Tag: Contract

Employment Contracts versus the Covenant at Sinai

Here’s an excellent piece about how Amazon requires even its temporary employees to sign non-compete clauses that last a year and a half after their employment ends. The piece got me thinking a bit about employment contracts versus the┬ácovenant at Sinai (it’s Passover time). There are a lot of problems with contracts with employers, which Chris Bertram, Alex Gourevitch, and I explored in our “Let It Bleed” post at Crooked Timber three years ago. Among them are the imbalance of power between the two contracting parties and the fact that no employment contract can spell out all the terms of employment; there are just too many unknowns, both known and unknown, at the workplace. Interestingly, the covenant at Sinai, the […]

Not Even a Bourgeois Freedom: Freedom of Contract in John Roberts’s America

Ever since the 19th century, one of the points of convergence between the free-market right and the socialist left has been that the most important freedom under capitalism is the freedom of contract. Whatever its other problems, the market is the one sphere where the rights of man obtain. As Marx put it in Volume 1 of Capital: This sphere [of the market] that we are deserting, within whose boundaries the sale and purchase of labour-power goes on, is in fact a very Eden of the innate rights of man. There alone rule Freedom, Equality, Property and Bentham. Freedom, because both buyer and seller of a commodity, say of labour-power, are constrained only by their own free will. They contract […]