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Thread: Unions an Example of the Free Market

  1. #1

    Default Unions an Example of the Free Market

    I don't get why statists try to use unions as a reason why capitalism doesn't work and why free marketers (not all of them mind you) are against unions. Thestatists always try to make the argument that without unions laborers would be completely exploited. While unions have helped they definitely aren't the reason why workers have many good things. Even if you believe the myth that unions made the world a paradise then by that logic the free market made the world a paradise for workers. The right of unions to voluntarily associate and form contracts with employers is an example of the free market. In fact governments would often initiate force against workers as a way of forcing them back into a factory an example of something that is not capitalistic and example of where the free market would better treat workers. If anything the problems that unions have caused should be a statist argument in favor of more regulation. While many unions today may rely on government help the unions of the 19th century did not and are not an example of the state and like wise many corporations of today are creatures of the state in the same way many unions are creatures of the state. Just my .02 fiat dollars.
    Last edited by juliusaugustus; 12-18-2012 at 07:04 PM.

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  3. #2


    I think most would agree government employees (not private sector) should not be able to form unions as it is under the force of the state that they demand and receive benefits.
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  4. #3


    Here's the problem I have with unions: pensions.

    Unions demand defined benefit pensions. Cool. Then they cry poor when the company they work for uses creative accounting to underfund the pension.

    Well, guess what, that's how the laws work. It's pretty easy to change the discount rate and perpetually underfund pension obligations. Union bosses know this, but that's not what they tell their workers, I'm sure. What unions should demand is a defined contribution plan like a 401k. That money is completely separated from the company, and it can't be underfunded.

    If unions want to demand retirement benefits, great. There's no reason they should expect a company to guarantee that retirement via a defined benefit program, though.

  5. #4


    Quote Originally Posted by Jordan View Post
    There's no reason they should expect a company to guarantee that retirement via a defined benefit program, though.
    But if the company agrees to it in a contract, though...
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  6. #5


    There has always been a struggle between workers and those who control the capital. Unions are one of the few tools that workers have. Their influence ebbs and flows.
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  7. #6


    unions get a bad name because of the laws and regulations pertaining to labor. theres nothing wrong with employees voluntarily organizing in protest and theres nothing wrong with companies refusing to hire union workers. unfortunately, like most things, the law screws everything up and confuses people by making things that were once good into things that are now bad.
    Last edited by McChronagle; 12-19-2012 at 04:03 PM.

  8. #7


    Quote Originally Posted by Zippyjuan View Post
    There has always been a struggle between workers and those who control the capital. Unions are one of the few tools that workers have. Their influence ebbs and flows.
    Workers have been a huge group of capital owners for a long, long time. They, together, own most of the money in pension funds, insurance funds, etc. The reason only very few people own most of the capital, is because they are the currently old ones. At around 60 people are the wealthiest.

    Most people's income goes from lower class to upper clase to lower class again at the end of their lifes. The story of workers vs. capitalists is a big myth. Workers are capitalists. Sadly this begins to be less and less the case, because of recent political developments.

    So the real influence workers have is to increase their human capital, save and invest, and make use of their right to switch jobs if they feel they are getting paid to little. By forcing the wage rate above a market clearing wage, by creating a monopoly (union), workers are actually damaging their wellbeing in the long run, most of the times.
    Last edited by Danan; 12-19-2012 at 04:47 PM.

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