Sweet, sweet justice
Stephen Green explains why he is not fond of unions, and why this story about the ALF-CIO splitting up fills him with glee. Read the whole thing. My belief on unions is pretty basic. I think that they should be allowed. I don't think that they should be mandated though, or that the government should EVER get involved with negotiations between an employer and it's employees (other than enforcing contracts and basic labor laws.) The duty of the government is to keep either side from employeeing violence. As long as the unions don't beat up the managers (or even more likely those employees who do not wish to be in a union) and as long as the company doesn't beat up the union members they should be free to negotiate with one another as best they can. I will go so far as to say that the government can legitimately prevent an employer from firing someone for attempting to form a union. Beyond that though, the government should be neutral in who 'wins' any negotiations. The government certainly has no business promoting union workers over non-union workers. Obviously this is a bit more muddled when the government is also the employer, obviously politics plays a huge role in that situation, something I am willing to live with. I think that a good portion of the troubles that unions are facing is a result of overreach on their part. Rather than working to ensure that they have the right to collectively bargain, they instead tried to politically gain a monopoly on labor. In some cases this failed, and they were discredited by this failure. More damaging though was when this tactic succeeded. Having a monopoly on labor changed their negotiating practices and methods. To a large degree, the political arena, rather than the marketplace, became the fundamental focus for labor negotiations. Just like the Soviet Union discovered, political arenas make a very poor substitute for the market in determining fair values. As a result, labor has largely killed the golden goose that supported it. It is my belief, that if unions had remained focused on bargaining with employers, rather than controling the negotiations through politics, we would have a stronger economy, and stronger unions today. That would have been a good thing.