A Case of Left-Wing Lunacy

It doesn’t take much effort to find cases of Left-wing lunacy. One such case has been presented to the public via the Financial Times website. That publication has published a commentary by Lawrence Summers that is a huge non sequitur.

In his Labor Day 2017 commentary America needs its unions more than ever, Summers writes, “A pervasive sense of vulnerability and missing opportunity leads to dissatisfaction, reduces faith in government and institutions . . .” Wait. Faith in government? The official motto of the USA is In God We Trust, not In Government We Trust. What makes Summers believe that Americans should place their faith in government? I certainly don’t, and neither do millions of American workers who have put their faith in God.

Summers goes on to write, “The decline in the unions is also a contributor to the pervasive sense that too often our political system is for sale to the highest bidder.”

The irony of Summers’ statement is that labor unions are often the highest bidder, using union dues for political causes. If Summers were really concerned about America’s political system being for sale to the highest bidder, then he would criticize labor unions for their political activities.

Summers ends his commentary with this: “But on this Labor Day any leader concerned with the American middle class needs to consider that the basic function of unions — balancing the power of employers and employees — is as important to our economy as it has ever been.”

Actually, that is not the basic function of labor unions. These days, private-sector labor unions exist in order to get as much as possible for union members at the cost of employers, while public-sector unions exist in order to get as much as possible for union members at the cost of tax-payers.

This isn’t to say that unions aren’t capable of doing any public good. The Teamsters Union, for example, strives to improve road safety for truckers, which results in improving road safety for all drivers. Plus, labor unions were instrumental in the creation of laws and government regulations that protect all Americans from harm in the work place. Indeed, every American worker has benefited from the past work of labor unions.

. . . but that was then. This is now.

One reason that only 6.4 % of private-sector workers are currently union members is because non-union workers see no need to be in labor unions. That is because nowadays employers strive to be competitive when it comes to hiring and retaining workers.

Sure, the median income of non-union members tends to be lower than that of union members, but that statistic is offset by the number of non-union jobs available as opposed to the number of union jobs available. If a labor union drives up the cost of labor for a business, then that business will respond by reducing the number of workers that it puts on its payroll. It is difficult for one to enjoy a higher-paying union job if one can’t get hired in the first place.

Also, if a labor union hinders the ability of a private-sector employer to compete for customers, then that employer might just go out of business.

Left-wing policies cannot thwart the law of supply and demand, which is something that members of the political Left seem not to understand.

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