What the government worker unions know

The government wants to take over the provision of more and more services. Those who know the government best have a warning for the rest of us.

The budgets submitted so far by the new Administration show that the central theme of Obamanomics is the expansion of government.  Indeed, if the 27% share of GDP projected by the 2010 budget actually materializes, this will break all previous constraints on government spending absent world war.

There is a theory behind this spending that liberals consider so self-evident that they feel they don't have to articulate it.  This is that government is (a) benevolent, meaning it has everybody's best interests at heart and can act in accord with those sentiments; and (b) that it is omniscient, or, if that is too argumentative, that it is at least knowledgeable about the activities it undertakes. 

There is a whole school of economics called "Public Choice" devoted to debunking the first point.  Public Choice economics demonstrates that government is populated by self-interested utility maximizers just as are other sectors of the economy, and, as Thomas Sowell has observed, the primary self-interest of politicians is to get reelected.  That is Job One.

We have another channel of insight into the competence and benevolence of government through the existence of public sector unions, the fastest-growing part of the union movement. 

What does the demand for public sector unions tell us?

The purpose of a union is to interpose itself between the employer and the employee to the benefit of the employee.  The existence of public sector unions tells us that the people most intimately familiar with government, those who experience it every moment of every work day, don't trust it

And yet the basis of liberalism in general and Obamanomics in particular is that we should turn over to government some of our most important, intimate and consequential activities, such as retirement, education and health care. 

But the significance of public sector unions is that the people who know government best and deal with it most often don't trust it to be either benevolent or knowledgeable in dealing with their interests.

The prescription of Obamanomics is that we, the public, should do what government employees refuse to do!  Turn over our destinies to the government!  As the Romans would say,  note bene (pronounced know-tay bay-nay)  -- note well -- this discrepancy.  It can save us from the grief of lying for hours or days in our own excrement waiting for medical attention, or having our children indoctrinated with the latest Leftist (anti-American) fad in our schools, or....well, you fill in the blank.

Maybe the public should form a union.  Oops.  We already have one.  Obamanomics is trying to bust our union.
The government wants to take over the provision of more and more services. Those who know the government best have a warning for the rest of us.

The budgets submitted so far by the new Administration show that the central theme of Obamanomics is the expansion of government.  Indeed, if the 27% share of GDP projected by the 2010 budget actually materializes, this will break all previous constraints on government spending absent world war.

There is a theory behind this spending that liberals consider so self-evident that they feel they don't have to articulate it.  This is that government is (a) benevolent, meaning it has everybody's best interests at heart and can act in accord with those sentiments; and (b) that it is omniscient, or, if that is too argumentative, that it is at least knowledgeable about the activities it undertakes. 

There is a whole school of economics called "Public Choice" devoted to debunking the first point.  Public Choice economics demonstrates that government is populated by self-interested utility maximizers just as are other sectors of the economy, and, as Thomas Sowell has observed, the primary self-interest of politicians is to get reelected.  That is Job One.

We have another channel of insight into the competence and benevolence of government through the existence of public sector unions, the fastest-growing part of the union movement. 

What does the demand for public sector unions tell us?

The purpose of a union is to interpose itself between the employer and the employee to the benefit of the employee.  The existence of public sector unions tells us that the people most intimately familiar with government, those who experience it every moment of every work day, don't trust it

And yet the basis of liberalism in general and Obamanomics in particular is that we should turn over to government some of our most important, intimate and consequential activities, such as retirement, education and health care. 

But the significance of public sector unions is that the people who know government best and deal with it most often don't trust it to be either benevolent or knowledgeable in dealing with their interests.

The prescription of Obamanomics is that we, the public, should do what government employees refuse to do!  Turn over our destinies to the government!  As the Romans would say,  note bene (pronounced know-tay bay-nay)  -- note well -- this discrepancy.  It can save us from the grief of lying for hours or days in our own excrement waiting for medical attention, or having our children indoctrinated with the latest Leftist (anti-American) fad in our schools, or....well, you fill in the blank.

Maybe the public should form a union.  Oops.  We already have one.  Obamanomics is trying to bust our union.