Thursday, February 25, 2021

The Case against Public Sector Unions

At last count approximately 8% of private sector workers are unionized. Obviously, one of the reasons that companies offshore their jobs is that they would rather not need to deal with unions. Clearly, many factories locate to states where workers are not forced to unionize. At the least, unions do not contribute to economic efficiency.

In fact, most of America’s union members work for federal, state or local government. 

Philip K. Howard explains how labor unions are damaging the country, up to and including the teachers’ unions, who have single-handedly shut down schools, damaged children’s minds and destroyed career opportunities for working mothers. (via Maggie's Farm.)

As it happens, these unions run the Democratic Party, so the fearful leaders of that party, while intoning how much they are supporting women and children, are acquiescing. Even the new administration has fallen prostrate before the teachers’ unions-- important donors that they are. While children’s education is being compromised, something that might well produce lasting damaged, the president’s wife, one Dr. Jill Biden has remained silent. One understands that Dr. Jill is not cognitively impaired, but she is certainly not very bright. Getting a degree in education and teaching at a community college puts you at the bottom of the academic hierarchy.

So, Howard offers an instance where police unions have damaged the nation. Why did it happen that one Derek Chauvin, currently under indictment for murdering George Floyd, had a job?

Howard explains:

But Chauvin should not have been on the job, and he likely would have been terminated or taken off the streets if police supervisors in Minneapolis had the authority to make judgments about unsuitable officers. Chauvin had 18 complaints filed against him and a reputation for being “tightly wound,” not a good trait for someone carrying a loaded gun. 

Why was he on the job?

But police union contracts make it very difficult to terminate officers. Out of 2,600 complaints against police in Minneapolis since 2012, only 12 resulted in any sort of discipline and no officers were terminated. A 2017 report on police abuse nationwide revealed that union contracts make it extremely difficult to remove officers with a repeated history of abuse. 

And then there are the teachers’ unions. Thanks to their contracts it is nearly impossible to dismiss any substandard teacher:

Teachers unions wield similar power. Dismissing a teacher, as one school superintendent told me, is not a process, it’s a career. California ranks near the bottom in school quality but is able to dismiss only two out of 300,000 teachers in a typical year.

These unions have used their power to damage children, to damage working mothers and to damage the American economy. But, they contribute mightily to the Democratic Party, so, they get a pass:

Because of COVID-19, teachers unions have adamantly refused to allow teachers to return to work for a year, harming millions of students. 

Because many parents can’t work if children are not in school, teachers unions are also impeding our ability to reopen the economy.

Non-unionized schools have opened, as have schools in other countries. The CDC says that it’s alright to reopen schools. Yet, the unions would rather go on strike to extort higher salaries. They do not care what happens to children, especially the poor children who cannot participate in remote learning.

Yet most parochial and private schools in the U.S. have reopened, without serious consequences, as have schools in Europe. It is safe to reopen schools, according to the Centers for Disease Control, as long as teachers and students follow certain protocols. Unions now say they’ll put a toe in the water, starting in the Spring, when another school year is almost over.   

It was not always thus:

How did public employee unions turn into public enemies? Until the 1960s, collective bargaining was not lawful in government — it’s hardly in the public interest to give public employees power to negotiate against the public interest.   

As President Franklin Roosevelt put it:  “The process of collective bargaining… cannot be transplanted into the public service…. To prevent or obstruct the operations of Government …. by those who have sworn to support it, is unthinkable and intolerable.” 

It is a small consolation to know that FDR was right.


Sam L. said...

It seems appropriate here to say, Democrat Party Delenda Est!

urbane legend said...

One understands that Dr. Jill is not cognitively impaired, but she is certainly not very bright.

Put me down for both. She married Joe, didn't she?

jfmoris said...

Chavin had the bad luck to be present when Floyd died of an overdose. The restraint method used was authorized by the police department. The problem there had more to do with evil media and .gov actions that maximized the problem largely because they were afraid to anger the blacks/ wanted to benefit politically from rioters.

I think we should have more shootings, not less. There needs to be a risk to being the kind of person who is prone to abuse others, or so hot tempered they cannot turn the other cheek. Women should all carry guns - they are prone to abuse and hot-tempered - we'd soon have a shortage of aholes AND hateful women. Men (especially older men who have little to lose) should be able to clean up their neighborhood by challenging the local scum to a duel. Shooting the local drug lord in a duel would cause less risk to the old guys family - the macho nature of gangsters would give more respect to a dueler

The risk of being called out and the embarrassment of declining would weigh heavy with the sort of people who abuse others. I'd require the use of small caliber (.22) smooth bore, short barrel pistols. The inacurracy and less lethal nature would give both parties more time to chicken out - which would be the best outcome, as far as teaching people to not act like aholes.

I'm kind of a stiff-necked ahole myself, and prone to a lot of legal problems as a teen - including a long stretch in the reformatory, where I acquired a deep dislike of (D)irtbags and their favored no-snitching, no-fighting back against the organized gangs (who lie to protect each other - so the good guy (like Chauvin) gets reamed).

The risks of such arrangements (dueling and armed women) scare me, but It'd be far worse to live in a society of untouchable aholes and helpless victims. The bad part of jail is living with those untouchable types.

The good part is when you teach those aholes to leave you alone. We badly need to do that real soon.