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Saturday, February 11, 2017

Lamenting Common Sense

Suppose you worked for a company that had union representation for its workers but you didn't want to be in the union.  Do you think it fair that you would be forced by law to pay union dues anyway?  That used to be the law in the majority of states.  Supposedly, the non-members were paying for the cost of the union negotiating their contracts with the employer.  At least this was the justification used by the Democrat majorities in the legislatures that passed these laws.  Of course, studies showed that only a very small part of the union dues went to the cost of contract negotiations.  A very much bigger part went to political contributions and lobbying. That means that non-members of the unions were supporting the political activities undertaken by the unions in support, usually, of the Democrat party.  The reality is that the closed shop laws that required the payment of union dues by all workers was actually a way for the Democrats to funnel workers' contributions right into their party's treasury.

In recent years, there has been a move away from this old requirement as state after state has passed right to work laws.  A majority of the states now have such laws which have been put in place as the Republicans have taken control of state governments.  Interestingly enough, studies have shown that states with right to work laws grow their economies more quickly than the remainder of the states.

The New York Times is out with an article today lamenting this change as an "attack on unions".  Of course, this is wrong.  The right to work laws are the removal of a coercive measure that Democrats put in place to milk cash out of the pockets of the workers and into the party.  It's the loss of campaign cash that really worries the Times, not any problem for the unions.

The Times is also upset with laws that various states have passed which no longer require union workers to be used on state construction projects.  That change brings down the cost of these projects substantially, thereby saving the people of the state a great deal of money.  Similarly, the Times is upset with laws that have specified that items like health benefits and pension plans will be set by the state for public employees rather than having them as items to be negotiated in contracts.  Basically, this change allows small towns and school districts to avoid having to use insurers or pension plans that funnel cash into the union at the expense of the workers.

All of these changes are common sense measures designed to give the workers more freedom and to save the people of the state large amounts of money.  The only ones who lose by the change are the Democrats who set up these money-laundering schemes in the first place.  That, in fact, is why the Times doesn't like these changes.

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