Congrats Ohio

What it means that Ohio’s Issue 2 was defeated :

Because public sector unions’ central task is to defend their members’ occupational interests, they will have little choice but to resist reform efforts. But while public employee unions may be able to stave-off major efforts to address employee compensation costs, the need for states to address these issues will remain. In Ohio’s case, the defeat by referendum of a structural reform approach, which would have given elected officials and agency managers more discretion, will require the state to adopt one of the other two dominant approaches—budget austerity or a combination of concessions and new revenues. Which is to say, Ohioans are in for some combination of service cutbacks and tax increases.

Here are some Ohio teachers celebrating the victory of union interests over those of the taxpayers:

What, specifically, are they celebrating? Kasich’s Senate Bill 5 would have had the effect of:

[B]anning strikes by all 350,000 state government workers, outlawing collective bargaining among state employees, forcing more meritocratic calculations on pay for state employees, reducing workers’ sick leave and limiting time-off to five days a week, and requiring all public employees to pay 15% of their health care premiums and 10% of their salaries toward pensions.

Why, that is just draconian! Paying 15% of their health care premiums? Outlandish. @@.

Public employees now make up a large percentage of union members, and “their unions are now the principal financiers of organized labor’s political efforts, and government decides most issues of importance to them.” Which is problematic, of course. The UNION interest supersedes the public interest. The people work to serve the public employees and their cushy benefits.

The idea that a public employee needs a “union” to protect their interests should be silly on face value since the assumption is that our own government isn’t treating it’s workers properly. But, whateve …

In the private sector, unions must be acutely attentive to their employers’ competitive position vis-à-vis other firms. This can moderate their demands because if the company goes out of business, workers lose their jobs and the union disappears. And management has stronger incentives to push back against union demands because it has incentives to keep profits for itself. To adapt to this environment, private-sector unions have been willing to make concessions to keep their employers competitive.

In the public sector? The money is ENDLESS. The employer – the state – isn’t going to “go out of business.” [see Greece] The taxpayers are a captive audience, and the funds are are just a tax hike away.

A fundamental difference between public and private sector unions is that the former can exert greater influence on their employers—that is, the government—through the political process. Private-sector unions concentrate their resources on collective bargaining, which is the only way that they can win things for their members. Public-sector unions, however, can win benefits for their members through collective-bargaining and through lobbying and electioneering on behalf of elected officials. Government unions make campaign contributions and organize get-out-the-vote drives to elect politicians who then act as “management” in contract negotiations. The unions then assiduously lobby those same politicians between election cycles.

And thus, FDR was against public unionization.

Government as an employer also creates incentives for public-employee unions to obscure their purposes by conflating their self-interest with the public interest.

Which is what we saw in Ohio.

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