PUBLIC SECTOR UNIONS – A MENACE TO SOCIETY
by Dr. Lawrence Wilson
© October 2013, L.D. Wilson Consultants, Inc.
All information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.
The United States of America has unfunded financial liabilities in the form of pensions of about 70 trillion dollars or more. This serious problem is due mainly to one factor – the presence of public sector unions. These are unions whose members are government workers. They include such groups as firefighters, teachers, police, government bureaucrats, government scientists and many others who work for various government agencies.
These types of unions were previously illegal in the United States. However, changes in the labor laws during the mid-twentieth century changed it all.
THE PROBLEMS WITH PUBLIC SECTOR UNIONS
Public sector unions are a bad idea for the nation for many reasons. Unions are supposed to protect workers against nasty, selfish companies who do not want to treat their workers fairly. The union negotiates with company management to come to some agreement about wages, benefits and perhaps other work-related issues.
However, in the case of public sector unions, there is no tough management to negotiate with. There are only state and federal legislatures and other bureaucratic people in charge of setting the salaries and benefits of government workers of all kinds. Government workers are not abused, and in fact local, state and federal government agencies have no incentive to mistreat and abuse their workers at all.
As a result, the government does not oppose the demands of the unions much at all. The unions have arranged for all sorts of fantastic salaries and benefits. This is no exaggeration. The average government worker today earns about twice what private sector employees earn in the same field when benefits are figured into the total wage package. This is so far out of balance it is ridiculous.
In addition to costing the taxpayers far too much money for government services, public sector unions almost always oppose innovation and change in the workplace. This harms everyone, except perhaps the union workers. It causes the schools, the post office and hundreds of other services to be far below the standards they would be were more innovation permitted.
Union contracts also often prevent the firing of union workers who are less competent, and who would be fired if they were in a private sector job. One may say that this type of job security is good, but really it is not. It protects and rewards incompetence, and so incompetence runs rampant through our government workers, as a result. It is worse in some areas than in others, but in general it is horrible for the nation.
Another problem with public sector unions is they force all government workers to give a significant amount of money each year to the union in dues, which is then used to lobby the legislators and others to increase the union’s benefits. Any legislator who does not go along with this scheme is often booted out of office by the union, which has millions or even billions of dollars of forced dues money to spend influencing elections. This amounts to pure corruption of the political process. The unions strongly favor the Democratic Party in America, and this is the more corrupt political party for this reason.
Overall, public sector unions are not needed, as government workers are hardly ‘abused’ and taken advantage of today. In fact, the opposite is the case. Even the very socialist president, Franklin D. Roosevelt, when he was in office in the 1930s, declared that America must not allow public sector unions to exist. His warning was ignored and America and other nations are now paying the price. Please wake up, America, as you are fast becoming totally and hopelessly bankrupt, in large part due to the actions of the public sector unions.