According to socialist economic mythology, free-markets create harmful monopolies so “trust-busting” government agencies need to regulate them. The truth is the reverse according to New York’s Taxi Cartel Is Collapsing. Now They Want a Bailout. | Foundation for Economic Education:
Think of sectors like education, mail, courts, money, or municipal taxis, and you find a reality that is the opposite of the caricature: public policy creates monopolies while markets bust them.
In New York, we are seeing a collapse as inexorable as the fall of the Soviet Union itself. The app economy introduced competition in a surreptitious way. It invited people to sign up to drive people here and there and get paid for it. No more standing in lines on corners or being forced to split fares. You can stay in the coffee shop until you are notified that your car is there.
In less than one year, we’ve seen the astonishing effects. Not only has the price of taxi medallions fallen dramatically from a peak of $1 million, it’s not even clear that there is a market remaining at all for these permits. There hasn’t been a single medallion sale in four months. They are on the verge of becoming scrap metal or collector’s items destined for eBay.
What economists, politicians, lobbyists, writers, and agitators failed to accomplished for many decades, a clever innovation has achieved in just a few years of pushing. No one on the planet could have predicted this collapse just five years ago. Now it is a living fact.
Amazon Workers Reject Union
Amazon reacted with satisfaction. Mary Osako, an Amazon spokesperson, said, “With today’s vote against third-party representation, our employees have made it clear that they prefer a direct connection with Amazon. This direct connection is the most effective way to understand and respond to the wants and needs of our employees. Amazon’s culture and business model are based on rapid innovation, flexibility, and open lines of direct communication between managers and associates.”
Private sector union representation has dropped precipitously in the United States, and now stands at just 6.6 percent.
Amazon.com’s Delaware union vote expected Wednesday | Reuters
Amazon has consistently argued against any sort of union representation for employees.
“We respect the individual rights of our associates and have an open-door policy that allows and encourages associates to bring their comments, questions and concerns directly to their management teams,” said Mary Osako, an Amazon spokeswoman, in an emailed statement.
“We firmly believe this direct connection is the most effective way to understand and respond to the needs of our workforce and do not believe there is a need for third-party representation.”
From Collective Bargaining Is Not A Right (Heritage):
[…] the freedom of association is a right shared by all Americans and protected by the First Amendment. In contrast, collective bargaining is a special power occasionally granted to some unions. In upholding North Carolina’s ban on government union collective bargaining, a federal court wrote in Atkins vs. City of Charlotte: “All citizens have the right to associate in groups to advocate their special interests to the government. It is something entirely different to grant any one interest group special status and access to the decision making process.”
Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) budget bill in Wisconsin in no way infringes on any Americans’ right to associate and lobby government. What it does do is allow Wisconsin employees to choose not to join a union and keep their job at the same time. It also forces the government unions in Wisconsin to collect their own union dues instead of using the power of the state to withhold them directly from employee paychecks.
Now there is a question you’ll never see in a New York Times poll: “Do you favor forcing all state employees to join a union and empowering government unions to take union dues directly from employee paychecks?”
Richard Salsman writes in Forbes on Ochlocracy and the Menace of Government Unions:
A revealing chant can be heard from the mobs invading the state capital in Madison, Wis.: “This is what democracy looks like.” Indeed, the much-beloved “democracy” of our tumultuous times entails under-performing, over-paid state bureaucrats showering pet politicians with compulsory union dues and holding taxpayers hostage to their militant demands while the voices and votes of a handful of reasonable officeholders are nullified by others who flee the state to duck hard votes. Meanwhile, out-of state mobs of equally under-performing, over-paid bureaucrats are bused into the state, to intensify the intimidation. This is democracy — what Tocqueville called the “tyranny of the majority” and Hamilton called our “real disease.”
Technically, the demonstrations and work stoppages of state bureaucrats and the unjust laws supporting them illustrate how we’ve got an ochlocracy — government by mob rule, by the “will of the “people,” by intimidation and fueled by ignorant voters and unprincipled demagogues. Government teachers ensure that students (future voters) are illiterate and innumerate, while populist “leaders” appeal not to voters’ reason but to their passions. Sacrificed in an ochlocracy is respect for individual rights, constitutionalism, and the rule of law. Peaceful assembly, petition and persuasion are displaced by the scream, the curse, and the threat.
In a truly free country there is sanctity of contract, voluntary exchange and bargaining (whether individually or collectively), freedom of association and peaceful assembly, and the right to petition (lobby) the government for a redress of grievances. But that’s not really what’s at stake in Madison, or in the half-dozen other U.S. state capitals where a growing number of union-based mobs are accumulating while blocking streets and occupying buildings. In a free country voluntary private labor unions are perfectly fine — however misguided they may be in their Marxist-inspired perceptions of “exploitation” by “robber barons” — but no one and no group has any right whatsoever to compel others to deal with them. Compulsion can never be justified, rationalized, legitimized or legalized in any process of genuine dealing, exchanging or bargaining.
Yet for the past 75 years — since the Wagner Act was enacted in 1935 — U.S. federal law has compelled private companies to “deal” with militant unions and to satisfy their excessive, unaffordable demands. Thereafter, if union members chose to strike and leave their jobs, the law (and “law enforcement” officers) allowed such quitters to torment, intimidate and prevent other laborers from freely working in their place, and forbade firms from hiring eager replacements.
The Wagner Act — known as the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) — created a political panel, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to curb the rights of employers in bargaining with unions. Thus since 1935 the NLRB has repeatedly violated private firms’ bargaining rights, dictating to those on only one side of the “negotiating” table (firms) what are “fair” or “unfair” practices, and privileging the other side (unions), in violation of voluntary bargaining. The NLRB forces firms to “deal” with unions, allows forced membership (and dues) on workers who do not want to participate in a union, and prohibits companies from replacing or firing those who conspire to sabotage or undermine it from within.
The list is quite long of once-vibrant U.S. industries that have been inexorably drained and decimated by compulsory unionism since 1935…
Read the rest at his blog at Forbes.