Monday, February 28, 2011

What Public Unions Won't Tell You

I'll be the first that I don't agree with everything the Heritage Foundation has to say, particularly when it comes to foreign policy or certain social issues.  After all, they're conservative, I'm libertarian.  There are bound to be differences.  However, when it comes to economic issues, conservatives and liberatarians are much more apt to find common ground, which would extend to the current debate regarding unions.  I just came across a sound primer from the Heritage Foundation regarding the issue.  Just a few things from the Heritage Foundation that have bearing on the argument at hand:
  • In the private sector, you're barganing over limited profits.  In the public sector, you're debating over taxpayer dollars. 
  • The public sector unions win above-average salaries for public workers and give them enough benefits to retire at an earlier age.
  • There are 28 states in the Union that do not have right-to-work laws.  That means in 28 states, union dues are compulsory for the given profession.  If unions are so great, then unions have nothing to fear from passing right-to-work laws.  However, if many workers decided to pull out, this would have a detrimental effect on the budgets of unions. Money is power, and less money means less affluence in political affairs.
  • If Walker's agenda included getting rid of unions, why would he include right-to-work provisions in his budget bill?  What comes off as union busting is more likely the reaction of how it is to have your back against the wall due to the continuous trend of the decline of unions in America. 
  • Collective bargaining creates a de facto monopoly.  Monopolies are bad because they create discincentives to compete, and thus innovate.  Although this merits further elaboration, a lack of elaboration and a system that protects deadbeats who are in it solely for the financial benefits is a particularly bad tool to implement for the education of our children.
  • As this wonderful chart below indicates, 52% of union workers are in the public sector, thereby making this less an issue of worker's rights, which it never was to begin with, and more about dealing with another symptom of Big Government:

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