The trade union racket 2

We are opposed to all forms and uses of collectivism, including collective bargaining. We are against trade unions as such, and most emphatically against unions of public employees.

Matthew Vadum is of the same opinion, as he explains in this article at Front Page:

Bloated, rapacious, violent public employee unions indifferent to the suffering and social decay to which they contribute have been eating Wisconsin and other states alive for decades.

They’re not giving up their elite status without a massive fight and they don’t care if they take the whole nation down with them into the abyss. …

The backlash against … the unions’ legalized thuggery continues to build. Wisconsinites want their elected officials to balance the books, but the spendthrift unions won’t allow that to happen. Outraged that they may finally be held to account for their many abuses, participants in the labor movement are … using the seductive language of rights to defend the fat cat government worker unions.

Of course, rights have nothing to do with this …

[But] this rhetoric, which masks the fact that these rights are actually privileges, has served the grasping racketeers of organized labor well over the years, even though it is predicated on a fraud.

That fraud is known as group “rights.” It is the idea that when a group of people get together they somehow magically gain rights that supersede the rights they hold as individuals. It is a lethal, misanthropic fallacy that negates the very spirit of 1776.

Contrary to the fairy tales told by leftist professors, the idea of group rights was antithetical to the Enlightenment-era thinking of the Framers. They understood that a collective right is not a right at all … They would never have wanted to extinguish the right of individual workers to walk away from union-negotiated contracts. The Constitution mandated the most exquisite protection of individual rights and treated the right to enter into a contract, in particular, as sacrosanct.

But this all-American reverence for individual rights gave way to pressure over time. As organized labor became increasingly violent and troublesome, eventually, lawmakers grew weary of the unrest fomented by radical agitators. Worn-down, shell-shocked politicians purchased so-called labor peace by selling out the U.S. Constitution. How exactly did they betray it? They ignored the fact that America’s great national charter protects the right of individuals to freely associate with others. At the same time, it does not protect any purported group rights.

Legislatures across the country have also gone out of their way to exempt labor unions from antitrust laws, which is one of the reasons they run wild today. It was a mistake, and it was compounded exponentially when policymakers decided to let government employees form unions, since public employee unions can never serve the public interest. … Government workers … merely negotiate for more tax money. When government unions strike, they strike against taxpayers.

Public employee unions, which are always willing to collude with politicians against the common good, inexorably lead the jurisdictions they infest to fiscal ruin and discontent. Look across America. Look at strike-crazed Europe where socialism has never secured labor peace. …

A community organizer and labor agitator is in the White House sending DNC-approved goon squads to Wisconsin to reinforce the dirty hippies and labor activists threatening Republican lawmakers with violence. …

The labor movement is in complete and utter denial, unable to see the freight train of fiscal reality barreling down the tracks toward it, and there’s something really beautiful about that. …

The great Thomas Sowell writes at Townhall on the same subject, and makes the same case:

The most fundamental fact about labor unions is that they do not create any wealth. They are one of a growing number of institutions which specialize in siphoning off wealth created by others, whether those others are businesses or the taxpayers.

There are limits to how long unions can siphon off money from businesses, without facing serious economic repercussions. …

Higher wage rates led coal companies to replace many miners with machines.

The net result was a huge decline in employment in the coal mining industry, leaving many mining towns virtually ghost towns by the 1960s. …

Similar things happened in the unionized steel industry and in the unionized automobile industry. At one time, U.S. Steel was the largest steel producer in the world and General Motors the largest automobile manufacturer. No more. Their unions were riding high in their heyday, but they too discovered that there is no free lunch, as their members lost jobs by the hundreds of thousands.

Workers have … over the years, increasingly voted against being represented by unions in secret ballot elections.

One set of workers, however, remained largely immune to such repercussions. These are government workers represented by public sector unions.

While oil could replace coal, while U.S. Steel dropped from number one in the world to number ten, and Toyota could replace General Motors as the world’s leading producer of cars, government is a monopoly. Nobody is likely to replace the federal or state bureaucracies, no matter how much money the unions drain from the taxpayers.

That is why government unions continue to thrive while private sector unions decline. Taxpayers provide their free lunch.