Thursday, June 7, 2012


Now I came from a union family. My father and brother were in the electrical union, my uncle was a senior person in the firefighters union, all in New York. I saw many sides of unions. As The New Republic states:

No, the real underlying story is that unions are losing their institutional legitimacy in modern America. The problem isn’t that most people hate unions. The problem for unions is that most people don’t care about them, or think about them, at all.

 In reality, truth be told, many people really do hate unions. I have seen union workers see themselves as set apart, anointed, owed, an worse. They take, do not understand from whom the take, they are often brutes, and are focused on just getting the most from the job, independent of what they do.

There clearly was once a time when unions served a purpose. But today with laws controlling every aspect of employment the need of a union is not only questionable but it has become a veritable drag on our economies.

This is especially true with public unions. I can see this especially in New Jersey where the benefits are extraordinary and the work done is often third rate at best.

The TNR continues:

When union membership peaked in the mid 1950s at about 35 percent, it was disproportionately weighted to the Northeast, the Midwest, and California. But that meant that in those regions—the most populous in the country—either a worker was in a union his/herself, had a family member in a union, or, at least, had a friend or neighbor in a union. People, for better or worse, knew what unions did and understood them to be an almost ordinary part of the workings of democratic capitalism. 

Most important, they knew, for better or worse, that unions had power. Sixty years ago, the UAW or the Mineworkers or the Steelworkers, not only deeply affected crucial sectors of an industrial economy, they also demanded respect from broader society—demands made manifest in the “political strikes” they organized, whether legally or not, to protest the issues of the day. 

Yes we had family members, and if truth be told they did not benefit from the union, it was a closed shop world, it kept out competition, it drove shipping from New York, it drove the costs in Manhattan skyrocketing, it complicated everyone's life, and unions did have power. They were and are even more so today a collection of thugs.

The time of unions has come and gone. Yet they are a source of compelled funding of Democrats. Thus they like so many other remnants of the past will continue to be a drag on society.