J.R. Hoeft’s post on unions was, if you ask me (and what do you mean you didn’t?), not his best work.
The comments on public sector unionism were nothing short of a repudiation of the efforts of Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin to bring government spending under control by freeing local budgets from the straight-jacket of union collective bargaining:
For one, in the public sector, most of the unionized labor is police, fire fighters, park employees, janitors, etc. Not people making policy behind desks. How are these workers protected when government is quick to cut spending?
First of all, government – *especially* local government – is hardly *ever* ‘quick to cut spending.’ To imply otherwise is to ignore recent American history.
It gets even worse.
Unions also balance the naturally monopolistic behavior of business – or government. Republicans, in the mold of Teddy Roosevelt, should welcome that balance.
So now the bureaucrats are supposed to protect us from our elected officials? That argument essentially turns democracy on its head. A different Roosevelt (Franklin) understood that; it was why he never approved of public sector unions (TR, in an era where patronage was still the norm, would likely have laughed the idea out of the room).
The comments on private-sector unions aren’t nearly as bad, but when it comes to the businesses that employ their members, things go off the rails again.
Second, in the private sector, the natural trend of business is to increase profits. We have seen in our past that this can have dramatic and negative consequences for the worker.
Excuse me? Workers looking to maximize their income is OK, but business owners doing it is not? How is that anything but a grotesquely offensive double standard against businesses and their stockholders (many of whom are – gulp! – union pension funds)?
I can understand the desire to leave no potential voter unpursued, but organized labor – especially public-sector labor – did this to themselves. Whether it’s clinking classes with the Communist Chinese “union” (as SEIU chiefs did about a decade ago), or threatening to overturn democracy in San Jose and San Diego, 21st Century organized labor is not showing contempt for the Republican Party as much as contempt for the Republic itself.
Cross-posted to Bearing Drift