Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Problem with Unions

Matt Barnum makes several salient points concerning unions:

  1. He misses the Office.
  2. There is a problem with the "simplistic portrayal of good workers vs. evil businesses." Of course employers are greedy, but so are unions.
  3. "They represent all workers with one voice, when in fact different workers have competing interests. In the case of merit pay, good teachers are likely to be in favor of it (provided there is a way to accurately measure teacher performance), while bad teachers would be against it. ...In the end, unions provide unfair protection for below-average workers, and unnecessary protection for good ones. "
  4. This results in "worse service or products if you’re a consumer, higher costs if you’re an employer, and a more difficult road if you’re a job-seeker."
  5. "There are many other reasons why unions are bad for anybody who’s not in one. They artificially raise wages, which distorts incentives and hurts businesses and consumers alike. They negotiate collective contracts, which generally fail to provide incentives for harder and better work, as pay is usually based on seniority. Their power structure (like those of some businesses) breeds corruption. They sometimes strike, causing a ripple effect that hurts many members of society (like my not being able to watch The Office)."
He had me at "hello."

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