Unions aren’t in it for their members

by wfgodbold

They’re in it for the power. And they’re in it for the politics.

From 1989 to 2009, unions donated nearly $500 million to politicians and candidates. Ninety percent of that went to Democrats.

Unions donated more money to candidates than the telecommunications, insurance, tobacco, pharmaceuticals, and real estate industries combined.

I don’t begrudge unions their right to join together to spend their money to influence the political process.

I do think that they shouldn’t pretend they’re working on behalf of their members; they’re interested in advancing political issues. If they were truly interested in helping their members, they’d try more to influence politicians regardless of their political views.

The tobacco, oil, and pharmaceuticals give 75% of their donations to Republicans; that’s lopsided, but not as lopsided as union donations.

The problem is that the unions aren’t honest, not that they’re politically active.

I might disagree with their goals, but they’re free to spend as much money politicking as they care too.

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2 Comments to “Unions aren’t in it for their members”

  1. Once upon a time, unions served an unquestionable purpose and accomplished an inordinate amount of good for our society as a whole.

    That time has come and passed.

    Now, as you say, they are blatantly political organizations who are only concerned with their own self-perpetuation and control of both their members and their employers, to the point where they will gleefully shut down industrial plants rather than acquiesce to even the slightest pay or benefit cut. Seems it is about time to remove their accreditation as labor organizations and file them under “lobbying”…

    • I agree; there’s nothing wrong with lobbying per se, but misrepresenting themselves as advocates for workers when they’re really after political power (or mandatory dues/membership to pay for union bureaucracy (it’s Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy in action!)) is dishonest.

      Lobbying the government is one of our fundamental rights, protected by the first amendment, and it protects lobbying for bad policies as much as good policies.

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