The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):


  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”


Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Indiana's right-to-work law

Yesterday, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels signed a right-to-work law for that state. Hurray for Indiana, but we really need a national law.

Years ago, Federal law outlawed the “closed shop,” where a worker had to be a member of a union to be hired, but allowed “union shop” contracts, where a worker might be forced to join the union after he was hired. Unions love these contracts, because workers can be forced to pay dues to corrupt unions that do nothing worthwhile for their workers. (Any union that really serves the workers it supposedly represents should be able to convince the workers to join voluntarily.)

Typically these days, the only workers who benefit by union contracts are the ones who do a substandard job — because any worker who wants to do a good job gets harassed by the union (since he's showing up the others!) Good workers, as well, are prevented from having their talents recognized, because union contracts typically require a worker to be paid the same whether he performs well or not: either all the workers get the same pay, or their pay is only dependent on seniority. In non-union shops, by contrast, workers get evaluated as individuals, and their pay depends on the job they do. A good worker will not be underpaid, because the employer wants to keep him.

Once upon a time, unions performed a necessary function — there were sweatshops, and workers needed the unions to make their jobs safe and adequately compensated. Those days are gone, at least in the USA. And this is shown by the precipitous drop in union membership — in the 1950s, unions enrolled more than a third of all workers, while now it is only slightly more than 10%. And in the private sector, it is far less than that — less than 7%. Clearly, most workers only belong to a union if they have to. And this is why we need a national right-to-work law: a law that will clearly state that nobody has to belong to a union unless he really wants to.

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