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Monday, August 22, 2011
PUBLIC UNIONS AND PRIVATE UNIONS -- THERE IS A DIFFERENCE
Public unions spend the taxpayers' money.
Private union members work for contractors who must mak a profit. No profit, no job.
Maureen Martin helps explain this situation for us.
SOMEWHAT REASONABLE -- The Evils of Class Warfare --Maureen Martin -- 8/21/2011
That comment is what prompted Sean’s telephone call. He wanted to know how could I favor trade unions but not public unions. I said, Sean, you say you’re an electrician, an unusually skilled one. A private employer would value your services and be motivated to pay you enough money to keep you from quitting and getting a job down the street from his competitor. But if he pays you too much, he will have to raise his prices and he’ll go out of business. Then you won’t have a job, and you don’t want that. So there are these limits on both sides built into the union negotiation process. Sean agreed.
But that’s not true for public employee unions, I said. Politicians negotiate these contracts using other peoples’ money – the taxpayers’ money. Government has no competition, so it can always raise “prices” – that is, taxes. And the politicians know if they give the union employees large raises, some of that money will come back to them in the form of campaign contributions. So there is no incentive for either side to limit their demands.
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