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0 comments | June 25, 2007 | 4:30 PM | posted by Ryan

A column in today’s Everett Herald, "Rulings could stem public-sector union actions," covers the case and emphasizes some points I mentioned last week about how the Davenport victory reflects on the Washington State Supreme Court.

Right off, the column jumps into a time machine as it reminisces about what it calls “simpler times” including the Cold War era. Yes, you’re probably wondering as I was how many could be nostalgic for the age of mutually assured destruction, but the author vocalizes its simplicity in comparison to today’s “complexity.”

What does the Cold War have to do with the Davenport victory? Yes, I wonder the same, and as you can guess from such an opening, the article takes an eternity to read. As such, a time machine might do you some good.

The article covers:

  • The economic theory behind unions: Unions restrict the supply of labor to raise wages for its members,
  • The emergence of the global economy in the 70’s and the Labor Movement’s resultant shift to the public sector,
  • The politicization of the Labor Movement (the inevitable result of unionizing the public sector),
  • Public sector unions’ growing dominance of the Labor Movement,
  • The rise of “agency shop” provisions,
  • And finally how union political involvement and agency shop provisions necessitated the Davenport decision.

The article concludes:

“Unions wielding political power aren't exactly new, but the shift from private enterprise to the public sector still has economists off balance, for the economic issues are often buried under political agendas. It was simpler when the coal miners or the auto workers wanted more money. But that's just nostalgia, isn't it.”

What? Back to economics? The author put together some good points and is right all around, but he lost the “simplicity” part of his own message.

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