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The Wisdom of Public-Sector Unions?

Here’s a letter to the Washington Post:

Today’s cartoon by Tom Toles depicts alleged terrors that await workers in the wake of the weakening of public-sector labor unions.

Predictions that government will horribly mistreat its own employees unless they are organized into formal unions powerful enough to counter it suggests that government’s natural impulse is to abuse all of those with whom it deals.  So the same government that will cruelly oppress its unorganized employees will, with equal cruelty, oppress its unorganized citizens.  For example, because those of us who pay taxes aren’t organized into a legally recognized taxpayers’ union with which government must collectively bargain, we taxpayers can expect to be unjustly exploited by government.

That expectation seems reasonable.

Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA  22030