What are your guys opinions on laws requiring businesses to cap the number of hours an employee can work per week. Like 40 hours in the US then overtime pay or the 35 hour cap in France. I assume most here are against them, but if we look at the average working week from the laizze faire period in the United States from 1870-1900, it was something like 60-80 hours a week (I can find more exact stastics if anyone is interested).
Some might not think that's horrible, more productivity and all. But I think there's more to life than work and 60-80 hours is pretty brutal. So what is the answer to this, if there is one at all? Would the productivity of that period allowed us to work less even with out labor laws due to increased prosperity, advancement in technology and more efficient production techniques? Was government-corporate collusion to blame for restricting the competition for labor? Was it the corporate form itself which came to prominence around that time? Are some mild labor laws acceptable? What do you guys think?
All labor laws are IMMORAL!!! Labor laws force suppliers of labor, workers, to take all sorts of things that the worker would not want otherwise. For example, an employeer may be forced to provide health insurance when the worker does not want the insurance. The same is true for the buyer of labor. They have to obey a dizzying volume of rules and regulations. Obedience to these rules and regulations means that labor costs are artificially inflated compared to other costs. The end result is that employeers want less labor and workers are forced to take less of what they want, be it liesure time, work flexibility, cash, etc.
The work time caps are particularly bad for workers as workers commonly trade their time for other benefits like cash(overtime) or time off. The time cap forces the workers to stop when these workers could spend extra time to finish their duties. These are also bad for employeers as they do not get deadlines met as easily. Furthermore there is a limit on time for new employees so employeers have a financial incentive to use equipment, forgo business or outsource labor.
The worst of these rules is MINIMUM WAGE. Minimum wage stops the lowest skill workers from competing with higher skill workers on price. It makes equipment cheaper relative to labor. Furthermore, it has weird side effects like removing the cost of racism and sexism: I would hire a minority at a cheaper rate than a person in the majority.