The Case Against Public Sector Unionism

The following bit of news was posted by

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) criticized public-sector unions on Sunday, saying they should be eliminated entirely.

“There’s, I think, a fundamental problem with government becoming its own special interest group,” he told Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday.” “Ultimately, there is not really bargaining in those situations because government sits on both sides of the table.”

Wallace then asked whether Daniels would like to see public-sector unions disappear entirely.

“I think government works better without them, I really do,” Daniels replied.

For those of you who would like to read more on the topic, David Denholm’s work is among the best at explaining why even FDR didn’t support the existence of public sector unions:

The Case Against Public Sector Unionism and Collective Bargaining

Public sector collective bargaining is a creature of the late 1950s and 1960s. The academicians and politicians who theorized about it and legislated its beginnings can be forgiven for having erred because they were working in a void with no empirical evidence as to how it would work.

Public sector collective bargaining as we know it in the 1990s is a failure. There is a very strong case against it, but the laws which mandate it have given political power to public sector unions, and they will not lightly relinquish the power they have gained. Therefore, the case against public sector unionism must have both theoretical and political dimensions.

To understand the utter futility of using the collective bargaining process to establish equity and harmony in public employment, it is necessary to briefly review the basic premises of our system of government and the fundamental nature of unionism and collective bargaining.

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