Friday, October 8, 2010

Public Sector Unions are a Bad Idea

I happen to agree with that idea, but someone had the same idea long ago. Would you believe that it was FDR who expressed that sentiment? I had a hard time believing that the first time I read it. Mr. Entitlement, Mr. Big Government Programs himself said that?

It's true. Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby recently wrote a very long, very good piece about how our public sector (specifically state and federal) unions are helping to ruin our economy and instill mistrust in government generally among the citizens of this country.

From the article:
There was a time when even pro-labor Democrats objected to public-sector unionism. "The process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service," President Franklin D. Roosevelt wrote in 1937 to the head of the National Federation of Federal Employees. In the private sector, organized employees and the employer meet across the bargaining table as (theoretical) equals. But in the public sector, said FDR, "the employer is the whole people, who speak by means of laws enacted by their representatives in Congress." Allowing public-employee unions to engage in collective bargaining would mean opening the door to the manipulation of government policy by a privileged private interest.

If you want to better understand the evolution of public sector unions and why they are not beneficial to the efficient operation of state and federal governments, this article is essential.


Malinda said...

I won't tell Reatha that you are talking trash about FDR. :)

Cami said...

I haven't read the article (I will), but I totally agree. I have experience (albeit limited) with one federal employees' union, and I am continually dumbfounded by the waste and extra expense that is pretty much enforced by their collective bargaining.