Lest there be any doubt, I am pro-union. My father was in a union; I was in two unions, , and I feel that we and our employers benefited by the existence of those unions.

Unquestionably, in the absence of a union, most employers hold a much stronger hand than do most individual employees.

Yes, there are exceptions. Some employees are so valuable that the employer would lose more than the employee would lose, if the employee were to be fired. But these truly are exceptions.

How the Chicago Teachers' Strike Extends Beyond Schools | Time

Unions make many different executive demands.

How unions benefit employees is clear — better pay, benefits, and working conditions — but less obvious is how unions benefit employers.

One surprising example is professional sports. While unions help athletes make enormous salaries, they also put a lid on total team salaries.

Without that lid, salaries would explode to the point of bankrupting teams, thereby killing the golden-egg goose.

Unions often train workers and insist on certain levels of personnel and production quality. Unions often fight bigotry (though the reverse sometimes has been true).

On balance, unions are good for labor and for management (though management sometimes fights them).

But are unions appropriate for government agencies?

Management has several weapons at hand: Salaries, working conditions, benefits, etc. Workers have one big weapon: Quitting. Unions use strikes and the threat of strikes, as their ultimate bargaining tool.

Using that ultimate tool, unions have the power to demand many changes in business operations, often to the point of functioning as a quasi-management.

The title question then resolves around another question: Should a government union ever be allowed to strike?

The question is especially relevant now, as expressed by the following article:

Labor activists want to reform police unions. Union leaders don’t want to talk about it.

The killing of George Floyd has launched calls for reforming police forces nationwide, as well as reforming the unionsthat may have allowed the officers involved in Floyd’s death to keep working even after prior complaints.

But the leaders of major unions that represent those police unions have been reluctant to talk about reform — and are “tiptoeing” around police brutality altogether.

After the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, “the AFL-CIO began to talk more openly about racism in the police force,” Alexia Fernández Campbell writes.

Yet both then and today, Richard Trumka, head of the AFL-CIO labor federation, has avoided placing any blame on individual officers.

“Police unions have written labor contracts that bar law enforcement agencies across the country from immediately interrogating or firing officers after egregious acts of misconduct,” Fernández Campbell notes.

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin “had at least 17 complaints filed against him but never got more than a written reprimand,” leading advocates to call for reforming police unions or abolishing them altogether, Fernández Campbell continues.

Imagine: A police officer theoretically could throw hand grenades into a filled, 20,000 seat arena, and because of unions, no enforcement official could even question him, much less fire him.

Or imagine this: Because the police are the civilian version of the military, similar rules logically would apply. Would you vote to unionize the military? Would you want a union to dictate military strategy?

Government institutions are not like businesses. Generally they are vital institutions having a profound effect on the public.

If elementary school teachers go on strike, who suffers? Should a union have the power to dictate curriculum, teaching methods, staffing, class size?

If firefighters would exercise the power to go on strike, who suffers? What should a union be able to direct?

If postal workers would go on strike, who would suffer? What should a union be able to direct?

If the police were to go on strike, who would suffer?

Should unions have executive power over these vital institutions?

We already have seen far too many examples of police unions defending the most horrendous crimes by police officers.

The irony is that police unions actually can weaken police officers by reducing public trust. Much of the public has come to believe that the police do not defend them, but rather care only for their own little blue clique.

When the public doesn’t trust the police, the public won’t cooperate with the police. The police then find themselves not only battling criminals, but battling the public at large.

When a police officer believe that he is unloved by the public, this is one emotional result:

Record number of US police officers died by suicide in 2019

A record number of current or former police officers died by suicide last year, according to Blue H.E.L.P., a nonprofit that works to reduce stigmas tied to mental health issues for those in law enforcement.

When a government worker — any government worker — whose job generally is to help the public, feels that the public is his/her primary enemy, the job-stress can interfere with job performance.

You should have empathy for the often underpaid, overworked government employees, but you also should have concern for the overall public. A teacher strike hits at the heart of our nation, as would a firefighter strike, a postal strike, a police strike, a soldier strike, etc.  . . .

I submit that no government workers should be allowed to unionize. Their work is too vital for the nation, to allow for union executive control.

Government unions are bad for the public and bad for the workers.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

Monetary Sovereignty Twitter: @rodgermitchell Search #monetarysovereignty Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..


The most important problems in economics involve:

  1. Monetary Sovereignty describes money creation and destruction.
  2. Gap Psychology describes the common desire to distance oneself from those “below” in any socio-economic ranking, and to come nearer those “above.” The socio-economic distance is referred to as “The Gap.”

Wide Gaps negatively affect poverty, health and longevity, education, housing, law and crime, war, leadership, ownership, bigotry, supply and demand, taxation, GDP, international relations, scientific advancement, the environment, human motivation and well-being, and virtually every other issue in economics. Implementation of Monetary Sovereignty and The Ten Steps To Prosperity can grow the economy and narrow the Gaps:

Ten Steps To Prosperity:

1. Eliminate FICA

2. Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D, plus long-term care — for everyone

3. Social Security for all or a reverse income tax

4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone

5. Salary for attending school

6. Eliminate federal taxes on business

7. Increase the standard income tax deduction, annually. 

8. Tax the very rich (the “.1%”) more, with higher progressive tax rates on all forms of income.

9. Federal ownership of all banks

10.Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99.9% 

The Ten Steps will grow the economy and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and the rest.