Monday, January 4, 2016
Government Sponsorship = Fewer Personal Freedoms = Less Competition = Less Economic Growth and General Prosperity
Free marketplaces are competitive. Government sponsorship is anti-competitive and monopolistic.
Competition and freedom inevitably result in better outcomes and greater prosperity for both the vast majority of individuals and the nation as a whole. It's that simple.
The government sanctioned, sponsored and protected monopoly of America's public schools is creating a less globally competitive, productive and prosperous workforce and society for future generations.
Unions represent all teachers in most of these costly and underperforming government sponsored schools.
Union monopolies of the workforce result in fewer individual freedoms for high performing employees, thereby resulting in worse outcomes for students being 'served' and society as a whole.
And the cost of these monopolistic, politically savvy unions is much higher than it would otherwise be in a competitive marketplace, resulting in higher than necessary costs for taxpayers and worse outcomes for students.
Why I'm Fighting My Teachers Union is worth reading and reflecting upon:
"I am one of 10 California teachers suing to end compulsory union dues in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, which will be heard by the Supreme Court Jan. 11. Our request is simple: Strike down laws in 23 states that require workers who decline to join a union to pay fees anyway. In our view, paying fees to a union should not be a prerequisite for teaching in a public school. No one in the U.S. should be forced to give money to a private organization he or she disagrees with fundamentally. Teachers deserve a choice. . . .
I was a member of the union for years and even served as a union representative. But the union never played an important role in my school. When most teachers sought guidance, they wanted help in the classroom and on how to excel at teaching. The union never offered this pedagogic aid.
Instead, the union focused on politics. . . . Eventually, I realized that my dues—about $1,000 a year—went toward ideas and issues that ran counter to my beliefs.
So I opted out of paying the portion of union dues that is put toward political activities. The Supreme Court requires unions to provide this option, but I was surprised by how difficult this is. To opt out you have to resign from the union and relinquish all benefits—insurance, legal representation, maternity leave. Although you are prohibited from voting on any new contract, you are still forced to pay for the union’s collective bargaining, on the theory that the union negotiates for everyone.
But over time I’ve learned that the union’s collective bargaining is every bit as political. The union is bargaining for things I’d never support. For example, in my community, the union spends resources pushing for ever-higher teacher salaries. I’m in favor of a decent salary for teachers, but I think we are already well paid compared with everyone else in the Central Valley.
The area has endured hard times in the past few years. Parents of my students have been laid off, and many are still unemployed. Some have moved in with grandparents or other family members to stay afloat financially. Families struggle to make ends meet. That the union would presume to push, allegedly on my behalf, for higher salaries at the expense of smaller class sizes and avoiding teacher layoffs is preposterous.
The union also negotiates policies on discipline, grievances and seniority that make it difficult—if not impossible—to remove bad teachers. Over three decades I’ve seen my share of educators who should be doing something else. . . .
These situations are sad. Students were relying on this teacher for an education, and he did not deliver. Yet he could do exactly as he pleased because the union had negotiated protections based on seniority. Sometimes the very teachers who shouldn’t be in the classroom are protected from layoffs thanks to seniority rules, while slightly younger but more competent colleagues are given the ax—again, thanks to collective bargaining.
The teachers in my family disagree about the union. Some support it and others don’t. But everyone agrees that each of us should have the right to decide whether to join. So I’m not against the union; I’m against the state forcing me to pay union fees against my will.
Most Americans agree. Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government recently released its ninth annual “Education Next” opinion poll. A majority of teachers who had an opinion, 50% of those surveyed, favored ending mandatory agency fees. Most Americans, regardless of political persuasion, are also on our side. A Gallup poll last year found that 82% of the public agrees that “no American should be required to join any private organization, like a labor union, against his will.” That’s all we’re asking."
Public sector unions result in an expensive and wasteful use of taxpayer dollars.
They also result in poorly performing employees being protected and taxpayers, including kids, getting the shaft.
The collectively granted group rights extended by government bureaucrats purportedly negotiating on behalf of We the People invariably negatively impact schools and the individual rights of all citizens, excepting the union leaders and the protected few bad teachers, of course.
Here's the bottom line --- powerful government sponsored public sector unions, and not just those representing teachers, assure that outcomes for those 'served' will be worse and more costly than if free individual choice prevailed.
In America the group collective should never be favored and protected over the rights of free individuals.
But unfortunately, at least in the public sector, we no longer seem to value the individual right of free choice for one and all.
That's my take.