Timmy elsewhere

Two more in the 23 things series.

7 thoughts on “Timmy elsewhere”

  1. We live in a converted Victorian mansion block of 8 flats, basically self-managed. Ever since we all moved in we have been a living ultimatum game. I don’t think I’d make much of a businessman because I always seem to be Player 2.

    Anyway, if there is any academic economist, lecturer or teacher reading this who would like a living example for his/her work, I am more than happy to oblige.

    P.S. I really do think there is something in Tim’s idea of taking the game to other societies with different ecomomic conditions. However, my own anecdotal experience tells me that historical/social/religious conditioning is probably a greater factor.

  2. Hmmm. But doesn’t labour tend to move to a higher-value use when someone comes along and offers a better deal – i.e. usually that’s more money?

    If anything I’d have thought higher inflation and stagnant pay at your current employer would make the decision to move easier.

    On a complete tangent, and at risk of being only slightly less controversial here than I would be on the SPD or Labour party websites, why do we still have a general right to strike? If you don’t like your T&C why not get another job? I do appreciate this kind of thing is less negotiable for grunt work and even a lot of semi skilled and skilled work.

  3. James V, equally, why should we not have a general right to strike? It strikes me as a pretty good test of whether the workers are really worth what they think they are. Scargill discovered that miners were not in fact worth what he thought – you could get coal elsewhere.

    The only time I have had significant wage rises, rather than incremental ones, was not because I suddenly became better at my job, but when it would have been extremely inconvenient if I had left at that particular time. I don’t see why t’workers shouldn’t use withdrawal of labour as a threat when they think they have a chance.

    Tim adds: We do all have the right to withdraw our labour at any time. You can leave the office/factory whenever you want. What you don’t have is the right to *strike* at any time. Because with the strike comes certain legal rights: most especially, they can’t fire you and replace you for being on strike.

  4. “Because with the strike comes certain legal rights: most especially, they can’t fire you and replace you for being on strike.”

    Granted and a fair point. But I am hazy as to how absolute that right is (see US air controllers and UK printers and coal miners).

    I think my point is that capitalist bastards (or job creators) use their power to force down wages. No problem. What is so weird about t’workers doing the same to raise wages? In a free market, everyone is free to use whatever leverage they have to get as much cash as they can. Why are t’workers not allowed to use whatever is legally available to them?

    Tim adds: “In a free market, everyone is free to use whatever leverage they have to get as much cash as they can. Why are t’workers not allowed to use whatever is legally available to them?”

    All in favour of it. Only not in legal privilege in doing so.

  5. All in favour of it [t’workers using negotiating power.] Only not in legal privilege in doing so.

    And who decides what is legal privilege rather than legitimate use of market power? T’workers, t’bosses, or T’Worstall?

    I have no answer to my own question.

  6. Surreptitious Evil

    If I don’t turn up for work, my employer can sack me. And could sue me for breach of contract. (Actually, my current employer instead can technically throw throw me in prison for life – but they wouldn’t.)

    Striking clearly gets the privilege of not being sacked. Whether this is a legitimate privilege given the balance of power between employer and employees (and between union and individual employee) is a totally different question as to whether or not it is a privilege.

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