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.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

A chance to set back Big Labor

Although the case has been pending for some time (the Supreme Court granted certiorari some months ago) I just today was reading about it: there is a case before the Supreme Court called Harris v. Quinn which has some possibilities that look good for setting back Big Labor. It involves home care workers who have been classified as state workers under Illinois law, apparently just in order to put them under a collective bargaining agreement which has set up an “agency shop,” a contract where even if a person does not want to join a union, he is forced to pay the union dues. This is one of the most evil things ever worked into a contract — you must pay someone, allegedly for providing a service, but the service is one you never asked for nor want. And the money, of course, goes in part to political candidates you might oppose.

Of course, the unions are upset that anyone would challenge these “agency shop” provisions; they say that the unions have to negotiate for all the workers and so even the non-members benefit, so they should help support the union. In fact, the union often negotiates contracts with provisions that are directly against the interests of these non-members, but union apologists refuse to see this, and that is why many people do not want to be a part of the union.

But a ruling in favor of the plaintiffs in this case would not actually kill “agency shops,” as all it would do is to say that they are not in fact state employees. It would be nice if it did, of course, but that is not what this specific case is all about. It will not release unwilling people who are state employees from these burdensome “agency shop” contracts. Yet some columnists have claimed it would provide a “right-to-work” law for all public employees. Would that this were so!

Still, it's a move in the right direction. The only thing that would really provide equity in this issue of “right-to-work” laws would be a national “right-to-work” law that would apply to everyone. Nobody should be forced to pay dues to an organization he perceives as working against his interest. But let us hope that Harris prevails in this case, and others follow to push the issue a little farther in the future.

No comments: