The PJ Tatler

Obama's man on the NLRB supports 'restraining the free flow of capital'

The Daily Caller digs up some of Craig Becker’s law schools writings that, as Jazz Shaw remarks, sounds like it could have come straight from Marx.

Old law review articles obtained by The Daily Caller that were authored by Becker further inflame the already heated debate. “The right to engage in concerted activity that is enshrined in the Wagner Act – even when construed in strictly contractual terms – implicitly entails legal restraint of the freedom of capital,” he wrote in the January 1987 edition of the Harvard Law Review. “What threatens to eviscerate labor’s collective legal rights, therefore, is less the common law principle of individual liberty than the mobility of capital, which courts have held immune from popular control.”

What Becker is saying in all that is fairly obvious: “Popular control,” i.e. government, should restrain the “mobility of capital,” i.e. industry’s ability to move from one locale or state to another, or order to preserve union power that cannot survive on its own. This is an end around state right to work laws. One could argue in return that this is just Becker in law school years ago, but the Boeing case points strongly toward Becker not only maintaining this belief today, but using his position on the National Labor Relations Board to put it into effect. That case centers on Boeing’s choice to establish a new plant in South Carolina to take advantage of a favorable economic climate there, and the NLRB has ruled Boeing cannot do that — even though Boeing’s action is entirely legal.