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Thursday, December 08, 2005


The American auto industry--[Mackinac Center for Public Policy]Making Promises That Can be Kept�

A couple of conservative friends of mine have declared that "the unions are responsible for the problems of the auto-makers." I haven't heard much about this issue, so I assume that some sort of fuss is being made in the right-wing media. A more moderate friend pointed out that the auto-makers had (of course) agreed to the contracts that are strangling them, so they are as much to blame as anyone.

I decided to do a little research on this and discovered that GM continues to give out respectable dividends even as they shut down factories, so it's not like they have NO money. As I said, I'm not sure exactly what these conservatives were complaining about, but I came across this nice piece of vulgar libertarianism:
Making Promises That Can be Kept�[Mackinac Center for Public Policy]:

To really help Michigan manufacturers and their employees move from pensions to something more secure, the federal government must make unionism voluntary. The concept that only 50.1 percent of workers in an industry can force union representation upon every other worker is untenable.

Notice how subtly he twists the meaning of the term "force" so that union shops "force" workers to join the union, but employers don't "force" workers to come to work. Also, he's not calling for the end of government regulation of labor relations, just for these regulations to be changed in favor of business.

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