A not so edge case for the pro-state faction to solve
Posted by aogMonday, 29 March 2010 at 12:12 TrackBack Ping URL

One common tactic when arguing against free markets is to point out some unpleasant edge case and ask “how do you fix that?”. Therefore I think it quite reasonable to flip it back the other way and ask the Appartchiki what is to be done about the problems with state employee unions.

The situation is quite different private sector unions, which can’t pay off corporate officers for favorable terms. State employee unions, however, can and do intervene in the election process. What does this get for the unions? Massive payouts that are starting to bankrupt entire cities and states.

Working conditions and pay are also booming in the state sector. I agree that this creation of “two Americas”, one private and one of the state, with the latter serving as the aristocracy built on the former as serfs, is one of the biggest issues in the USA. Beyond that, such unions frequently oppose any reforms that would improve results which makes the spending even more inefficient.

Of course, we have to keep in mind that modern unions are run for the benefit of the union leaders, not the rank and file1 2 3. It’s probably a big part of why they are increasingly unpopular (see here and here) even among potential union members — except in the state sector.

The free market solution is to reduce the state sector, making this much less of a problem and allows citizens to pay attention to a greater part of the state’s activity. What solution is on the table from those who favor state intervention, other then tax increases without limit (although, really, once you get to 100%, you’ll have a bit of a problem).


1 During the health care nationalization debate, US Representative Stephen Lynch (D-Mass) stated he was opposed to the legislation because of the additional tax on union health care plans. Lynch is taking a position that protects union workers from getting slammed by the new excise tax. Do union bosses cheer Lynch for his stand? No — they’re threatening him instead. Who do the union bosses really represent these days?

2 The dismal state of union pensions which has been good for the leadership, perhaps not so good for rank and file expecting to draw them.

3 Union leaders’ support for President Obama which is not paying off so well.

Comments — Formatting by Textile
Bret Monday, 29 March 2010 at 16:55

…once you get to 100%, you’ll have a bit of a problem…

No, once you get to 100%, you’ve won!

Hey Skipper Thursday, 01 April 2010 at 12:58

Some things are so obvious it is amazing they need stating at all.

Fortunately, for awhile anyway, most people are not in public shakedown unions.

That is going to make a mark somewhere.

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