(From Business and Finance)
Free Labour Market Rules OK!
Is it time to dissolve the social partnership arrangement? Studies show freer labour markets deliver better pay, better working conditions and better quality of life, writes Constantin Gurdgiev.
Judging by his statement at the opening of the new social partnership talks, the Taoiseach believes in a bipolar world of economic and social policymaking.
On one side of Mr Ahern's imaginary divide, there are ignoramuses who believe in the theory of freely operating labour markets and oppose the corporatist non-meritocratic, model of wage-setting. On the other side, there are the enlightened policymakers who firmly adhere to the idea of social partnership because "partnership works in practice".
Speaking about his vision for the future of our country, Ahern left no doubt in anyone's mind as to the camp to which he belongs. "I don't want any race to the bottom... I want improved take-home pay and an improved quality of life," he said, fully endorsing the idea that a closed-doors agreement on wages between the State, large corporate interests, the NGOs and the trade unions is the only means for delivering prosperity for all.