Open thread Nov. 23, 2015 Dan Crawford | November 24, 2015 5:23 am Tags: open thread Comments (5) | Digg Facebook Twitter |
Milton Friedman said (in 1980) that unions added 14% wages for their members but reduced wages 4% for everybody else. He might have added that unions raise the wages of employees in similar non-unionized firms by threat of expanding unionization — which of course results in even more employees squeezing everybody else.
Going by Uncle Milty, we need no unions or all unions (he didn’t say that himself :-]). The latter effect can be achieved by centralized bargaining — practiced in such “inefficient” economies as Germany (which manufactures eight times as many motor vehicles per capita as we do [sounds like the opposite of WWII]) — and practiced all over the world from French Canada to Argentina to Indonesia.
But, first things first. Get the country organized by a spreading ink blot (now it sounds like Vietnam) of free to collectively bargain states. Bernie never mentions unions. Why is it that upper middle class progressives lose sight of the main counterweight, the average person’s power mainspring: labor unions?
What are we prepared to do?
How about an all out effort to make union busting a felony? Not only is unfairly strangling the labor market the most humanly damaging species of market warping — firing those who want to collectively bargain is the most pernicious way of achieving the most pernicious.
When you sneak a recording in the movie house or collude on Wall Street the doing is not harmful — only the result.
Criminalizing union busting can be done state by state — starting with the most progressive of course. It being a simple matter of freedom, once folks in an old fashioned union Hell state see the freedom in a nearby state (last poll I saw said 50% wanted to join a union) they may wake up and demand the same non-loaded against them market for themselves.
I would like to add a thanks comment in remembrance of my late old friend Jack Maschhoff who assisted Walter and Victor Reuther in organizing the UAW from the very beginning. What we are really talking about is the American labor movement and the mechanisms use to balance power and abuses. The greater the powers and abuses the greater the need more the need to counter balance with unions and collective bargaining…I’m glad to see companies like Wal-Mart and Mc Donald’s are being targeted for the $15/hr. pay raise because they have been depriving labor it’s fair share for many years…The tide of labors fair share is about to be raised soon as labor has finally woke up and the pendulum may have began to swing the other way…IMHO.
Happy Thanksgiving and I hope you are spending it with family and friends. Nice shout out.
Thank you Run for your fine comment and hope the same for every American to be able to form a household and family is an extremely important aspect of life and to our great American tradition… I would also like to give special thanks to all the many fine contributors at AB for letting me give my .02 cents.