Thursday, June 16, 2011

Right to Work Laws Shouldn't Even Be Necessary

Right to work: It’s a hot button issue in modern politics. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, several states have passed or are fighting to pass legislation to end mandatory union membership to work at a particular business. Those of you who were unaware that such union requirements exist are likely wondering why this practice is even legal. Think about it for a moment; what would Liberals say if Conservative organizations required a person to be a Christian to work a job, or a Republican, or a member of the Unofficial Star Wars In-Depth Analysis Club (1) to be employed at a job. They’d have a conniption (and probably claim the discussion of Jedi violates the nonexistent Separation of Church and State). Yet Liberals are also having a conniption because lawmakers are saying you can no longer require a person to be a member of a union to work a job if the employer is willing to hire that person.

By the way, this forced association wouldn’t be quite so bad if it wasn’t for the fact that there are mandatory dues required for membership. (For those of you from Palm Beach County, dues are fees charged to be a member of an organization). So individuals are required to join an organization and then pay for the right to be a part of an organization that they don’t necessarily want to be a part of in the first place.
Unions and their Liberal cronies in the Democrat Party are doing a good deal of whining about these laws, claiming that removing the mandatory membership requirements would take away their power base. My answer is too darn bad! If your organization needs to force people to be members to maintain your power base, you shouldn’t have that level of power in the first place! You have your power by forcing people to pay you without their consent. In a Democracy, power is not a right. It’s a privilege earned by having voluntary support from many people.

If you dust off a history book, you’ll discover that the original unions didn’t have mandatory membership or dues being deducted from payroll checks. I will grant that they served an important purpose in the 19th Century and early 20th Century (one that has ceased to be, by the way). Those unions happened organically. People chose to form unions and join them. They chose to pay dues to receive the benefits of union membership.

And no, requiring union membership is not the same as requiring certain levels of experience or education to obtain a job. Requiring a doctor to be board certified is done not to maintain the Medical Board’s influence but to ensure that those who are charged with our medical care are in fact trained professionals. Also, requiring a person to have a bachelor’s degree in accounting to work as an accountant is requiring a certain level of education. Being in a union is not an achieved standard. It’s an arbitrary requirement meant to maintain the power of that group.

Here’s the real crux of the issue: private organizations do not have a right to take money from people and force them to be members of a particular organization to obtain a job. These requirements by right ought to be illegal. This is an attempt to maintain an illegitimate power base. Right to work should not even need a discussion. We shouldn’t need a law to tell an organization they cannot force a person to join its ranks or pay dues. Period.

(1) The Unofficial Star Wars In-Depth Analysis Club meets at my apartment Monday evenings for about fifteen minutes and periodically at barbecues and game nights. Current membership is three. We then are joined by a few more people and become a small group Bible study on Mondays and the same few more people on the other occasions for enjoyable evenings. The group remains unofficial, although I doubt Kenny and Dustin would mind (names changed to protect the dorkily innocent).

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