Article by Ben Doolin on June 13, 2016
It’s a subject that gets people on both sides into heated debates, I’m not a fan.
I do absolutely accept freedom of association, which means individuals are free to associate with whomever they choose, to organize and to even select a leader for themselves. It’s fine for that ‘leader’ to advocate or negotiate for the benefit of the group. It’s also fine for that group to decide to go on strike.
What’s not ok, is for individuals or groups of individuals to initiate violence against an employer… for any reason. That is to say it’s fine to go on strike, but at that point, the employer is fine to replace the workers and to use as much force as is necessary to remove workers from his property.
I do understand that unions in The US were created in response to the use of power by corporations. While that is a legitimate point, it does not justify crime. What it does justify is the use of force against the initiator of force (i.e. self defense)… the initiator being government.
The State creates barriers to competition which create near or complete monopolies and protect executives from prosecution for crimes they commit. In exchange for the monopoly, corporations pay ‘protection money’ (i.e. taxes).
The monopolies create excess labor, there are currently over 100 million working age adults in the US, ‘not in the labor force’. A record low labor participation rate going back to when women first entered the work force.
Corporations over the last few years… have also reaped record profits which they ‘share’ with politicians through taxation and bribes (campaign contributions).
So, workers (who vote and have far greater numbers than corporations) elect Democrat politicians that promise ‘handouts’ to labor unions… enabling them to shut down corporations if they don’t get ‘their cut’ of the criminally earned ‘profits’.
This back and forth use of criminal violence is bad for everyone involved (except politicians). It’s bad for businesses in the long run because it means they can be lazy, making huge profits with no innovation. Long term… it also destroys the economy. I predict that in the next 3 years 20% of the publicly traded corporations will be in bankruptcy and it’s almost all due to the circumstances they lobbied and paid for.
It’s bad for workers long term, because they are able to force their companies to pay more in wages than they generate. That puts the company out of business. There are only 6% of private sector jobs left in the US that are unionized and those are almost all with companies that have the strongest monopoly protections… like aircraft manufacture.
It’s bad for both workers and management because violence is the primary tool for both sides. So, conflict in unionized businesses can be extreme… and happen on a daily basis. Every tiny dispute sees escalating violence with murder in the eyes of individuals on both sides.
The worst instance of unionization, are the Public Sector Unions. From the beginning, even Democrat Presidents understood that public sector workers should not be allowed to unionize.
The problems include those above but they are worse and there are additional problems. The biggest problem with Public Sector Unions is there is NO motivation to control costs. In the private sector, the corporations understand that even with monopoly protections… an inability to control costs will bankrupt the company. Public sector unions are a criminal conspiracy between politicians and union bosses to rape the general public. Both sides benefit from rising costs. Politicians get votes and bribes, union bosses are allowed to skim the earnings of all their workers, much of that going to huge salaries for the Bosses and those political bribes.
Again, this is a horrible arrangement for everyone… except for politicians and union bosses.
Across the country, cities are being forced into bankruptcy… and public sector unions are the reason. For decades, politicians have made lavish promises to unions for future benefits like health care and pensions in retirement. They do that because they understand that they won’t have to keep the promises in the future (they’ll be out of office by then) but get the benefits (votes and bribes) today.
So, those union workers that kept pushing for more and more (very often while already making double what the same job pays in the private sector… and with benefits not available to anyone in the private sector) are now retiring… pushing cities into bankruptcy. The result is massive cuts to benefits… or as I expect to see in the near future… simple cancellations. The pension funds were allowed (by politicians) to use gigantic investment return estimates which means smaller annual contributions are necessary. Since ‘those returns’ didn’t happen, many pensions near empty. Add to that predictions by investment analysts for a 50%+ drop in the stock market and huge numbers of pension funds will be completely wiped out. Many, many more cities will be forced into bankruptcy where those pensions will be drastically cut… worse, some cities may not be allowed bankruptcy protection which means those pension funds will just go insolvent… leaving pensioners with nothing.
It’s horrible for the general public as the ‘cost of government’ goes up every year… and because ‘job security’ has been promised and written into the contracts, government workers effectively can’t be fired’. So the quality of product and service continues to get worse. Basic services, like police protection in Detroit, are almost non-existent… but are still massively expensive.
In the end, it’s only politicians that come out ahead, after plundering cities for all they’re worth… leaving death, destruction and a smouldering crater where the city used to be.