Every year unions take great pains to remind people why unions were (once) so great. They attempt to make people believe that unions are still necessary and great now. Unfortunately for union bosses, there is more truth out there now. They can hide from it but they can only run for so long. The fact is that unions do nothing but hurt the economy, taxpayers, consumers and the overall country now, including union members.
Less that 7% of private sector workers are unionized. Why? Workers are protected by a slew of federal, state and local laws. Businesses have realized that offering better pay and benefits will attract better workers, so they offer them. Workers don’t need to be unionized to negotiate their own salaries.
What has changed about unions? Since John F. Kennedy decided to allow public sector unions to organize in 1962(for purely political reasons), we have seen the unionization of millions of federal, state and local workers. Around 37% of all public sector employees are union members. What does this mean for governments and taxpayers? It means higher taxes, bigger government, a less productive workforce and an unsustainable liability of pensions and health care payments far into the future.
- The states with the highest overall taxes are all forced union states with high numbers of public sector employees.
- The states in the worst debt troubles are all forced union states with high numbers of public sector employees.
- Per Capita the states that receive the most in federal aid are also forced union states.
George Meany (former President of the AFL-CIO) and FDR were accurate when they agreed that public sector employees could not collectively bargain with elected officials. What has happened as a result? Unions pay big money to elect politicians (majority of money goes to Democrats) and then those politicians in turn pay back the unions by pushing for bigger government, higher salaries and bigger pensions. The tax payer ends up paying the price while have zero say in the collective bargaining negotiations. In Massachusetts an unskilled toll collector on the Massachusetts Turnpike made almost $100,000 in on year. His base salary is $60,000 not including his cushy benefits package . This is egregious and shows exactly how unions and Democrats work with each other in a symbiotic relationship that leeches off the tax payers.
What can be done about it? Get rid of public sector unions. They were never necessary. They have only aided in increasing the debt of local, state and federal governments. The people who pay the price are the private sector taxpayers who don’t get the same cushy salaries and benefits. In the private sector, you can’t continue to ring up debt and decide to raise prices on consumers because eventually consumers will stop buying your product(even private sector unions get this). In the public sector, unions feel there is a never ending stream of money because politicians can simply raise taxes and for Democrats, this is a way of life.
Until the taxpayers demand accountability, transparency and the end of public sector unions, they will continue to be squeezed of everything possible until there is nothing left to give. Union bosses don’t care as long as they are still getting their dues. It’s not about the taxpayer; a job well done; or the workers. Union bosses only care about money and power. Democrats comply. Taxpayers pay the price.