Henry Hazlitt on Labor Unions

Last night, Scott Walker won the recall election for governor of the state of Wisconsin.  I cannot express the deep and satisfying  schadenfreud I feel over Ed “Parsons” Schultz’s inevitable mental collapse that results from this.  Labor unions are an attack on the free market; they do not help workers except for those lucky few who can get union jobs–and even the latter group is hurt by higher prices and lower quality.

Henry Hazlitt, who wrote the excellent Economics in One Lesson, wrote about unions, and did an excellent job explaining how they hurt the worker.

“The net overall effect of unions and of union policy has been to exclude non-union members, to drive them into less attractive and lower-paid jobs, to distort the structure and balance of production, to increase inflation, to reduce productivity, to discourage new investment, to retard capital formation, and hence to reduce the total production for all of us and the total real wages of the whole body of workers below what it would otherwise have been. It is altogether probable that even the highest real wages now received by members of strong unions are lower than such wages would have been if the unions and their historic policies had never existed. (The Strike, p. 74).”


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