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There should be no collective bargaining for public employee unions

Posted: December 8, 2011 at 4:50 pm   /   by

I know that I could never run for office with such a plank in my platform, but it’s the truth.

Even FDR opposed collective bargaining and strikes for public unions, and until relatively recently, they did not do collective bargaining with the government.

But it’s not just collective bargaining that is a problem. The entire system is fundamentally given to corruption and a perverse cycle that enslaves the taxpayer.

I have made a chart to illustrate:



The chart says most of it, but for explication purposes . . .

A private sector union is negotiating with a private business that has to use its own money to pay employees wages and benefits. The private business has incentives to keep costs down, not only to maximize profits but because it will literally go out of business if it does not mind the bottom line.

A public sector union is negotiating with government. This is problematic for several reasons:

1. The government is not using its own money, so it does not have direct incentives to keep costs down.

2. The government is using taxpayer money, which many in government deem a bottomless resource.

3. Public sector unions wield political power over the same elected officials responsible for determining their wages and benefits.


Government officials are not using their own money.

Many government officials are beholden to the unions to get reelected.


This creates a perverse incentive for government officials to force taxpayers to continually pay more and more to public sector unions. (And yes, it is force. Try not paying your taxes and watch what happens.)

This is a cycle that cannot be broken as long as collective bargaining for public sector unions exists. The corruption is not something that might happen—it is baked into the cake. This perverse cycle is guaranteed to happen, and it is guaranteed to get worse over time.

Here’s Walter Williams with more:


Christopher Cook

Christopher Cook

Managing Editor at Western Free Press
Christopher Cook is a writer, editor, and political commentator. He is the president of Castleraine, Inc., a consulting firm providing a diverse array of services to corporate, public policy, and not-for-profit clients.

Ardently devoted to the cause of human freedom, he has worked at the confluence of politics, activism, and public policy for more than a decade. He co-wrote a ten-part series of video shorts on economics, and has film credits as a researcher on 11 political documentaries, including Citizens United's notorious film on Hillary Clinton that became the subject of a landmark Supreme Court decision. He is the founder of several activist endeavors, including (now a part of Western Free Press) and He is currently the managing editor of and principal contributor to
Christopher Cook

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There should be no collective bargaining for public employee unions