from June 2012, Economics
If you haven't noticed, a reoccurring theme has permeated this blog by various writers: Public Unions. The writers at KlamathNews.net have been very careful to make the clear distinction between public and private unions. We believe there can be a place for unions in the private sector. However the public sector is completely different. The public sector is a monopoly on a particular set of services for the community. It is this very fact that because governments hold monopolies on particular services that employees of the government should not be able to unionize.
Why? We'll let's look at an illustration. Suppose the union that manages the District Attorneys office think the DA and his crew aren't getting a good deal and decide to strike. Who else can prosecute a criminal case? No one. The DA's office owns a monopoly on that activity. Because this has the potential to do great public harm, Oregon law doesn't allow a public union to strike. Instead Oregon law states that if the county and a public union can't agree on a compensation package the matter goes to mediation. Almost always the mediator will rule somewhere in the middle. While that might seem fair, it isn't. What if the county doesn't have another nickel to spare? What if the voters want the commissioners is to cut costs? Does the mediator take these factors into consideration? Of course not. At best the mediator looks at the two proposals and picks something in the middle. But that is not what the voters may have wanted, so the public union process has subverted the people's will on the county controlling costs.
You've probably heard the phrase, "A government of the people, by the people and for the people." It is the last part of this phrase that public unions totally destroy. Public unions only represent the government employee's best interest (and their own), not the public at large.
Sometimes when I hear liberals talk, there is angst against corporations, and sometimes individuals, who make too much money. (First I wonder what their definition of "too much" is. Second I wonder why liberals get to determine any amount at all.) This type of discussion usually arises when trying to figure out how to raise more money for government. According to liberals, the best way to achieve this goal is by raising taxes on the wealthy — people and businesses alike.
Taxes are a penalty on productivity. If you don't think so, just look around at the wide offering of tax accountants available to help figure out how to pay fewer taxes. I have yet to hear of an individual or company that hires a tax accountant to help them pay more taxes. People and businesses alike do as much as they legally can not to pay taxes. Why? Because, taxes are a penalty on productivity.
Question: If you want to encourage more of a particular activity, would it be wise to penalize that activity more or to reward it more? Obviously the right answer is to reward the activity you desire. This simple logic is found in training a dog, raising children or coaching a sports team. Discipline and correction follow activities that are undesirable, but rewards and praises follow activities that are wanted. Therefore, if taxing is a penalty on productivity, then what does raising taxes do? Does it increase productivity or decrease it? Answer: Raising taxes decreases productivity.