and maybe it stands for “Anti.” I don’t think it is possible to simultaneously be an anarchist and be against capitalism. Capitalism is not an economic system that was designed — it “just happened” when left to itself — something that true anarchy would permit. Besides, to be against capitalism is to say one is against tools, machines, and buildings made to produce consumables in surplus. How (with anarchy) could one non-aggressively prevent one’s neighbor from using tools, machines, and buildings to produce consumables in surplus (and consequentally profiting off the surplus)?

Nathan August 22, 2006 at 2:57 am

It depends on the definition of Capitalism you’re using – a lot of you seem to be falling into the trap of arguing against a straw man, although not deliberately, it just derives from asserting a particular view of what Capitalism is. In terms of the libertarian left, “anti-Capitalism” means opposition to state intervention on the behalf of capitalists.
The real argument is about what an actually free market will look like, not the form of “Capitalism” we’re all used to.

Vince Daliessio August 22, 2006 at 8:14 am

Nathan has a point – it is unclear whether a. anarchist opposes “State Capitalism” (our current system) or mere capitalism. If it is the former, his post could be reconsidered in that light, however if the latter (as I suspect) then it would be interesting to see his definition of anarchism.

An anarch1st August 22, 2006 at 5:50 pm

Actually I posted some brief remarks about capitalism, why anarchism must be socialism, and where you guys could read more about socialist anarchist views, but Mr. Tucker apparently felt it was too dangerous to appear and so removed it. :)

Paul Edwards August 22, 2006 at 8:20 pm

Nathan and Vince,

“It depends on the definition of Capitalism you’re using – a lot of you seem to be falling into the trap of arguing against a straw man, although not deliberately, it just derives from asserting a particular view of what Capitalism is. In terms of the libertarian left, “anti-Capitalism” means opposition to state intervention on the behalf of capitalists.”

Perhaps that is what the an-soc would have you believe. However, I doubt this is actually the case. If it were, a little effort at reasoning would bring them to the realization that it is only socialism that provides the framework for and enables state-capitalism, or what they like to call capitalism for short, to exist. In fact state-capitalism is simply a form of socialism.

Without socialism, which is to say without the state, there can be no state-capitalism. The anarcho-socialism they advocate implies either a Marxist flavor of socialism with the ownership of the means of production completely socialized (requiring a state), or else exactly that which they claim to denounce: state-capitalism, otherwise known as conservative socialism or fascism (also requiring a state). Either way, their views are packed with inner contradictions and absurdities.

It is of great comfort to them that they know they can cause confusion through the use of the muddied word “capitalism”. But there is no doubt; they like socialism and implicitly the state, and they dislike free market capitalism.

“The real argument is about what an actually free market will look like, not the form of “Capitalism” we’re all used to.”

No, I don’t think so. They are advocates of socialism and not for no reason. Therefore, they cannot be advocates of free markets and the Austrian version of capitalism. If they were, then they would simply be anarcho-capitalists like the ones you find on mises.org. Outside of that there is only contradictions compounded by absurdities in anarchy.

Greg August 22, 2006 at 10:18 pm

Paul> Without socialism, which is to say without the state, there can be no state-capitalism.
Basically…yes. Socialism cannot exist without a state. “State-capitalism” is oxymoronic if one knows what the words mean.
Paul> It is of great comfort to them that they know they can cause confusion through the use of the muddied word “capitalism”.
I liked the Our Poisoned Language chapter of Hayek’s Fatal Conceit. The best thing a politician/statist can do is to change what a word means if they don’t like it as-is.
Paul> Outside of that there is only contradictions compounded by absurdities in [socialist] anarchy.
Exactly

Yumi Kim August 23, 2006 at 10:59 am

Actually 60+ hours in Asia isn’t much. I know plenty of people who work 14 hrs a day, 7 days a week in Asia.

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