Mises Institute: Mises Daily: Gary Galles: Labor Unions and Freedom of Association
This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger
Here's a perfect example of why I love being a Liberal. It is the perfect belief system for laying out the best plan in the fairest and most balanced way that protects everyone's freedoms. It is also a label under which so-called free market economic Libertarians, and pro-big labor Progressives should be able to find common ground when it comes to Freedom of Assembly and the Right to Organize, which give all workers the freedom of choice they deserve and need.
There are people, let's say, on the far left who do not so much believe in the Right to Organize but would like to see it mandated, and all work places, both private and public, unionized, requiring union membership of all workers, with a non-participation penalty of paying union dues whether or not they are members. Then you have the so-called Libertarian right, which demands that unions be abolished and the market (meaning employers) decide what all workers get paid. They also would eliminate most, if not all, regulations, including the minimum wage.
But if you are an actual Progressive and not just someone who calls yourself a Progressive, then the Right to Organize is real, meaning that it should be a right and not a mandate for workers to join or not join a union. If you are a real Libertarian and not just someone who calls yourself a Libertarian or a Conservative Libertarian, you don't want government power or corporate or business power deciding for individuals whether they should sign up for a union because you believe in the individual and freedom of choice and not government or employers making these decisions for the individual instead.
Now here is where the common ground can be found for actual Progressives and Libertarians, that is, let the workers decide for themselves whether to sign up for a union and let people unionize if they want but then have the union earn its union membership and members, including dues, and not let them be automatically rewarded just because they are a union. And if workers do not sign up for the union, then they do not pay union dues and do not get the benefits of being union members. They work as free agents, negotiating their own wages and benefits. Both sides win. Big government and big business get out of the way. Individuals decide for themselves.