Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Right to Work: A Definitive Ruling

The Freakwenter often finds herself uncertain on public policy matters.  The issue of the Right to Work legislation is not one of them.  FYI, a Right to Work law is a law that prevents employers from requiring employees to pay union dues.

Many arguments and counterarguments exist regarding Right to Work laws.  Pundits debate the effects of the law for employees, for corporations, and for the economy as a whole.  Some say workers will suffer without union representation.  Others say that jobs will be more plentiful if union power is limited.  Both sides ignore what the Freakwenter sees as the fundamental issue:  that Right to Work laws are an invasion of big government, taking away the freedom of people to write contracts of employment as they see fit.

A private company should have the freedom to decide who it will hire, and a worker should have the freedom to decide whether or not to work for a company.  The Freakwenter authorizes government infringement on personal and corporate freedoms only when economic actors (people or corporations) exercise active harm against others, as in the case of air pollution or robbery.

Oh, but wait, there is one gray area:  What if the corporation in question is not a private corporation but a tax-funded entity, such as the department of education?  In the humble opinion of the Frequenter, government agencies have no business privately negotiating with special interest groups (including teachers' unions) over tax-payer dollars.  If teachers demand a raise, this issue should be taken to the public in a referendum.  Requiring teachers to pay unions as a condition of working in public schools is equivalent to requiring taxpayers to fund teacher unions, a clear taxpayer loss.  Therefore, Right to Work laws should be firmly applied in organizations that accept taxpayer dollars.

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