Some criticize wage slavery on strictly contractual grounds, e.g. David Ellerman and Carole Pateman, arguing that the employment contract is a legal fiction in that it treats human beings juridically as mere tools or inputs by abdicating responsibility and self-determination, which the critics argue are inalienable. As Ellerman points out, "he employee is legally transformed from being a co-responsible partner to being only an input supplier sharing no legal responsibility for either the input liabilities or the produced outputs of the employer’s business." Such contracts are inherently invalid "since the person remain a de facto fully capacitated adult person with only the contractual role of a non-person . . ." as it is impossible to physically transfer self-determination. As Pateman argues:
"The contractarian argument is unassailable all the time it is accepted that abilities can ‘acquire’ an external relation to an individual, and can be treated as if they were property. To treat abilities in this manner is also implicitly to accept that the ‘exchange’ between employer and worker is like any other exchange of material property . . . The answer to the question of how property in the person can be contracted out is that no such procedure is possible. Labour power, capacities or services, cannot be separated from the person of the worker like pieces of property."
In a modern liberal-capitalist society, the employment contract is enforced while the enslavement contract is not; the former being considered valid because of its consensual/non-coercive nature, and the later being considered inherently invalid, consensual or not. The noted economist Paul Samuelson described this discrepancy.
"Since slavery was abolished, human earning power is forbidden by law to be capitalized. A man is not even free to sell himself; he must rent himself at a wage."
Some advocates of laissez-faire capitalism, among them philosopher Robert Nozick, address this inconsistency in modern societies, arguing that a consistently libertarian society would allow and regard as valid consensual/non-coercive enslavement contracts, rejecting the notion of inalienable rights.
"The comparable question about an individual is whether a free system will allow him to sell himself into slavery. I believe that it would."
Others like Murray Rothbard allow for the possibility of debt slavery, asserting that a lifetime labour contract can be broken so long as the slave pays appropriate damages:
"f A has agreed to work for life for B in exchange for 10,000 grams of gold, he will have to return the proportionate amount of property if he terminates the arrangement and ceases to work."
Other articles related to "contract, employment, employment contract, contracts, employment contracts":
... In Canadian law, absent a written contract which addresses how to end the employment relationship, the law implies into the employment relationship a term that it will not be ended without "reasonabl ... particular case, having regard to the character of the employment, the length of the service of the servant, the age of the servant and the availability of similar employment, having regard to the ... An employer is entitled to dismiss an employee according to the terms of the employment contract ...
... The measure would reduce or eliminate trading government contracts for campaign contributions ... a website be made available so that anyone can search through and review state contracts ... Among these claims is that this law applies to employment contracts and individual employees ...
... In contracts of employment, essential terms can include not just pay and a basic job description (the work-wage bargain) but also to specifics on holidays, a notice period in ... obligation to inform employees of the conditions applicable to the contract of employment relationship ... applies hereinafter referred to as the "employee", of the essential aspects of the contract or employment relationship" All countries in the European Union are required to "translate ...
... An “employment premium” was introduced in 2002, similar to tax credits in the UK and US, providing a state subsidy to low-wage earners ... home-tutoring programme, the introduction of local education and citizenship education contracts, Various measures were introduced to enhance facilities and benefits for people with disabilities ... Improvements in the handicapped employment service, COTOREP, were carried out, while measures were introduced to upgrade handicapped access to public transport together with all types of buildings used ...
Famous quotes containing the words contracts and/or employment:
“Bankers, nepotists, contracts and talkies: on four fingers one may count the leeches which have sucked a young and vigorous industry into paresis.”
—Dalton Trumbo (19051976)
“As long as learning is connected with earning, as long as certain jobs can only be reached through exams, so long must we take this examination system seriously. If another ladder to employment was contrived, much so-called education would disappear, and no one would be a penny the stupider.”
—E.M. (Edward Morgan)