Now Destroying Unions is the Same as Reforming Government

Years ago folks that stood against unions always had that one obstacle of “private” concerns in the way of urging people away from unionism. But today, with most unions being tied directly to government, now fighting unions is an act of beneficial government reform.

Once upon a time, the biggest hurdle for those arguing against unionism was the simple truth–and it was a truth–that unions and businesses were private concerns and if the two entities agreed to co-exist, who was an anti-union activist to say anything against the arrangement?

This is a simple, logical question that always made anti-union activists look like meddling outsiders. And the truth is, no matter how right they were that unionism is a bad idea for everyone, they were meddlers!

But today we have a far different situation for those who stand against unions. Since 1959 when unions were first allowed to organize government workers unions have slowly encroached into nearly every aspect of government causing spending to soar, bloating pensions beyond belief, and destroying the efficiency of government.

But one benefit of this horrid state of affairs is that now the anti-unionists have become government reformers! Standing against unions now is no longer an outsider’s meddling. It is now common sense government reform to agitate for the end of unions because nearly every union out there now has a direct tie to government. Getting rid of unions is officially an act of reform!

As the Associated Press recently reported, “Roughly 1-in-3 public sector workers is a union member, compared with about 1-in-15 for the private sector workforce, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Overall, 11.3 percent of wage and salary workers in the United States are unionized, down from a peak of 35 percent during the mid-1950s in the strong post-World War II recovery.”

Membership in unions has fallen. In 1983 20.1 percent of the American workforce was unionized encompassing 17.7 million workers–this is a drop from the peak of 35 percent of the workforce in the 1950s. Today only 11.3 percent is unionized (14.5 million workers). And most of those are government workers. At this point 35.3 percent of unionized workers work for government while only 6.7 percent of union members work in the private sector.

The fight against unions is turning against the unions, too. “A 2013 Gallup poll showed that 54 percent of Americans said they approved of labor unions, down from the all-time high of 75 percent in both 1953 and 1957″ AP reported.

On nearly every front, though, unions are finding their supremacy threatened. The recent Supreme Court ruling knocking down the forced unionization of in-home healthcare workers was a blow to unions and in states like Wisconsin unions have seen their power diminished by budget conscious legislatures.

So, be proud union fighters. You have advanced from merely being right about how bad unions are economically but being somewhat powerless to do anything about it to being true government reformers by advocating the end of unionism in government.

Raise your anti-union banner and charge onward, you true American reformer. Fight those unions and make all our lives better!

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  • Hank_M

    Excellent writeup WTH.
    I’m personally looking forward to seeing the end of all govt unions, especially the teachers unions. They all have far too much influence on enacting legislation that serves their own interests at the expense of those they claim to serve.

  • Brucehenry

    Pardon me, but if 35.3% of union workers work for government, and 6.7% work in the private sector, who do the other 58% of union workers work for?

    • yetanotherjohn

      I believe the correct reading of the statistics is 35.3% of government workers are in a union and 6.7% of private sector workers are in a union. You can check Bureau Labor Statistics for the underlying source data.

      • Brucehenry

        Just messing with him a little.

        • warnertoddhuston

          It should be 100% not in a union, anyway. Unionism is inherently un-American.

          • Brucehenry

            Yeah you’re probably right. The fact that 35% of the workforce was in a union when the country was widely sharing its prosperity is probably coincidental. Lol.

          • warnertoddhuston

            No, it’s a remnant of the communist movement that enveloped the world starting in 1900. Only the US didn’t go as far down that rabbit hole as the rest of the world. Our prosperity was IN SPITE of unions. Well, that and the rest of the world almost destroyed itself with its communism/socialism and we became rich rebuilding them.

          • jim_m

            Yes. When the country was prosperous we could afford parasitic unions skimming off off everyone else. Now that the economy is down we can’t afford it and neither can union members afford the dues. Unions have decayed to the point that they are stealing money from the disabled. Half a century ago there was a purpose for unions. Now everything they do is codified into the law. We don’t need them and most people don’t want them.

            Oh waiy, you were claiming that the unions that drove the cost of labor up so high that virtually all manufacturing left the continent, we’re actually what was ma king the country prosperous. Clue phone: unions sell labor, not products. Manufacturers turn labor into products. Unions didn’t make the country prosperous, workers did. Unions just freeloaded off of the workers and the manufacturers. For the last 40-50 years they have given America nothing. Funny that we still have workers and we even have manufacturing again, just not anywhere there are unions.

            Unions are death to jobs and death to prosperity. If you want an example of what unions bring take a drive through Detroit.

          • warnertoddhuston

            Of course, if unions were such a boon why did we HAVE a downturn at all?

          • Brucehenry

            Human nature. People forget what got ‘em where they are and imagine that they got there by dint solely of their own hard work. Similar to what libertarians believe, lol.

            When enough people had abandoned unions and started taking for granted the protections that union membership had brought them, it was easier for the perpetrators of piss-on-’em economics to dismantle the rest. Hence the share of the pie by the working and middle classes steadily shrinking since 1980 and the share of the richest growing exponentially.

            Jim and his “now everything is codified into law” schtick. Who does he think fought to GET those things codified into law? Who will make sure those laws aren’t repealed or modified beyond recognition now that unions are so weak? The fucking GOP? The getalong Democrats who must now suck banker dick to get campaign contributions? Don’t make me laugh.

            EDIT: The above isn’t meant as some kind of complete comprehensive learned analysis of income inequality in the US. It’s just a blog comment. Relax.

          • jim_m

            So you did not read my comment where I said that the unions once fulfilled a purpose? Or are you just being dishonest? Again.

            The laws will not be repealed because it isn’t just legislation but a great deal of administrative law. Apparently, you are too ignorant about workplace law to have a productive discussion on the subject.

          • jim_m

            Show us where a single OSHA or EEOC rule that was created by union influence has been rolled back. You’re talking bs.

          • Brucehenry

            Or Germany lol.

          • jim_m

            European unions are materially different than US unions. Significantly, they do not consider themselves to be the enemy of management. Nor so they consider working with management to improve performance a betrayal of the workers.

            If you don’t know this then you ought not to comment.

          • Brucehenry

            US unions could definitely learn from their German counterparts. US management could learn a thing or two from the Germans as well, as could government.

            http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/economy/news/2012/06/26/11796/germanys-lessons-for-a-strong-economy/

            My bet is none of the above will learn a fucking thing.

          • jim_m

            Being that 2 of the 3 (unions and the government bureaucracy) are dominated by the far left I would say that you are guaranteed to be correct 2/3 of the time.

    • warnertoddhuston

      The rest are not in a union at all.

  • Par4Course

    Unfortunately, today unions exist primarily for the benefit of union leadership, which is why most workers, when given a choice, choose not to belong. Most workers understand that their advancement depends primarily on their own personal, individual efforts and not on the work of unions.

  • yetanotherjohn

    Even a far left socialist can recognize that public government unions have a significant problem at their core.

    FDR “All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. It has its distinct and insurmountable limitations when applied to public personnel management. The very nature and purposes of Government make it impossible for administrative officials to represent fully or to bind the employer in mutual discussions with Government employee organizations. The employer is the whole people, who speak by means of laws enacted by their representatives in Congress. Accordingly, administrative officials and employees alike are governed and guided, and in many instances restricted, by laws which establish policies, procedures, or rules in personnel matters.”

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