Tuesday, November 8, 2016

The Rights of Merchants

The man who owns an article of trade or commerce is not obliged to sell it for any particular price, nor is the mechanic obliged to labor for any particular price.  He may say that he will not make coarse boots for less than one dollar per pair, but he has no right to say that no other mechanic shall make them for less.  The cloth merchant may say that he will not sell his goods for less than so much per yard, but has no right to say that any other merchant shall not sell for less price.  If one individual does not possess such a right over the conduct of another, no number of individuals can possess such a right.  All combinations therefore to effect such an object are injurious, not only to the individual particularly oppressed, but to the public at large. . . .

New York court, 1835, in summary of their judgment against a union which was fixing prices and not allowing non-union members to be hired. Cited, by Clarence B. Carson, A Basic History of the United States, Vol. 3: The Sections and the Civil War, 1826-1877, pg.61-62

Comment:  According to this judgment, even the government has no right to fix wages, nor do activists have the right to force people to sell products to them.  Isn’t it interesting how the modern activist judges now rule against private rights of the merchants.

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