The Locker Room

More on public sector unions

Posted by George Leef at 07:54 AM

For decades, public sector unions have been happily exploiting their position, working to elect favorable candidates who will give them more, then spending some of the resulting loot to re-elect their political friends and run PR campaigns to demonize those who think that the taxpayers are being bilked for little or no benefit. The current fiscal crises in states like California and Illinois and the efforts of Governor Walker to keep Wisconsin from going over the financial cliff has focused attention on the unions and their tactics.

In this article Professor Thomas DiLorenzo gives readers a clear explanation of the political economy of public sector unions. These two paragraphs capture the essence of his critique:

Every government-employee union is a political machine that lobbies relentlessly for higher taxes, increased government spending, more featherbedding, and more pension promises – while demonizing hesitant taxpayers as uncaring enemies of children, the elderly, and the poor (who are purportedly "served" by the government bureaucrats the unions represent).

It is the old socialist trick that Frédéric Bastiat wrote about in his famous essay, The Law: The unions view advocates of school privatization, not as legitimate critics of a failed system, but as haters of children. And the unions treat critics of the welfare state, not as persons concerned with the destruction of the work ethic and of the family that has been caused by the welfare state, but as enemies of the poor.

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