Friday, February 12, 2010

Inane at Any Speed

Ralph Nader, one of the biggest frauds of the last half century, weighs in, poorly, on the recent Supreme Court election free speech decision.

The disparities between individual contributions and available corporate dollars mock any pretense of equal justice under the law. A total of $5.2 billion from all sources was spent in the 2008 federal election cycle (which includes 2007
and 2008), according to the Center for Responsive Politics. For the same two-year period, ExxonMobil's profits were $85 billion. The top-selling drug, Pfizer's Lipitor, grossed $27 billion in sales during that time.

Of course business is the ultimate boogie man for Nader, unless he is busy shaking them down. Nevermind that the McCain-Feingold act which the court truck down was only created in 2002, and there were plenty of rich companies before that, none of which were spending billions of dollars on campaign related commercials. The idea that they would is just silly.

Nader proposes a solution:

In the absence of a future court overturning Citizens United, the fundamental response should be a constitutional amendment. We must exclude all commercial corporations and other artificial commercial entities from participating in political activities. Such constitutional rights should be reserved for real people, including, of course, company employees, to enhance a government of, by and for the people.

Nevermind that the case he is talking about is not about a commercial corporation, but Citizens United, a non-profit one. This also effects unions and other such non-commercial entities. I would love to see Nader supporting an ammendment banning unions from political speech.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

The Public Unions

Personally, even though it will probably never happen, I think it should be illegal for public employees to be unionized. For starters, the whole point of unions was to protect workers from "capitalist exploitation", so why do they need protection from the enlightened government that they helped elect. Secondly, in a private corporation there are checks and balances, a company cannot survive without paying enough to recruit qualified workers for their industry, nor can they survive if they pay their workers too much to be competitive. GM stands as an example of this, although they have managed to survive solely through government intervention. In government though, they have an endless supply of money they can simply confiscate from taxpayers to pay their workers, in a weird sort of monopoly power. Anyway, the WSJ, as usual covers this topic well.

In private industries, union workers are subject to the vagaries of the marketplace and economic growth. Thus in 2009 10.1% of private union jobs were eliminated, which was more than twice the 4.4% rate of overall private job losses. On the other hand, government unions offer what is close to lifetime job security and benefits, subject only to gross dereliction of duty. Once a city or state's workers are organized by a union, the jobs almost never go away.

This means government is the main playing field of modern unionism, which explains why the AFL-CIO and SEIU have become advocates for higher taxes and government expansion in cities, states and Washington. Unions once saw their main task as negotiating a bigger share of an individual firm's profits. Now the movement's main goal is securing a larger share of the overall private economy's wealth, which means pitting government employees against middle-class taxpayers.