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No Government, No Force

Labor Unions and Freedom of Association

Mises Daily: Tuesday, March 04, 2014 by

Mandatory union membership and mandatory dues imposed on those who do not want to join are again at issue. On the heels of contentious “right to work” disputes in several states, the Supreme Court has recently heard arguments challenging an Illinois mandate requiring home health care workers to pay representation fees to a union they did not want. That case, Harris v. Quinn, has the potential to even challenge the Court’s 1977 Aboud precedent upholding mandatory union dues for public sector workers. Such a result would be a victory for liberty.

To the rest of his article, here

Gary Galles

There is nothing in Gary’s article I care to debate, as it’s all good.  I do wish to offer up the real solutions to the constant and exhausting dilemma of inserting Force into everything under the sun.

Ludwig von Mises, in his 1966 magnum opus, Human Action, also made the distinction between voluntary and coercive unions clear:

The issue is not the right to form associations. It is whether or not any association of private citizens should be granted the privilege of resorting with impunity to violent action. … The problem is not the right to strike, but the right — by intimidation or violence — to force other people to strike, and the further right to prevent anybody from working in a shop in which a union has called a strike.

What is really at issue here?

It’s the same old thing – government edicts which always serve to distort the relationships of real Individuals and their Rights to Life and Property, thereby creating and enforcing impossible standoffs of some people against others.  Who gets hurt?  Everyone, a.k.a. “The Public”.  

The responsibility lies with all of business, unions, and government.  The blame lies with “democracy”, which always seeks to replace individual sanctity with “majority rule”, and which serves to negate pure Liberty.

All that serves to unnecessarily create hostilities and standoffs.  So much for “Edicts”!

The alternatives are simple — don’t create standoffs!  Many businesses make their employees Partners via stock sharing (UPS as one of many examples).  Thus everyone has real motivation to support and build THEIR company into the best it can be.  Everyone is thus on the same team.  That’s how profits are shared, and that is also how health insurance is, or can be, provided without involving the huge overhead via government force, as it’s all voluntary.  Unions become unnecessary excess and largely irrelevant, don’t they?  The perception that “violence” is necessary goes away.  If somehow you still don’t like your employer for whatever “reasons”, you’re free to leave and find another.

I suppose I could go on and on with this, but hopefully you get the idea!  Comments are most welcome.

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  • LOL, I don’t really “hate unions”, but what I do hate is all the Force surrounding the relationships between people who would otherwise work in harmony toward the common goal of prosperity.

    And yes, it is truly amazing that our Rulers do the dastardly deeds to themselves!

  • Tasine

    Great article!!

    It all seems so simple to me that I cannot imagine why everyone cannot see the logic in letting members work or strike as they choose. I have always disliked unions because they are so terribly archaic, so outdated, so out of tune with today’s America. They seem to be more like the Nazi regime or the Communist regimes than like anything in America. Additionally, they cost every American dollars on top of dollars.

    But I am especially disgusted that unions of government workers exists. I once thought they were so much above that, but it seems they are in bed with the mobs and gangs – all those who threaten and behave like mad cows.

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