Friday, June 15, 2012
Public and Private Unions
I Want a New Left has a point, once you get past the bad math. (Hint: What's 50% of the public plus 25% of the public? The answer is not 75%.)
If Big Government is the solution to Big Industry, why exactly do we need government unions to begin with? If government is just another Big Thug, what does it bring to the table? Beyond this argument, however...
Government unions and private unions aren't identical. They aren't even similar.
An agency agreement in a private company is a guarantee that all employees of a company belong to the union, generally justified by supporters under the claim that all employees benefit from the union's activities.
An agency agreement in a government is a different matter altogether. It's a guarantee that every low-level person you interact with, in an official capacity, is supporting their union. Every police officer, every firefighter, every court clerk you pay your property taxes to.
Agency agreements in private companies are sort of like requiring everybody who works for the Catholic Church is a Catholic - it makes some kind of sense, even if I disagree with it.
Imagine if every entry-level job in the government requires you to pay dues to the Catholic Church.
Unions aren't churches, yes, I agree. But religion is after all a form of philosophy. Unions are -also- based on a philosophy. Such arrangements implicitly require every single member of government to contribute to that philosophy. Non-Catholics aren't going to want to pay dues to the Catholic Church, aren't going to want to support something they disagree with - such arrangements stacking the deck against non-Catholics by requiring them to pay dues to the Catholic Church.
Is a police force dominated by Catholics is going to be fair and balanced when it comes to religious activities?
Is a political system dominated by union members is going to be fair and balanced when it comes to union activities?