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1 comments | June 19, 2007 | 1:17 PM | posted by Ryan

Fox News reported today that the Democratic presidential candidates are lining up to woo unions for their endorsements, volunteers and cash (an amount certain to exceed the estimated more than $250 million spent in the last presidential election.).

“Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, begins union speeches with 'Solidarity Forever!' Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., advocated for union nurses fighting for a new contract at Finley Hospital in Dubuque, Iowa, in April. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., relocated an important Chicago fundraiser because it had been booked in a nonunion locale.”

John Edwards tried to top them off though, by issuing a statement criticizing the victory the U.S. Supreme Court handed teachers and other workers. Edwards’ statement clearly indicated he believes unions should be able to force teachers and workers to give him political contributions. He characterized the decision as, “upholding a Washington state law that made it more difficult for unions to use fees from workers they represent to support the union's political advocacy.”

He then grossly misconstrued some analogies, including equating unions with corporations.

"Corporations don't have to ask for shareholders' approval when they hire lobbyists, run ads or make campaign contributions to candidates running for governor. I believe labor unions have at least as great a right to be heard in the political process. Fortunately, Washington state has fixed its law. But if other states were to take advantage of the Court's unwise precedent today, it would silence the political voice of working families."

Edwards’ characterizations are wrong from both from the perspective of shareholders and from the perspective of consumers.

  • Shareholders are not forced to maintain ownership of the shares of a company they disagree with. They can simply sell.
  • Consumers are free to shop where they want, whether at a neighborhood supermarket or another across the street. Consumers can spend their money whenever and however they want.

Unions have a special right when it comes to collecting dues and fees. Justice Scalia wrote, “unions have no constitutional entitlement to the fees of nonmember-employees.” Later he wrote, “It is undeniably unusual for a government agency to give a private entity the power, in essence, to tax government employees.”

If it is unusual for the government to give a private organization the ability to tax employees, it must be even more unusual for corporations to have the ability to tax shareholders and employees.

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Blogger SVC Alumnus Blogger said...

You got it right. Unions have mandatory powers over teachers. We need to have a free agency policy where teachers can break free of the union and negotiate their own contracts.

It's also important to remember and watch this grim Motionbox showing how John Edwards equates the War On Terrorism to a bumper sticker and worse. John Edwards is living in another America as far as I'm concerned.

2:08 PM


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