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Carrie Lukas : What role do workers' unions play in an economy? / Clear, concise arguments and answers from leading thinkers / Eristical.com
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Carrie Lukas

Workers unions once had an important role in creating needed protections for employees. Large employers that needed lots of largely unskilled labor didn't have a big incentive to create safe work conditions or pay decent wages to any particular employee. When those employees joined together in a union, they were better positioned to negotiate.

Now, however, most of these unions have outlived their usefulness and are often counterproductive for workers, forcing companies to pay exorbitant benefits and creating high labor costs makes the company less competitive—and ultimately can drive them out of business. We've seen this play out in the auto industry. It's hardly good news for workers to have their employers have to shut down.

And today most union workers don't work for businesses, they work for the government. And it's easy to see how the dynamic with government - worker unions are entirely different. They aren't negotiating with a counterpart focused on the bottom-line. They negotiate with politicians -- and often politicians that they help elect. In fact, unions pour millions into electing politicians who in turn give unions (particularly union bosses) sweetheart deals at taxpayer expense. This is terrible for taxpayers and the economy.

Independent Women's Forum director and Goldwater Institute senior fellow, Carrie Lukas