As we’ve pointed out the only reason to have a law banning something is that we’re rather sure that people would like it. If it wouldn’t happen anyway in the absence of the law then we don’t need the law, do we?
Equally, if there’s something beneficial to the participants then we don’t need a law in favour of it. Entirely true that we’ve got to be careful about third party effects in both cases but, just as an example, if putting workers on the board makes capitalists richer then we don’t need a law insisting that capitalists put workers on the board, do we?
Putting workers on company boards could improve corporate decision-making by bringing new views to the table, according to Andy Haldane, the Bank of England’s chief economist.
He did not endorse any specific proposal, but his comments come just days after Jeremy Corbyn said that under Labour’s proposals one-third of board seats would be reserved for workers.
“We know that plural and diverse boards tend to perform better than non-plural, no-diverse boards. That has been established I think pretty clearly empirically. [Workers] bring diversity of experience and background,” Mr Haldane said, speaking to an audience at the Institute for Government.
We do, after all, agree that capitalists are greedy - hmm, no, properly aware of their own economic self-interest. So, if they make more money by having co-determination with the workforce then that’s what they will do. It might even be that they need to be advised of this method of gaining more lucre, as Andy Haldane is doing here.
But quite obviously that also means that we don’t need a law insisting upon it. For the capitalists, if it really does make them richer, will do it as soon as advised of it. And if it doesn’t in fact make them and us richer through greater efficiency then we don’t want it done anyway, do we?
A law insisting upon worker boards is thus either superfluous or damaging - your choice - and thus contra-indicated. Whatever the merits of that co-determination, we still don’t want a law upon it.