How Unions are Ruining America

by Daniel Brown in Work, May 30, 2010

A union is a group of workers.  Their purpose is to try to gain rights  for the workers by teaming up.  Of  course, this sounds like a worthy cause.  More money for hard working families is a good thing.   Stop!  I do not want to downplay people who work extra hours, scraping  together every penny just to feed their children.  Hard workers are  admirable, but I believe that unions are not.

First of all, I would like to point out America’s most important feature:  liberty.  Liberty means a lot.  It means citizens can do what they see  fit, provided they retain the rights of others.  Liberty means you can  believe what you want, say what you want, and most importantly: do what you  want.  The economy of America is also [supposedly, I feel compelled to add]  a free market.  This means that  people can buy and sell as they please.  It means you can employ or be  employed as you please.  Wait, liberty and a free market gives people the  right to employ as they please?  It gives people the right to work for  whoever they please?  Then how come America forces people in certain  professions to join a union?  If a worker is willing to work, and an  employer is willing to employ, what can stop them from making a contract?   The government can, of course!

So there you have it.  The government removes a significant amount of  freedom by this single requirement.  It is not right to force  someone to join a union.  The only thing the government can force people to  do for no reason is pay taxes.   Anything else the government forces us to do is conditional.  Many people  think we are forced to buy car insurance,  but we are not.  We only have to get car insurance if we choose to own a car and operate it on the  government’s roads.  The government does have that right, because we  use their roads.  That’s fair enough, but the same concept does not apply  in employment.  The government is not working for us when we get hired (as  they are when they maintain public roads) so why do they feel they can  interfere?  They can’t.

This is just the beginning.  The government has no right to endorse  unions, but what is wrong with the unions themselves?  Lots.  First of  all, why do they feel they can demand higher wages?  (Unions also fight for  other benefits, but they all have the same effect in that they cost the employer  more.)  This is greedy.  Almost always, the union’s main goal is to  achieve higher wages and more benefits for less work.  Greed, greed,  greed.  Although these things are pleasing, there is no need for  them.  Many union members believe that they cannot survive without these  things, because goods are expensive, and they have to have food, and a house and  whatnot.  But imagine workers actually worked hard, instead of complaining,  and asking for more money.  Then, the  company would have more money (because they didn’t have to raise their  wages) and more workers (because the worker kept working, and didn’t  strike).  So now, the employer gains a lot.  They have more profit, so  they can lower prices.

A worker might complain though that the company is the greedy one.  Just  because they have more money doesn’t mean  they will lower prices.  They will keep them high to increase their profits  even more.  But this is impossible.  Remember that worker?  The  one who kept working, even with low wages?  He now has less money, so he  can’t buy the product.  The company then has no one to sell to unless they  lower their prices.  But since the wages remained low, and the worker kept  working, they are able to.  They have to, and they can.

You see?  In a truly and fully free market, a natural balance will always occur.  Now this  example is just with one worker and one company, but it would be  widespread.  If everyone worked for whatever wages they could, prices would  easily fall to accommodate less money.  So unions claim they are making  things better.  They claim they are helping people, but they only make  things infinitely more difficult.  Unions, instead of letting each person agree on what is acceptable, they force  everyone to fight for what is unacceptable and unnecessary.

So the existence of unions is plainly pointless, but they don’t just  exist.  Unions also do things.  Often they strike.   Striking is awful in so many ways.  Since the businesses don’t have  workers, their prices are bound to rise.  How does this help the  workers?  It doesn’t.  They have to pay more for things, which makes  the pay raise they’re fighting for useless.  Strikes hurt both the  companies and the employees, but not only the ones involved.  Strikes also  hurt other businesses and other workers.  If one business  is temporarily out of commission, other businesses will have no one to trade with.  They could not buy from or sell to that  business, so then other businesses are at least hurt, possibly worse.   Their employees are in turn dealt the  same hand.  Their employer goes down so the workers suffer, and it could  potentially start a long chain of business injuries.  Strikes hurt consumers just the same.   Prices rise to compensate for the lack of production, and that’s money out of  the consumer’s pocket.  The consumer might then seek a raise from his own  employer.  There’s another deadly chain.

During a strike, the government also limits the number of other workers that  can be brought in.  That is after all, part of the point of picketing  during a strike: to prevent the company from hiring other workers.  But the  government also plays a part in this action.  There are laws that put limits on hiring during a strike.  This  is a massive violation of rights.  Just as before, if people are willing to  work, and the employer will hire them, then they have every right to act.

So unions are entirely uncalled for.  They are just greedy (or lazy)  people who want more stuff.  They hurt both the parties involved as well as  external groups.  And the government supports them!  This is  just so wrong.  Even if unions really did help things, the government needs  to stay out of it.  The only way an economy will really be free is if this  is the case.  Government intervention throws off the natural balance and  hurts everyone.  This is unacceptable.

This is my stand.  Feel free to challenge me, but you will be  wrong.

Read more here.

H/T Gary Donato

2 thoughts on “How Unions are Ruining America

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