The Unionized States of America

We now live in the Unionized States of America -- a phrase that evokes how Obama and company have gone into overdrive to empower their union allies at our expense. Lee O'Hanian, a professor of economics at UCLA, weighs in at the Wall Street Journal on the dire economic implications of this tectonic shift in government policy, noting that employment figures remain very weak:

Those want more unionization claim it is necessary to raise wages. Instead it will further depress the economy. My research suggests that if unionization rates returned to 1970s levels (roughly in the mid 20% range of the private work force), and if new unions could achieve the same wage premium as existing unions have achieved over nonunion workplaces, then employment could decline by about 4.5 million and real GDP could fall by about $500 billion per year.

Why? Unions raise members' wages by restricting competition, much as a business monopoly raises prices by restricting competition. Economists criticize business monopolies for raising prices above what they would be in a competitive marketplace, which reduces employment and output. Unionization reduces employment and output much the same way by raising wages above underlying worker productivity.

Small businesses would be particularly impacted-about 55% of union elections occurred at businesses with 30 or fewer employees between 2003 and 2006. Negotiating costs are high for smaller firms, many of which do not have collective bargaining specialists in house. Add this cost to low profit margins, and expanding unionization presents a significant burden to these employers.

One could add the frequent White House visits by Andy Stern, the former  leader of the powerful Service Employees International Union, who boasted of the vast sums of money his union spent to elect Barack Obama and his expectations that payback would follow. One could also add the hundreds of billions of so-called "stimulus" money that fattened the wallets of overpaid and underworked government workers represented by the Association of Federal. State, County and Municipal Employees-as well as vast sums deposited into the accounts of teachers' unions and those of its members. All money we, the taxpayers, will end up paying.

Foreign policy relationships are cast asunder because free trade agreements are sabotaged on behalf of domestic unions.

Talk about a union shop!

This administration came into office with an agenda that divided us into two camps: their allies and their enemies (ironic for a man made famous for a speech decrying divisions in America). Money would be redistributed from the latter to the former (for example, Chrysler creditors to auto unions). This is Crook County politics inflicted upon the nation as a whole, led by a bully in the Oval Office.

This is, as Michael Barone characterized it, gangster government. When businesses (and people) feel the fruits of their labor are going to be confiscated by the grasping hands of Obama, Pelosi, and Reid they just will not work and will not hire others to work for them. Hence, stagnation-and high unemployment numbers as far as the eye can see-or at least until we take back the reins of government.
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