An interesting look at the benefits of unionization

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From a speech by Mark Mix at Hillsdale College:
The Right to Work: A Fundamental Freedom
Boeing is a great American company. Recently it has built a second production line�its other is in Washington State�in South Carolina for its 787 Dreamliner airplane, creating 1,000 jobs there so far. Who knows what factors led to its decision to do this? As with all such business decisions, there were many. But the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)�a five-member agency created in 1935 by the Wagner Act (about which I will speak momentarily)�has taken exception to this decision, ultimately based on the fact that South Carolina is a right-to-work state. That is, South Carolina, like 21 other states today, protects a worker�s right not only to join a union, but also to make the choice not to join or financially support a union. Washington State does not. The general counsel of the NLRB, on behalf of the International Association of Machinists union, has issued a complaint against Boeing, which, if successful, would require it to move its South Carolina operation back to Washington State. This would represent an unprecedented act of intervention by the federal government that appears, on its face, un-American. But it is an act long in the making, and boils down to a fundamental misunderstanding of freedom.
Mark gives some fascinating history of the labor movement in the United States and then drops this little bombshell of a statistic:
Under a decades-old political compromise, federal labor policies promoting compulsory unionism persist side by side with the ability of states to curb such compulsion with right-to-work laws. So far, as I said, 22 states have done so. And when we compare and contrast the economic performance in these 22 states against the others, we find interesting things. For example, from 1999 to 2009 (the last such year for which data are available), the aggregate real all-industry GDP of the 22 right-to-work states grew by 24.2 percent, nearly 40 percent more than the gain registered by the other 28 states as a group.

Even more dramatic is the contrast if we look at personal income growth. From 2000 to 2010, real personal incomes grew by an average of 24.3 percent in the 22 right-to-work states, more than double the rate for the other 28 as a group. But the strongest indicator is the migration of young adults. In 2009, there were 20 percent more 25- to 34-year-olds in right-to-work states than in 1999. In the compulsory union states, the increase was only 3.3 percent�barely one-sixth as much.
Emphases mine -- holy crap those are some significant numbers. And people still persist in thinking that the unions are there to benefit the working man? They are only there to consolidate their own power. A perfect example of Pournelle's Iron Law of Bureaucracy:
Pournelle's Iron Law of Bureaucracy states that in any bureaucratic organization there will be two kinds of people":
First, there will be those who are devoted to the goals of the organization. Examples are dedicated classroom teachers in an educational bureaucracy, many of the engineers and launch technicians and scientists at NASA, even some agricultural scientists and advisors in the former Soviet Union collective farming administration.

Secondly, there will be those dedicated to the organization itself. Examples are many of the administrators in the education system, many professors of education, many teachers union officials, much of the NASA headquarters staff, etc.
The Iron Law states that in every case the second group will gain and keep control of the organization. It will write the rules, and control promotions within the organization.
It is bad enough that the unions are failing to keep the workers safe -- just look at the Deepwater Horizon blowout -- the rig was known to be dangerous, 11 people died. Did the union shut it down until conditions improved? How about the Massey Energy mine explosion in West Virginia. The mine was known to be dangerous, 29 people died. Did the union shut it down until conditions improved? How about the Tesoro Refinery explosion and fire here in Washington state. The refinery was known to be dangerous, 5 people died. Did the union shut it down until conditions improved? And these three examples are just from 2010 -- the list goes on and on and on. And there are people that still think that unions are a good thing? They had their day but that day is over.

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on July 20, 2011 12:02 PM.

YES! Thank you and now on to the Senate was the previous entry in this blog.

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