Saturday, March 12, 2011

Ronald Reagan Linked Unions With Freedom Itself


Nicolas Martin said...

Not that it should matter in the slightest what Reagan had to say, but he was referring to the outright ban on non-state approved labor unions under the communists,

Unionization is quite different now than it was in 1980s. Then most union members were in private industry; but now most work for government. They are paid with money confiscated from taxpayers who have absolutely no say over contract negotiations. Those deals, typically secret, are often made by politicians who receive reciprocal bribes ("campaign donations") from the very unions with whom they "negotiate."

Unionized government employees have median salaries that are considerably higher than those of the people who are forced to fund their contracts ("the disappearing middle class"), and far more lavish benefits. Even union members in the private sector are made poorer by government union workers.

Had Enough Indy? said...

Actually, the facts do not bear your comments out.


"State and local employees have lower total compensation than their private sector counterparts. On average, total compensation is 6.8 percent lower for state employees and 7.4 percent lower for local workers, compared with comparable private sector employees."

The study has further conclusions as well.

Anonymous said...

Governments hires bureaucrats. Bureaucrats are eminently replaceable as they are cogs in a political wheel that must keep turning. And if they feel that they are underpaid, they should employment elsewhere, however bureaucratic skills are not in high demand in the private sector. Thus, in my opinion, the lower wages are justified regardless of the level of education. I also would argue that based on the relative difficulty of this bureaucratic work, lower salaries are also generally justified.

The issue with the private sector is that the politicians have permitted the corporations to steal, rob and pillage while deflating private working class (used to be middle class) wages by engaging in labor and environmental arbitrage by exporting jobs and importing low-wage workers.

Anonymous said...

More democrat fact-twisting to save their cash cow donation machine from the public employee union bosses. I don't know of anyone who objects to unions for workers in the private sector. They're fighting with management over their honest share of the profits of a business. "Profits" don't figure with the thugs from public employee unions desire to keep their boot on the throat of the taxpayers. Attempting to link Reagan to the current squabble at the statehouse is marketing hype designed to hopefully make the marxist union bosses seem somehow pro-American. That won't wash, it never will. Anyone who has a few brain cells to rub together knows it's a trick right out of the Saul Alinsky playbook straight from the SEIU with the blessing of the current occupant of the white house.

Anonymous said...
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Nicolas Martin said...
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Anonymous said...

Was this before or after Reagan crushed the air traffic controllers union?

Nicolas Martin said...

From a study not performed by economists promoting government jobs, some quotes and sources:

1. Between 1950 and about 1980, average compensation in the public and private sectors moved in lockstep. But after 1980, public sec- tor compensation growth began to outpace private sector compensation growth, and by the mid-1990s public sector workers had a substantial pay advantage. In the boom years of the late-1990s, private sector workers closed the gap a bit, but public sector pay moved ahead again in the 2000s.

2. In June 2009, total compensation per hour was $39.66 in the public sector, which was 45 percent greater than the average $27.42 per hour in the private sector. The public sector advantage in average wages was 34 percent, while the advantage in benefits was a huge 70 percent.

3. ...public sector employees work substantially fewer hours than do private sector employees. The BLS National Compensation Survey (BLS 2009c: Tables 4 and 5) shows that full-time private sec- tor workers averaged 2,050 hours of work in 2008, or 12 percent more than the 1,825 hours worked by the average public sector worker.

4. The annual benefit of the median public sector defined-benefit pension is more than twice the benefit in the median private plan.

5. In the public sector, employees can retire early—usually at age 55—and then enjoy years of health care coverage at taxpayers’ expense before Medicare kicks at age 65. Such retiree health care coverage is a very rare perk in the private sector.

6. Finally, there is a very good market indicator of the generosity of compensation in the public sector: voluntary job-quit rates. ...over the years the quit rate among public sector workers has been just one-third the quit rate in the private sector.

7. In many states (such as New Jersey, California, and Utah), public sector workers can “retire” early and then proceed to take a new public sector job, and thus receive a full salary and generous pension at the same time.

8. Unionized public sector workers have far higher wages and benefits, on average, than nonunionized public sector workers. Their wages are 31 percent higher, on average, and their benefits are 68 percent higher. Overall, the union compensation advantage in the public sector is 42 percent.

Had Enough Indy? said...

The Cato Institute, the source you cite, is hardly unbiased.

In addition, the author clearly did not account for education and compensation. He even begins his report with "State and local workers include teachers,
college instructors, police officers, health care administrators,
and many other occupational groups."

There has been a clear effort to increase the salary of teachers over the past couple of decades. This alone should have been considered in the data, but was not.

Had Enough Indy? said...

From the Bureau of Labor Statistics 'Union Members Summary' for 2010 (

"Workers in education, training, and library occupations had the highest unionization rate at 37.1 percent."

If you scroll down and click on the link to Table 4, you will get a more apples to apples comparison of the weekly wages of union vs. non-union workers. (Table 4. Median weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers by union affiliation, occupation, and industry) There is not a huge difference.

Anonymous said...
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Nicolas Martin said...

All of the data in the Cato study are from official sources, and undisputed. The many ways in which government employees leech off of taxpayers are thoroughly documented. It is, of course, one of the most common logical fallacies to blame the source rather than to counter it. You, for instance, don't take into account that government employees work fewer hours.

What exactly is false about the Cato study? In particular. Does it misuse any data?

It is a devastating critique of government's inability to control salaries.

Had Enough Indy? said...

Clearly, for one thing, they didn't account for education level. You get paid more, generally speaking, the more education is required for a particular position.

So, their conclusions are suspect.

Anonymous said...

Not as 'suspect' as Saul Alinsky and his followers in the union membership.