Sunday, July 03, 2011

Public Sector Unions: the Two-Fer

There are two objectives which any public-sector union must accomplish.

Private unionism operates as a labor cartel within the market economy and thus affects the profitability of firms, economic growth, the supply of labor, and consumer prices. Public sector unions function as a monopoly provider of labor within a bureaucratic-political realm. Public sector unionism introduces an unelected body into policy-making, thereby undermining the sovereignty of the state. Public sector employees are able to influence through political lobbying of their ―employer-sponsors or politicians, who may seek to enhance union employment as a means of expanding their constituency.

...Public-sector unions, however, manage to secure higher wages through employer negotiations and manage to increase the demand for their labor through the political, legislative, and regulatory processes

The first objective is enhanced compensation and "conditions" for their membership.

The second, far more insidious and devastating in the long run, is "expanding the constituency."

One example of "expanding" is the creation of the federal Department of Education. That Department usurps State prerogatives and duties and has now taken over--completely--funding of higher education through its monopoly on college loans. (The incest-relationship of "loans" vs. "tuition" is another story altogether.)

But there are innumerable other examples. In most places, there are both "building" inspectors AND "fire" inspectors, for example. There's no reason that those functions cannot be combined, relieving "fire" inspectors for actual fire-work--unless we assume that "building" inspectors are so damned stupid that they can't figure out what might be a "fire" hazard.

And the Firefighters' Union washes the hands of its IBEW brethren; you note that formerly-red emergency exit signs are now green? Who changed the signs?

HT: Bayou

1 comment:

James Pawlak said...

I worked (In both line and supervisory positions) for Wisconsin's Department of Corrections before and after unionization. I did not see any improvement in the quality of line workers OR of supervision-and-administration after unions came into being.
I also noted that politics (From both parties) became more-and-more a policy mutating practice over those years doing nothing useful for either the good of the clients or the protection of the public.
The worse factor was the infliction of hyper-legalization of those processes (ie Revocation of probation/parole) which would otherwise serve the public interest.