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

Workers’ unions reduce job opportunities and economic growth by distorting labor markets. What this means is that union policies tend to increase the cost of employing people and reduce the productivity of employees, which reduces the natural demand for employees and the supply of jobs. When employers are forced to pay higher wages, to provide more expensive benefits and to comply with burdensome regulations, they discourage employers from employing more people. And when the union sets the wages for employees and conditions under which an employee can be fired, rather than the employer making these decisions, it removes the employee’s incentive to work harder because his pay rate and employment aren’t tied to his effort.

Although unions tend to be detrimental, their policies are consistent with their founding. The best way to determine the nature and intentions of an organization is to look at their founding documents which articulates the reason it exists. As unsavory as it sounds, they were established in the United States to prevent African Americans from working. After the American Civil War when four million slaves were released, one million of them immediately left the south and started moving north looking to work in coaling and on docks, and because they were willing to work for less money, they undercut the wages of established workers. In order to prevent this, workers’ unions set about establishing a minimum wage requirement which effectively priced African Americans out of the market in order to protect their own jobs.

President of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education, Star Parker