Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Why the Writers’ Strike Is Like Corrections Sentencing

And justice matters quite a bit in strikes, which often turn more on questions of fairness than on strict economics. Fairness doesn’t matter much in conventional economics, which assumes that, if you and I can make a deal leaving us both better off, we’ll make it. But, in the real world, if the deal seems unfair to me I may very well reject it, even if doing so leaves me worse off. . . . Readiness to pay a price in order to enforce an idea of what is right is part of what keeps sides from settling: writers accept the loss of paychecks because they believe they deserve a cut of the revenue from their work, and producers accept the loss of business because they believe that TV shows and movies are their property. The paychecks and the profit-and-loss statements may indicate that the writers and the producers should be able to resolve their dispute quickly. But in labor relations the bottom line isn’t always the bottom line.

And in corrections sentencing.

No comments: