Big labor is quite adept at using the coercive power of government combined with specious arguments to obtain power and money. One aspect of that is the “free rider” argument that union spokesmen often trot out whenever workers say they don’t want to be forced to pay dues (or fees, if they decline formal membership). In this Townhall piece, non-union teacher Larry Sand refutes that argument.

To his case, I would only add that the very premise of the “free rider” argument is flawed. The assumption that all of the workers in a union are better off because of its activities is very questionable. Many workers would actually fare better negotiating on their own (those that are the most productive) because collective agreements tend to level out earnings. Moreover, much of the union’s expense will be in defending incompetent and dishonest workers. That’s especially true in teaching, where unions have made it amazingly hard to fire bad teachers.