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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Pro Union = Good. Anti Union = Bad.

I am fed up with anti-union people bashing unions, blaming unions for the ills of our economy and our government, and using unions as a scapegoat to excuse the failure of private businesses and greedy corporations; and, I am fed up with the anti-union people's down-right ignorance of the facts concerning unions in the United States.

How in the hell do these people come up with their crap? All they do is point fingers, assign blame, castigate, malign, and provide negative commentary without providing raw, unadulterated facts to support their contentions.

The following short paragraph is only a starting point for some facts on union membership in the United States of America.

Only a small minority of the American workforce is unionized.
"In 2008, union members accounted for 12.4 percent of employed wage
and salary workers ... "

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Division of Labor Force Statistics, Economic News Release, Union Members Summary. Read the full Union Members Summary over here.
And then, read the entire report: Union Members (Annual).

In my biased opinion, people should really bone up about unions before they spout off. A very basic primer to start the learning process on the overall subject may be read at Wikipedia. Go there to read Labor unions in the United States.

It has been claimed that Joe Friday said "Just the facts, ma'am." While that urban legend is untrue, I have to say I would like the anti-union 'dip squats' to back up their postulations with facts rather than unfounded conjecture.

And another thing to my anti-union friends (and I really do have friends who espouse anti-union sentiments) who may disagree with me or wish to debate me, anecdotal evidence just doesn't cut it with me on this one.

Incidentally, Roland Hansen Commentary has had two previous entries along the vein of union bashings. They are:
Teachers on Strike
Consumer Beware: Are cars overpriced?

3 comments:

Tim Higgins said...

Roland,

Unions may not deserve the bashing and demonization that they sometimes receive. Neither do they seem to merit canonization.

A concept that I believe was begun with noble purpose has evolved into a self-perpetuating bureaucracy bent on growth and power, and little more than another special interest group.

My only beef with unions (if I have one) is that they have done a far better job than most in attaining special status in the art of government persuasion.

This special status in election spending gives them enormous (and some would say unfair) benefit in the political influence game, one they continue to exploit.

This does not make individual union members bad however any more than corrupt elected officials make politics bad (in spite of my occasional cracks about it). It does place unions however in the same category of large scale manipulators as the "big businesses" that they choose to demonize.

(We have yet to see how they will fill their new dual role in Chrysler & GM during negotiations, a situation which will prove interesting.)

As for using Wikipedia as a reference on anything, I believe that it is one that should be used, but carefully. Wiki is an open platform that anyone can use to edit entries. As has been proved far too many times, those savvy enough can insure that the image they want is the one that will be seen (and if Ben Konop's team can manage it, I believe that unions can likewise).

Roland Hansen said...

Tim,

In regards to financial contributions by organizations to political campaigns, I am placing an embedded link that will take people to Top All-Time Donors, 1989-2010 from OpenSecrets.org.

Another interesting web site is Campaign Finance in American Politics from campaignmoney.com.

Tim Higgins said...

Great links Roland, with a lot of interesting information.