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Old 07-22-2009, 12:36 PM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: eastern sierra
Posts: 5,413
Default Re: A Good Chair is Hard to Find (Ezra Klein & Will Wilkinson)

Originally Posted by Francoamerican View Post
Trade unions are voluntary in every sense that counts: no one is forced to join one. In any case, calling them collectivist is an abuse of language. Whether they are useful or not is another question. An amusing detail: union membership is higher in the US than in France.
I suppose it depends on the definition of collectivist.Now that I look up the definition, I see that you are correct. I thought that it refered to collections of people acting in concert to achieve power as well as the definition you refer to. So I need a new word.

I am actually quite fond of trade unions, having gone through a four year apprenticeship with one. However, I don't think they are actually voluntary in every sense that counts. They restrict employment. They have to. That's how they get their power.

I think the teacher's unions are a good example of a good idea gone arwy. Public employees' unions right now have a stranglehold on the state government in California. Their pension plans are a huge part of our deficit and unfortunately they can't be restructured. In a private company, for example United Airlines, bankrupcy allowed the terms of pensions to be altered.
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