With cannabis legal in Canada and 19 American States, today is a day to celebrate cannabis labour and its contribution to the industry.
Of course, a government workers’ strike has drained cannabis shelves in British Columbia. And this workers’ strike came at the expense of workers in the private sector.
But surely, we can put all our differences aside and unite as workers of the world against our imperial capitalist masters… right?
Cannabis Labour Day: Myths and Facts
Everything we know about Labour Day is wrong. And so, Cannabis Labour Day should reflect the reality of the situation.
According to the standard account, everything we have is thanks to labour unions. Five-day work weeks, 8-hour days, health and safety in the workplace, lunch breaks, sunshine and rainbows, etc.
If it weren’t for the wise stewardship of government bureaucrats and labour union thugs, our children would be working the coal mines for 50 cents an hour, 80 hours a week!
Of course, this is entirely false, with not even a remote connection to reality.
Not surprising then, that those who sprout this pro-labour union nonsense are typically the type to fly a hammer and sickle unironically and deny the genocides of Mao’s China or Stalin’s USSR.
What are the facts?
Cannabis Labour Day: A Little History
Before the economic reformations in the 1920s and 30s (in response to the Russian Revolution), freedom of contract and association were essential principles in civilized life.
Labourers were free to accept or reject any offer of compensation an employer might provide. Likewise, an employer was free to accept or reject any bids made by labourers.
No one was allowed to prevent labourers from exercising their right to work.
So if a group of labourers decided to strike, they couldn’t interfere with suppliers making deliveries. Nor could they intimidate consumers or prevent them from shopping.
Contrary to the ideology that this was the dark ages, labourers were free to strike and picket. But they weren’t free to violate the rights of others – including the private property of the employer.
This also meant that if labourers were willing to work for a wage less than the striking labourers were clamouring for, the employer was free to hire them.
After all, if people are willing to do your job for less, then perhaps your job isn’t as important as you think it is.
This classical liberal approach to labour began to fade after the 1920s, and certainly by the 1930s with the Norris-La Guardia Act and the Sherman Antitrust Act.
These acts essentially legalized labour union thug tactics. Future Supreme Court decisions made clear the consequences of these acts.
Governments would protect labour unions against violent activities that, if anyone else committed them outside the context of a labour strike, would face criminal charges.
Later, workers were (and still are) forced to pay union dues with bills like the Wagner Act. The individual freedom to not join a union disappeared.
You can find the true history of labour day online. Tom Wood’s Politically Incorrect Guide to American History is a good starting point.
But what about the modern day? The propaganda around Labour Day has reached the point of absurdity.
Cannabis Labour Day: Growing Cannabis With or Without Workers
Cannabis Labour Day? No, thank you. What about Cannabis Capital Day?
If you could quit working but still have everything paid for, would you do it?
Would you take up a full-time hobby instead of toiling away in an office, retail store, or warehouse?
Most people would. Which gets us to the entire point of labour: it’s a means to an end.
In that sense, we should rename Labour Day to Capital Day since it is the capital accumulation responsible for our standard of living.
Consider if someone covered all your essential needs. So the only labour you needed was tending your cannabis plants.
Now, consider you have two options: grow cannabis by yourself with some tools (i.e. capital) or do it all by hand, with the help of two or three others.
Of course, those two or three workers will expect a portion of your cannabis. And why not? They helped grow it.
But how much do they deserve? You provided the property on which the plant grows. You provided the seeds, soil, and water. And you provided the plant food.
And the workers are guaranteed a certain percentage no matter how poorly the plant yields. The workers aren’t risking anything. Not even their time since their wages are guaranteed.
On the other hand, as the cannabis plant capitalist, you have to risk your capital before you can yield a result. And there’s no guarantee you’ll produce the cannabis buds you were hoping for.
Especially if your workers go on strike halfway through the process and union laws prevent you from hiring replacement employees.
Why Capital Matters
On this Cannabis Labour Day, let’s propose a plan.
Let’s evacuate New York City, completely demolish it, then rebuild it using only workers and no tools or capital.
Think of all the jobs!
Of course, nothing new gets added to the economy. We’re using more resources to rebuild what was already there.
But listen to the economic illiterate “Labour is responsible for the weekend!” crowd, and nothing strange is happening here.
The idea of opportunity cost, or trade-offs, is lost on them.
We have shorter work days, weekends, and no child labour. But this isn’t because of labour unions. It’s due to capitalism.
We’ve reached a point as a society where we’ve become so rich (through capital accumulation and entrepreneurial innovation) that we don’t have to work as much. Our children can get an education instead of labouring to make ends meet.
(Setting aside the fact that 100+ years of government money-printing has reduced our standard of living. And that government education has dumbed down the population).
Rising wages don’t mean squat if the wage earners’ material conditions aren’t increasing either.
Wages are higher in the Western world because the capital invested per worker is greater. You become richer when your country doesn’t punish saving and capital accumulation.
Consider the child labour ban in Bangladesh. (Also, FYI, the source, linked below, is a left-wing newspaper.)
The reason children work in Bangladesh is due to poverty. Everyone in the family has to work to put food on the table. The solution is savings and capital accumulation, so the people of Bangladesh can rise out of poverty.
What did Bangladesh do? They passed a law banning child labour.
The material conditions of these families haven’t improved. But now, employers are punished for hiring children.
So what do these children do for work now? Prostitution.
Cannabis Capital Day
It’s Cannabis Labour Day 2022. Over thirty years since the break up of the USSR and since China opened its society to markets instead of central planning.
Anyone who willfully ignores “right-wing” economists like Thomas Sowell and satisfies with bias with economists like Richard Wolff needs a wake-up call.
They’re promoting flat earth theories when every shred of evidence tells us the earth is round.
Unfortunately, until these people become capitalists themselves, they’ll never understand what makes an economy grow. And given that many are ideologically opposed to capitalism, we’re dealing with morons here.
Should we lead by example? What did the great and wise overlord, Justin Trudeau, say? When someone disagrees with your views, instead of trying to persuade them or understand their point of view, label them racist and misogynist.
Ask yourself, “do we tolerate these people?”