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The biggest myth about labor unions is that unions are for the workers. Unions are for unions, just as corporations are for corporations and politicians are for politicians.
Nothing shows the utter cynicism of the unions and the politicians who do their bidding like the so-called "Employee Free Choice Act" that the Obama administration tried to push through Congress. Employees' free choice as to whether or not to join a union is precisely what that legislation would destroy.
The actions of union mobs in Wisconsin, Ohio and elsewhere give us a free home demonstration of how little they respect the rights of those who disagree with them and how much they rely on harassment and threats to get what they want.
It takes world-class chutzpah to call circumventing secret ballots the "Employee Free Choice Act." To unions, workers are just the raw material used to create union power, just as iron ore is the raw material used by U.S. Steel and bauxite is the raw material used by the Aluminum Company of America.
The most fundamental fact about labor unions is that they do not create any wealth. They are one of a growing number of institutions which specialize in siphoning off wealth created by others, whether those others are businesses or the taxpayers.
There are limits to how long unions can siphon off money from businesses, without facing serious economic repercussions.
The most famous labor union leader, the legendary John L. Lewis, head of the United Mine Workers from 1920 to 1960, secured rising wages and job benefits for the coal miners, far beyond what they could have gotten out of a free market based on supply and demand.
But there is no free lunch.
An economist at the University of Chicago called John L. Lewis "the world's greatest oil salesman." His strikes that interrupted the supply of coal, as well as the resulting wage increases that raised its price, caused many individuals and businesses to switch from using coal to using oil, leading to reduced employment of coal miners. The higher wage rates also led coal companies to replace many miners with machines.
The net result was a huge decline in employment in the coal mining industry, leaving many mining towns virtually ghost towns by the 1960s. There is no free lunch.
While oil could replace coal, while U.S. Steel dropped from number one in the world to number ten, and Toyota could replace General Motors as the world's leading producer of cars, government is a monopoly. Nobody is likely to replace the federal or state bureaucracies, no matter how much money the unions drain from the taxpayers.
That is why government unions continue to thrive while private sector unions decline. Taxpayers provide their free lunch.
Originally posted by sbc650mike
I love being in a union. I get paid very well, i pay 5$ to see the doctor and dentist and optometrist. I get 13,000$/year contributed to my pension, my schooling was paid for, I got a bachelors degree, but unions are bad. hahaha. If we weren't union, our supervisors/administrators would just use us like 2$ whores and get rid of us after. I pay $95/month in union dues, and I write it off my taxes. My union will provide me with free legal representation if needed (not if I murder someone though). We have our own dues paying members audit the unions' books constantly. I see the non-union contractors come in once in a while and they get treated SO #ty, because they have no ground to stand on. Not everything is picture perfect, but I would much much much rather be in a union than not