The argument isn't about unions themselves, it's about public unions. Public employees should not have the right to unionize mainly because they do not derive their income from production. They get their money from the general public who pay the money THEY earn in taxes to support the public work force. The government does not actually produce anything. Their's is a service industry whether it be planning infrastructure, traffic lights or parks. They spend money. Taxpayer money.
Now there's nothing wrong with that since we all want good roads and decent schools. But what a public union does is drive up the cost of these services beyond the publics capacity to pay. Also in the last 15 years, the public sector has grown to enjoy even more benefits than the people who actually pay their salaries.
I'm sorry, a school teacher's job is not more important than mine. I work for a money making venture that also provides a service. The big difference is that mine makes a profit beyond costs and for the moment, is solvent. And that's only because the government has yet to suck enough resources out of us to drive us into the ground.
The counter argument is that these people have a right to organize and that they will take the cuts as long as they can have the right to organize. Well no, the public sector does not work to make profits and so really has no inherent right to organize for more pay and better benefits, the government being such an overbearing ogre of an employer don't you know, that unions are essential to protect these people.
We are not talking about working in a coal mine. People usually went into public service for the good hours, being close to home and the benefits and not for the money since in the beginning, public service didn't pay much. Now public employees have all the great pension and health benefits and seem to have the big money too!
When we have government negotiating with government employees we get the equivelant of a baseball team where the pitcher, the catcher and the batter are all on the same team. The public unions always seem to hit it out of the park. The town I live in had up until last year, 3 out of it's 5 selectmen that were public employees. That must've been one hell of a negotiating meeting huh? When a town or a state for that matter enjoys a large percentage of public employees who don't have long commutes and can organize the vote beyond the capacity of private workers, we get a one party rule and the producers suffer like we have for over the last decade.
But bad economic policy can only last so long. Government invariably ends up grabbing more than the private sector can support and it never ends well.
Here we are.