Friday, March 04, 2011

Aggressively neutral on the Wisconsin walk-out

A few people have asked me what I think about the Wisconsin collective bargaining rights walk-out, so I'll just tell the world my thoughts on the matter here.

Unions cause monopoly pricing in a market. What this means is they cause a "deadweight loss" - the union gains less of a benefit than the buyers (governments in this case) lose; the market loses overall efficiency. The exception is when there is only one entity buying all the labor - although this is true for some government positions, most (police, firefighters, teachers, etc) can work for a nearby town instead.

But when it comes to labor, there are other considerations besides pure efficiency in one market. If labor prices drop too low, people who can't support their families will simply turn to crime, or take dangerous risks to solve immediate problems. Put simply, poverty has a cost too. Efficiency in the labor market isn't always worth it overall.

EVERYONE, not just union members, deserves a life free of poverty, but unions are not the best way to do it. Governments can subsidize food, shelter, health care, etc, and provide it more efficiently through taxes (land taxes for example have no deadweight loss) than unions can.

So here's why I'm aggressively neutral. The proposed union-busting legislation does nothing to address how union members will be worse off afterwards. No raise to the minimum wage, no health care reform, no improvements to the working environment. It was entirely possible for the Republicans to propose something that helps literally everyone but they did not. They know better, too, but the tea party will not accept any socialism whatsoever, even if it merely guarantees what union members already have in a less disruptive way.

This is why we can't have nice things, people.

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Blogger John Washburn said...

Justin, I disagree. Busting collective bargaining is necessary because collective bargaining breeds corruption. Even FDR opposed collective bargaining rights for public workers.

Think about it, the union bargains with the politicians for wages and benefits. The wages and benefits they receive are paid in part back to the union in the form of union dues, who then take that money and use it to support and elect politicians that will give them more wages and better benefits. And ALL of it is funded by the taxpayer who has no seat at the bargaining table. It's no better than organized crime.

Collective bargaining in the private sector is fine, but not for public workers. It's too corrupt.

And no one is talking about taking away benefits. We're asking these people to contribute a small amount to their retirement and health care plans, like all other Americans do.

10:02 PM, April 16, 2011  
Blogger Justin said...

Do you believe that union members will be better or worse off (in terms of wages and benefits) after they lose collective bargaining rights?

1:51 PM, April 17, 2011  
Blogger عبده العمراوى said...

شركة امست للتنظيف بالقطيف

10:29 AM, October 30, 2017  
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