“The Weekend: Brought to You by Labor Unions,” reads the bumper sticker.
I see. So all that those Third World countries need to escape poverty and enjoy additional leisure is…some labor unions?
Until society grows wealthy enough, all the labor unions in the world can’t make it possible to take two days a week off from work.
That’s why people worked long hours in terrible conditions in the past (and why they do in the Third World today). Not because short men with white mustaches and a monocle took delight in oppressing them.
What emancipated people from these dehumanizing conditions was capital goods. With workers vastly more productive than before, thanks to the assistance of machines, physical output was multiplied in quantity and quality many, many times over. This greater abundance put downward pressure on prices relative to wage rates, and people’s standard of living rose.