Friday, January 20, 2012

Faith-based Fallacy Mongering

A lump-of-labour fallacy claimant responds to my criticism of the lack of evidence for the assumption that current hours are optimal:
"Of course I don't provide evidence. It is self-evident. Suppose I work for you for 30 hours per week. Suppose you then find out that it would be much more effective to hire 2 people working for 15 hours each instead. Say, because marginal productivity declines very fast. Or because of complementary skills. Or whatever. Either way, what would you do? -You would split the job, of course. Why on earth would you need a government bureaucrat telling you to do you what is good for you? How likely is it that you don't know how to achieve a productivity gain in your business, while some distant bureaucrat does know?"
Evidence? Of course I don't provide evidence. Why on earth would we need evidence? It is self-evident. I don't have to show you any stinkin' evidence!

Sir Sydney J. Chapman: "The reforming employer would run the risk of paying the whole cost of the labor value created by shorter hours and getting little in return; other employers might secure and exhaust the new labor value, and no permanent good would be effected."

Cecil Pigou: "employers also often fail to realise that shorter hours would promote efficiency among their workpeople, and so would redound to their own interest."

J. R. Hicks: "a very modest degree of rationality on the part of employers will thus lead them to reduce hours to the output optimum as soon as Trade Unionism has to be reckoned with at all seriously."

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