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Labor Unions: What would Milton Friedman Say?

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. That’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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Added: Mar-2-2011 Occurred On: Mar-2-2011
By: star53
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Tags: Milton Friedman, Labor Unions, taxpayers
Views: 4897 | Comments: 11 | Votes: 0 | Favorites: 0 | Shared: 5 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 1
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  • Another great post, Star53.

    Milton Friedman had a way of expressing free market principles so even union members could understand.

    Is Milton Friedman persona non-grata in today's colleges?

    Posted Mar-2-2011 By 

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  • Freedman showed how unions transformed work into a commodity without treating workers themselves as a commodity. This transformation optimizes worker conditions by standardizing the value of their labor in terms of supply and demand.

    There was a fundamental corruption of the labor movement when FDR signed the National Labor Relations Act of 1935. This law transformed unions into a government protected entity and poisoned the free market for labor.

    Posted Mar-2-2011 By 

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  • Ron Paul 2012!

    Posted Mar-2-2011 By 

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  • "In a competitive market, the employers who provide better options get better workers."

    In practice only. And this generally doesn't apply to skilled & unskilled labor, which makes up a huge part of the work force.

    A more accurate representation of the labor market is that if Joe Punchclock doesn't like it he can leave there's always someone to take his place.

    If Milton Friedman is correct bubbles wouldn't happen, people wouldn't fear for their jobs, there would be no labor disp More..

    Posted Mar-2-2011 By 

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    • That happens more than you give credit.
      Why do you think the average Employee Job Tenure is at an all time low?

      Employable people shop around for the best jobs.

      Posted Mar-2-2011 By 

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  • Freemarket distributes money to the company and not the people, what do you think happened with the bailout money? did that distribute to its workers?

    unions were created to prevent companies exploiting its workers, but the video was right about one thing!!! If there are no unions the public will be competitive alright, competitive with wages like china and many other third world countries, but hey .. the republicans think this is ok.

    The same companies making record profits in 2010, and maki More..

    Posted Mar-2-2011 By 

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    • I see you've been reading your Marx.

      Posted Mar-2-2011 By 

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    • typical useless reply, no facts just name calling. Well done looser

      Posted Mar-2-2011 By 

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    • I see you haven't observed history Lonewolf. Think of the sweatshops in america before workers banded together and demanded something better. Exploitation of labor was endemic if not pandemic in the late 19th early 20th century.

      I'll put it to you this way Lonewolf the labor movement in america came about as a direct result of tremendous exploitation of workers who had, in fact, no rights or recourse. The result of that movement has brought about many changes that you take for granted.

      For in More..

      Posted Mar-2-2011 By 

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    • Comment of user 'mendelbot' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
    • Oh, is this the 1800's?
      No. You're trying to compare then to now, when there is nearly nothing in common.

      Now go ask your teacher for more propaganda to post, because that batch didn't work.

      Posted Mar-2-2011 By 

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