Free to Prosper: Labor and Employment
Increases in productivity, not artificial increases in labor prices, are the key to economic growth and rising wages. For most of its history, America has enjoyed strong economic growth, thanks to the flourishing of dynamic and flexible labor markets. Individuals and businesses in the United States have benefited greatly from the freedom to adapt to changing market conditions.
The old adversarial master–servant model of labor relations has little to offer the 21st-century workforce, which is characterized by horizontal corporate structures, significant job mobility, and instant, constant communications. However, obsolete New Deal–era labor laws and regulations have yet to adapt to a changing economy. Congress needs to revisit the whole of U.S. labor law—including the roles of the two key federal labor regulators, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the Department of Labor (DOL)—to free up the creative energies of the American labor force.
In this chapter:
- Reform the Fair Labor Standards Act
- Harmonize the Definition of Employee across Government
- Reform the Worker Classification Process
- Give Employers and Employees Greater Choice over Compensation
- Reform the National Labor Relations Act and the National Labor Relations Board
- Clarify the Definition of Joint Employment
- Enable Voluntary Union Membership
- End Government-Subsidized Union Activity