Whenever the topic of unions arise, some people's feathers are ruffled in a hurry. To avoid hypertension and emotional outbursts, this blog will narrow its focus to discuss public unions. Public unions are unions that represent public (government) employees.
However, public unions create an inherent problem in government — a conflict of interest if you will: on one hand public unions are to represent the best interest of the government employees they serve. Public unions are to negotiate for the best wages, the best benefits and the best retirement package possible. On the other hand, the employees are employed by the government for the sole purpose to serve the citizens of their jurisdiction. So what happens when the wage, benefit and retirement package of public unions put at risk the government's ability to fulfill its obligations to the citizens? The answer is that the citizens are told that the government has a "shortfall in revenue" to meet its obligations and therefore the only answers are to increase revenue by raising taxes or to provide less service. The public union doesn't care which as long as they get their demands met.
Is it in the citizen's best interest that government continually cost more because public unions demand more for the government employees they represent? Is it in the citizen's best interest that government spend the same amount of money for few services because the public unions make each employee more expensive to employ? The obvious answer to both questions is no.
So for the citizenry, for whom the government is to serve, public unions do public harm and not public good.