Subscribe to
Posts
Comments

This from the Brussels Journal….

In Belgium, unlike anywhere else in the world, the three official trade unions, not the state, pay unemployment benefits. Each year the government gives them the necessary funds and also pays them a fee for every unemployed person they cater for. The perverse result is that it is in the unions’ interest to have high unemployment: the more people without a job, the richer the trade unions become.

Actually, the whole problem with unions is that they have every incentive to increase the benefits of currently employed members and no incentive to look out for the people who don’t have jobs. The situation in Belgium is just an extreme example of a common problem.

This problem is the reason that high rates of union membership in society tend to go hand in hand with high rates of unemployment. The fact that unions exclusively pursue the interests of the currently employed raises the price of labor relative to price of capital (like robots, or other means of automation). Thus, unionization naturally produces capital heavy industries that employ as few people as possible.

If capital and labor need to be in competing camps and if we have to have things like unemployment insurance; let us require that every company that has over 100 employees to employee only union members. And let us require the Unions to pay the unemployment benefits for everyone, even those people who do not belong to a Union. But let us make them raise the money to do this from their members, not from the government.

This would give the Unions a lot of power but it would also give them some responsibility. They would have to temper their demands for the presently employed workers with needs of those who are looking for work. Maybe then unions would serve a useful function in society.

One Response to “Unions need responsibility if they are to have power”

  1. […] _uacct = “UA-1202685-1”; urchinTracker(); Map of the Ethereal Land The Ethereal Voice Front Page – Politics – Money – Knowledge – Art – Food – Fun Masthead About Unions need responsibility if they are to have power By Ape Man | October 8, 2007 – 2:05 pm Posted in Category: Front Page, Money This from the Brussels Journal…. In Belgium, unlike anywhere else in the world, the three official trade unions, not the state, pay unemployment benefits. Each year the government gives them the necessary funds and also pays them a fee for every unemployed person they cater for. The perverse result is that it is in the unions’ Click Here to continue reading. […]

Leave a Reply