Statist Claim:
Employment is a type of slavery.


Statist: "OMG, wage slavery!"



The term "wage slavery" is an anti-concept, as Rand would put it. A job is a transaction between a buyer and a seller. If the transaction is made voluntarily - an agreement is made to exchange labor for a consideration, usually money called a "wage" - then it cannot possibly be slavery, because slavery is involuntary servitude.

What makes someone an anarchist is opposition to imposed rulers, not to chosen leaders. To forcefully interfere with someone's choice to follow someone else, for pay or not, is "archy;" you are forcefully (trying to) rule them.

As well, just because a person wants a billion dollars an hour and has to settle for ten doesn't negate the fact that their choice to "settle" for an offer that is actually available is voluntary. You have a right to persuade them not to take the deal; you have a right to pay them, from your own or donated funds, more to make up the perceived loss; but never the right to force the payer (employer) to pay more than agreed to (or to take a cut of the deal).

Sometimes, it is suggested that a person working somewhere is being "robbed" because they are not paid as much as some third party would like, or even as much as their product would eventually be sold for (labor theory of value fallacy). Such errors ignore the fact that the employee can only be there and work on the owner's property with his tools after an agreement to trade labor for money; otherwise, the worker is trespassing and, absent agreement, any work he did was freely donated.

Aggressing against property owners, damaging their property, or trespassing violates the NonAggressionPrinciple. On the other hand, wage labor and private property are voluntary arrangements and so cannot violate the Non Aggression Principle.

An error that is also made is that if an employer does not hire someone, or does not pay them enough to do X (including: survive, feed their family, buy a car, take vacations—sometimes this is encapsulated in the vague term "living wage", meaning, "wage I want to force you to pay them"), then they are aggressing. But to make a voluntary exchange and do no harm can never be aggression. Even if a person suffers harm from "nature"—starves or becomes sick due to insufficient resources—this cannot be blamed on some third party's non-action (and if it could, it would have to be blamed on all of them, a fact which also works as an effective reductio). (DBR)

The employee profits by being paid with no cost except his time and labor. He had to save nothing, invest nothing, build nothing. In exchange for using someone else's building, tooling or other equipment, clientele, and suppliers, all he has to do is work and get paid. He exploits the "evil capitalist" at least as much as the "evil capitalist" exploits him. The worker can leave with at most a 2-week notice, and need not concern himself with finding someone to replace himself on the crew or otherwise attend to the business for one nanosecond longer than he wishes. (LT)

Other costs such as advertising, sales, marketing, quality control, plant costs, plant maintenance, electricity, state extortion, time value of money (as alluded to just above), and so forth must also be paid from the sale price, and are necessary to generate the sales and hence revenue that comes in. (DBR)

See also: Voluntaryism.