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Larry Hirsch

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Why Bloomberg's Free Market Talk Rings False

Posted: 05/ 2/2012 2:42 pm

In vetoing the Prevailing Wage Bill and threatening to veto the Living Wage Bill, Mayor Bloomberg has called the bills ways that government will interfere with the free market. This is something he says should not be allowed. In fact, he has gone so far as to liken the legislation to what would be proposed by communists. But a close look at these bills show they interfere very little in a truly free market.

Both of the bills only apply to projects that receive a significant amount of government assistance. Businesses competing in a free market should not need government assistance. By providing the assistance, government is already interfering in a free market. A truly free market business would not want any government assistance. However, we all know that many of these businesses that preach the godliness of the free market are only too happy to get contracts and other assistance from the government. They like that type of interference.

The bottom line is that government assistance comes with a number of rules. Whether it is for reporting, procurement, accounting, equal rights or many other purposes, part of the contract any business makes with the government is to abide by the rules. Many rules are added that reflect the priorities of whichever legislature covers the body of government providing the money. For the New York City Council, one of its priorities is that people get paid a decent wage to live in this most expensive of cities. Therefore, they are requiring that businesses that get large contracts or other assistance from the city pay their workers this decent livable wage. So in return for getting a lot of money, businesses will have to pay their workers a little more. Not a bad deal.

This being a free market, businesses can choose not to receive government assistance. However if they accept the government market interference they like, they will have to play by the rules of social justice the council has passed. It is the right thing to do, so workers that work in New York can afford to live there. Mayor Bloomberg needs to get off the free market kick because as long as government is providing funding, it does not truly exist.

 
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