What would Milton Friedman have said about all this business in Wisconsin? Well, this classic narration from Free To Choose gives us a clue. Friedman says unions operate at the expense of competing workers and consumers. He also says government employees operate at the expense of taxpayers. What about unionized government employees? We can only surmise they operate at the expense of everyone.
Elsewhere, I write about how the market determines the price of labor. How should it be determined in the public sector?
According to the unions of Wisconsin and other states, the price of your labor should be determined by a mixture of political maneuvering and legal extortion. Thatâ€™s sad. And the citizens of Wisconsin have to pay for that false idea with the fruits of their own labors.
Perhaps I'm biased because I'm southern. The New South was not built on union labor. But I also make a fraction of what the average Wisconsin teacher makes, even though I work about 60 more days a year. The relative value of my labor and a teacher's labor should be up to the market to decide. But until that day, I reserve the right to be bitter about public salaries determined by crude, venal politics.
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