2-4-12 Hodgepodge

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Another Union Setback

Commentary Magazine reports the following good news from Indiana:

... Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels signed into law a right-to-work statute recently passed by the legislature there. The bill curtails the ability of unions to compel non-members to join or pay fees as a price of employment.
As icing on the cake, the piece quotes the following gem from Jeff Jacoby of the Boston Globe:
That's not a principle, it's a shameless pretext. Unions demand monopoly bargaining power -- the right to exclusively represent everyone in a workplace -- and then insist that each of those workers must pay for the privilege. This is the "principle" of the squeegee-man who aggressively wipes your windshield when you stop at a red light, then demands that you pay for the service he has rendered you.
The unionist's brother in spirit is, of course, still holding your windshield wiper with the hand that isn't outstretched.

Weekend Reading

"If Romney is to have any chance against Obama and the envious egalitarians this election year he'll have to ... become eloquent, passionate, and bold in proclaiming that capitalism is the most productive system because it's so moral, because it celebrates inequality (diversity of achievement), and because it enshrines the principle of earning ('justice as desert')." -- Richard Salsman, in "The Inequality Debate: Senseless Without Consideration of What Is Earned" at Forbes

"If the FDA's proposed NDI guidance is adopted, supplement manufacturers will be left with a choice: either submit their products to similarly rigorous pre-approval trials as drugs, or give the FDA the power to ban product without justification and with full impunity." -- Michelle Minton, in "The FDA Has It Dead Wrong" at The Hill

"Give back to whom? In reality, we've already benefited handily from their efforts." -- Jonathan Hoenig, in "In Praise of Private Equity" at SmartMoney

"[S]ome people do successfully untangle themselves from drug and/or alcohol abuse. How do they do it?" -- Michael Hurd, in "Rehab: An Empty Promise?" at DrHurd.com

"Rand has helped many people see that something has gone wrong in America. But they haven't yet understood the source of the problem or Rand's radical solution." -- Don Watkins, in "Happy Birthday, Ayn Rand: Why Are You Still So Misunderstood?" at Fox News

My Two Cents

It is heartening that a major news outlet published the superb Don Watkins piece as an exclusive: Watkins very succinctly shows -- including the people most receptive to wanting to correct the problem -- that too many people who like Ayn Rand might want to think more carefully about what she had to say.

A Triumph of Media Attention

Today's post starts and ends in Indiana. From Ars Technica:
Earlier this week, we reported on efforts by an Indiana state legislator who was interested in getting creationism inserted into the state's science classrooms. He managed to get a modified bill, one that was less sectarian but still overtly promoted religion, passed by the state's Senate. Yesterday, however, the leader of the Indiana House voiced unease about having the state wade into an area that the Supreme Court has declared an unconstitutional promotion of religion. [links dropped]
Fortunately, negative media attention was enough to cause the pragmatic house speaker to back down. "[C]hallenging Supreme Court decisions is 'someplace we don't need to go,' [he said,] suggesting he will not bring the bill up for a vote."

The good news is that it's easy to convince a pragmatist that something is more trouble than it's worth. The bad news is that you'll have to tell him again and again.

-- CAV


Anonymous said...

Good morning Gus.

On the "right to work" law, Ari Armstrong wrote in his last 'Objective Standard blog' piece that 'Right to Work' laws violate freedom of contract in the same way as existing labor laws. You seem to disagree. Can you explain your apparent support for the Indiana law?

Anonymous said...

GVH wrote:

The good news is that it's easy to convince a pragmatist that something is more trouble than it's worth. The bad news is that you'll have to tell him again and again.

Gus, this is a classic good news bad news formulation. It should be written in stone somewhere. But that would be doubly ironic, no?

c andrew

Gus Van Horn said...


I haven't read the Armstrong piece but strongly suspect that I'd agree with him.

The government should neither mandate (or effectively mandate) union membership nor prohibit it, but in today's context, if the government is going to err in one direction or the other, I prefer this. (I am, of course, open to argument on the point.)


Heh! Glad you liked that line.


Snedcat said...

Yo, Gus, just gonna say that while I haven't paid enough attention to Mitch Daniels to have a strong opinion, my impression is that he's far better than Mark Perry but not as good as Gary Johnson. (Yeah, yeah, I know, that's not saying overmuch.) And in the areas in which he has not made a good impression on me, it's possibly simply due to his having to deal with the widespread Hoosier religiosity shown in your last article.

Gus Van Horn said...

"[M]y impression is that he's far better than [Rick] Perry but not as good as Gary Johnson. ... [T]hat's not saying overmuch."