Search This Blog


Hightower takes correct stand against greedy labor interests

One issue in which Shreveport Mayor Keith Hightower has performed well is labor relations with city employees. His veto of an ordinance to recognize an employee union was perhaps his finest act as mayor.

On the whole, unions in the private sector hurt society because they are able to expropriate wealth from consumers through collective action that skews the labor marketplace. However, at least there is a countervailing force – market competition itself. When labor greed inflates too much, this makes the good or service they produce uncompetitive and, in the end, they price themselves out of a job because other producers with properly-priced labor costs can do the same job or better for cheaper. In essence, unions are parasitic whose supporter have enough audacity to advertise just how much wealth they expropriate from society and, in particular, non-unionized workers.

But in the public sector, where no competition exists in the provision of most government services, unionization is a disaster to the polity. Without market forces to intervene, it becomes a contest of sheer power where government disarms itself considerably by giving away bargaining power (by recognizing unions’ right to strike, for example), allowing more ability to unions to raid taxpayers’ pockets.

When one reads comments such as workers want “[t]o be treated fairly … [l]ike a human being,” the proper response to this situation is not to give them more power over taxpayers’ purses, but instead to remind them that if this is their perception, they have procedures by which to lodge complaints and, if that proves unsatisfactory, they are perfectly free to seek employment where in their minds they are “treated fairly” like a “human being.” A government job to hold in perpetuity is not a right.

The dirty secret, of course, is that a great many of these workers know they could never get paid as much and/or receive benefits as extensive for the amount of work they put in with their present city jobs. Knowing that, instead of calling upon their talents to explore other opportunities, they’d rather reach into somebody else’s pocket to better themselves.

Hightower needs to continue to hold the line here, and his past looking out for taxpayers on this issue, in sharp contrast to his penchant for building expensive things that drain taxpayer resources, is to be commended.

No comments: