Category Archives: Unions

Herbert Spencer and Organized Labor

I like this for two reasons.

First, it gives you a different spin on Herbert Spencer than is typical. He was not an advocate of the dog eat world he is associated with.

Second, it explores reason for unions, but does see higher wages across the board as part of that reason.

The latter seems important to me, because it is pretty hard I think to support a claim of unions raising wages for some workers without decreasing them for others.

I think unions should focus on fosters programs such as effective training to allow workers to transition to new jobs even as existing jobs disappear in inevitable ‘creative destruction’.


Why Wisconsin?


via Why Wisconsin?.


Keep in mind that almost all generalizations about Wisconsin are slightly inaccurate, as it’s hard to make generalizations about highly average places.  For instance Wisconsin does have some professional jobs in insurance, biotech, etc.  But Wisconsin is un-average enough in one dimension to make at least a few generalizations possible.  And that dimension isn’t dairy farming, it’s lots of cities with 50,000 people that make things.  It’s easy to convince foolish rich people in West LA to waste $300,000,000 on boondoggle high schools, they even think teachers are poorly paid.  But in a community of 50,000 people, most folks pretty much know what’s going on, and they accurately perceive that the public employees are currently doing better than they are.  In the end the GOP may over-reach, as Wisconsin still has that strong Northern European social democratic tradition.  It’s still a Democratic state.  But the fact that the battle in Wisconsin is even this close should be a wake-up call that there are some internal contradictions in modern liberalism that are a long way from being resolved.