Unions and Freedom

My post yesterday, I’m sure, will get people arguing about freedom and unions. Those who know me know that I support freedom above any other political position. Those who don’t know me might claim I’m a Republican or part of the “Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy.” But I’m not. I just want freedom, period. But thinking about unions, I don’t see unions as anti-freedom. Oh, sure, the government unions today and unions in general, today, under the current system of laws are dramatically anti-freedom. There is nothing remotely associated between freedom and unions today. But freedom could exist in harmony with unions quite easily.

In a free society, any person would be free to engage in commerce with another person. Yes, I realize this is far, far, far away from anything that can be seen in America today. But I am talking about how unions and freedom can get along — not a utopia by any means, just a free society.

So, if a person is free to sell their own time for a certain price, then another person (as a business) would be free to hire a person for whatever price they could agree upon. If the business offered the person $10 an hour and the person didn’t want to work for $10 an hour, they could both go on their own way. The business would then be free to offer the $10 an hour to someone else. At some point, either the business could find someone for $10 an hour, or they’d have to raise their offer and possibly talk to the same people again.

Now, if there were a large group of people that all had the skill that they wanted, the large group of people could form a union. The union would be free to ask people to join and to charge fees. People would be free to join the union or not. When the business wanted to employ someone with the desired skill, they could ask a person to accept $10, and the person would be free to tell the business, “You need to negotiate with my union.” The business would then be free to either negotiate with the union or go try and find someone else. If the union could convince all the people in an area to join, the business might decide that it’s easier to work with the union.

The key to all this is “free association.” Would ever person be a member of the union? Of course not. But could the union provide more benefits to the business, like certifications, educated people, insurance, and other items? Absolutely. And in this situation, government would not be required to force anyone to do anything, unlike the system in place today. The only role government would have would be to arbitrate contract disputes. Is this way perfect? Certainly not. Is it much better than the system in place today? Freedom is always better for people — but not for those who thrive off government and force.

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