Saturday, January 19, 2013

Public Unions Should Be Banned: Even FDR Agreed

Public unions for all employees, including office workers, teachers, firemen and police---at the federal, state and local government level----should be banned.  Why?  Because, when the Unions naturally act for the benefit of their members, this almost by definition works mostly against the public interest!  And remember, every penny more that the government pays for services, either from direct or contract employees compared to the private sector, is a form of extortion of taxpayers.  Make no mistake about it.

For example, teacher unions are doing harm to our nation's educational system.  Bad teachers can't be removed, education reforms including pay for performance can never be enacted and real accountability is not achievable  It's insane that firemen, in some municipalities as in the recently bankrupt city of Stockton, get $45,000 per year and another $20,000 per annum in benefits when many firefighters in the country are VOLUNTEERS!

Municipality and even State finances are already under strain from over-generous pension promises that can't be negotiated away.  Municipal bankruptcies will continue to increase since promised benefits can not be paid.  Bankruptcy filings are required to break public union contracts as these unions refuse to give up their generous benefits.  But what can not be paid, will not be paid.

In Federal, State and Local contracts, it is important that no preference should be given to union shop contractors as it is now.  Union labor is just too expensive. Public infrastructure projects already are vastly too expensive and take decades to complete!

Federal salaries and especially benefits are already too high compared to similar jobs in the public sector. It used to be that government salaries were lower because of higher benefits, but salaries and benefits both are now higher than the private sector.  Every penny more that the government pays for services performed, compared to the costs in the private sector, is a form of extorting that money from taxpayers.

None other than the most socialist president in US History, Franklin Delano Roosevelt agrees with me and said in 1937 (hat tip to Mish at Globaleconomicsanalysis):

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.
Particularly, I want to emphasize my conviction that militant tactics have no place in the functions of any organization of Government employees.
A strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to prevent or obstruct the operations of Government until their demands are satisfied. Such action, looking toward the paralysis of Government by those who have sworn to support it, is unthinkable and intolerable.
Get rid of public unions! Outlaw them!  Don't be afraid for government employees or contractors to the government.  Government employers must compete with the private sector in salaries and benefits in every case, so there are checks and balances.  The best protection for all workers is a robust economy with plenty of jobs available.  Unions have done their fair share to chase away jobs to Japan, China, Mexico and Korea.

No comments: