Thursday, February 22, 2007

Do labor unions raise the general standard of living?

Mind or Muscle?

The basic question of whether or not labor unions raise the standard of living is being debated in our contemporary society and calls for an answer. However, it has been asked and answered over 40 years ago in this 1963 essay by Dr. Nathaniel Branden.

As we revisit this argument in the 21st century, the basic premise pushed by the Labor Bosses remains the same: That Americans owe their standard of living to unions.

The following is a most eloquent and appropriate response:

One of the most widespread delusions of our age is the belief that the American worker owes his high standard of living to unions and to “humanitarian” labor legislation. This belief is contradicted by the most fundamental facts and principles of economics—facts and principles which are systematically evaded by labor leaders, legislators and intellectuals of the statist persuasion.

A country’s standard of living, including the wages of its workers, depends on the productivity of labor; high productivity depends on machines, inventions and capital investment—which depend on the creative ingenuity of individual men—which requires, for its exercise, a politico-economic system that protects the individual’s rights and freedom.

As stated, the above was written more than 40 years ago, when unions were near the height of their collectivist power. To read the entire essay, click here.


Anonymous said...

I've read the Branden essay. It is just a big collection of ideological opinions, not facts. He doesn't provide any evidence for his position.

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