Public Watchdog.org

Labor Day 2017

09.04.17

Last Labor Day our post discussed all the good things private sector labor unions have achieved for American workers – including today’s national holiday – while also noting the bad things public sector unions have foisted on taxpayers, most of whom are private sector union and non-union workers.

Because public sector union members almost exclusively provide services rather than goods, the global economy does not provide the same checks and balances on that sector that it does to the private sector dominated by manufacturing and retail. Hence, 34.4% of public sector workers are unionized compared to only 6.4% of private sector workers, according to a 2017 report by the U.S. Dept. of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

And most, if not all, of those public sector workers get their wages and benefits from the taxpayers, who  pay for them with the fruits of their own labor.

Which makes it more important than ever that, on this Labor Day, we remember the words of Thomas Jefferson from his first inaugural address in 1801, in which he advocated for “a wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.”

Two hundred sixteen years later that principle of government is truer than ever – especially here in the mismanaged, corrupt, tax-happy yet almost-bankrupt State of Illinois.

To read or post comments, click on title.

2 comments so far

Government has no money of its own, so every dollar it has it takes from taxpayers. That’s why there is, there always has been, and there always will be a tension between those who pay and those who receive.

We’ll never get it in Illinois, but we need restrictions on the scope of public union bargaining like our neighbors in Wisconsin implemented early in this decade. Public employees should be paid wages and receive benefits which are consistent with the private sector, where competition impacts compensation.

EDITOR’S NOTE: What we need are elected officials with spines who won’t roll over every time public employee unions tell them to do so.



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