Collective-bargaining rights are at the center of a national debate about the role of unions. With the Wisconsin budget facing a $3.6 billion deficit, layoffs may be necessary if the state can’t end collective-bargaining rights for public-sector unions.
Union Role Diminishes in Time
The federal government gave unions collective-bargaining rights in the early 20th century, when workers were in danger of being exploited by firms with monopoly power.
But since then, working conditions have improved. Not only are workers more educated. They’re also more mobile and connected through social media, giving them hope for greater flexibility in the job market.
Collective Bargaining Defined by Experts
Describing how Barack Obama is controlled by America’s largest union body, the AFL-CIO, The Economist explained the price of collective bargaining in public and private sectors.
In the short term, collective bargaining can raise wages. But if unions demand above-market pay and impose cumbersome work rules, unionized firms will gradually lose market share to non-unionized competitors…Within an industry, firms with no unions (or less aggressive ones) tend to displace unionized ones. Capital moves to places where unions are weaker, and job-seekers follow it. Stephen Walters of Loyola University finds that American cities with above-median unionization rates have grown poorer and less populous.
Case against Barack Obama’s Bosses
In addition to Barack Obama taxing Americans through union influence, striking teachers in Wisconsin are showing more ways collective bargaining restricts the delivery of essential public goods — like education.
The nation is already suffering through a prolonged housing slump and high unemployment, all because of incompetent economic policy from Barack Obama. Americans don’t need Obama’s union bosses making them any less flexible.
Volunteer for Free Labor
But Americans also have reason to be optimistic, with an opportunity in 2012 to elect a volunteer for the Oval Office who understands such essentials about the economy.
John O. McGinnis and Max Schanzenbach, “The Case against Public Sector Unions,” Policy Review, August & September 2010.