John Jay Myers via facebook:
There was a time for unions, there is even a time for some unions today. I don’t agree with what unions have become, for the most part today they are a complete disaster. There are few things out there that can so damage an economy like an over zealous union with deep political connections.
When I ran for City Council a couple of years back, the issue was that the Mayor of Dallas, Tom Leppert (currently running as a Republican for U.S. Senate) decided that the main thing the City of Dallas needed was to build a hotel, one that the city would own. As a libertarian this struck the wrong chord with me on so many levels, one being the fact that the Mayor was formerly the CEO of Turner Construction, a company that builds……. (wait for it) hotels.
During the campaign, we found an unlikely ally, the local union. They say that the enemy of my enemy is my friend. I tend to disagree with “they”. The union was working hard to help pass a proposition that would ensure that any time over $1 million dollars was to be spent by the city on a commercial venture, that all you need to do was collect 500 signatures for that issue placed on the ballot for debate. Previously the council would just spend the million dollars on the commercial venture.
From a libertarian perspective this was a great thing. From a corrupt city council point of view this was a bad thing, it would appear the gig is up. But you wonder “Why do the unions want this?” The unions want this because they are completely ready to collect 500 signatures. They would use their ability to easily collect 500 signatures as a way of holding this over the heads of the City Council, basically saying “If you are going to get your cut….we want ours.” If the city council caved to their demands, then we would end up with not only a million dollar boondoggle, but one with out of control wages and pensions. If the City Council doesn’t cave to the unions’ demands, then they don’t get their “cut”… so to speak.
Nevertheless, I voted with the Unions. The proposition failed.
My point, though, is that unions no longer serve their original purpose of allowing people to “collectively bargain.” No one has a “fundamental right to collectively bargain” through government, that is known as force, and in some cases fraud.
I have mentioned before in a different article that it seems we fail to see the forest through the trees. An article written by a friend of mine, Tom Knapp, reminded me of that while talking about this same subject.
The problem is that our government is going way beyond the role that our founders had envisioned…. and we have allowed it.
We have two sides pitted against each other, each trying for scraps off the table, when we should realize that the problem is that we should be the ones sitting at the table. Our government has no business in business, and we need to privatize and localize as many functions as possible as quickly as possible. In the private sector when you run your business into the ground you go out of business. When the government runs their business into the ground we all pay the price, through taxes, inflation, and debt.
Those who are now poised to protest loudest do not care about you, or the effects down the road. They care about their own self interest. There is nothing wrong with looking out for your own self interest except when you effect mine as a result. Which is the end result of having government involved in business and unions.