Decentralized totalitarian states like modern Amerika specialize in slipping assumptions into your mind that keep you from realizing how badly confused, corrupted, and dysfunctional everything is. The things you have to assume are true in order to avoid being constantly paranoid will break your brain.
For example, consider unions. We are told about how they got us the 40-hour work week and how they stand up for the worker. Neither is true, of course; unions are a type of organized crime that specializes in extortion from business. So far, it has been legal. That might change with Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees:
The claimant, Mark Janus, an Illinois state social worker, argues that his First Amendment liberties are violated because he has to pay an “agency fee” to the union even though he is not a member and might disagree with its politics.
On the merits, nothing about the agency fee deprives Janus of his right as a citizen to speak out as he wishes. And the idea behind collective bargaining is that when a majority of employees decide to join a union, its bargaining typically produces higher pay and benefits for the entire bargaining unit. Agency fees pay for this collective effort.
As the nation’s Roman Catholic bishops argued in their brief supporting the union, “Without these clauses, unions face a ‘free rider’ problem that dramatically weakens them and, in turn, their bargaining power on behalf of workers, as experience in ‘right-to-work’ states to date has borne out. Thus, ‘right-to-work’ laws are seen to represent a governmentally imposed ‘limit [on] the freedom or the negotiating capacity of labour unions.'”
We see the setup: if not forced to subsidize the union, workers would choose not to be in the union. If we force everyone to pay agency fees, we get to have a union, which is assumed to be a universal good thing despite the fact that unions through collective reward retain the incompetent alongside the good.
A smarter policy is to retain and promote the good while weeding out the rest. Who needs mediocre workers? Unions do, and maybe politicians do, but business does not and the cost is passed on to the rest of us through higher prices and badly manufactured products.
Before unions, “American made” was a stamp that signified value. After unions, “American made” means you better buy the protection plan because the gadget is probably going to disintegrate on the way home. That is, if we even can manufacture it; unions and associated rules and regulations have raised our costs of labor beyond what the market will bear for many items.
Unions are like Leftists wreckers of good things. A union will swoop into a small town, organize the workers, raise costs, disrupt the business with strikes, and then be shocked and amazed a decade later when the plant closes. Then again, what do they care: the extra money extorted from the business mostly went to the union.
Conservatives want to re-orient the West toward the values of Darwinism and morality. In that view, the best thrive and everyone else gets paid a lot less. This encourages people to be competent, instead of merely spending lots of hours doing nothing of great importance.
This thinking applies at every level in life. Those who do good things should be rewarded; those who do bad should have bad things come to them. This way, the best rise and all of the rest of us benefit from their competence. The union way is the opposite: we all wait on whoever is slowest so that the group can stay together.
Those who complain about Trump should take a peek at the restructuring of America, much of it philosophical instead of physical, going on behind the scenes. With conservatives leading the way, people are leaving behind the “we must save everyone” mentality and going instead to a “good to the good, bad to the bad” outlook.
Unions, as inherently collectivist organizations that seek to reward the mediocre as well as the good, are part of the craziness that has seized the West over the past two centuries. They have aided in reversing our focus on quality and goodness and turning that into tolerance for everyone, especially the mediocre or bad.
Sometime during the second term of the Obama administration, as Angela Merkel was raging across Europe, people in the West lost faith in a lot of things that they had relied on in the past. It was not just that they did not work as described, but that they were wrecking our faith in life itself. As we purge unions, we are rediscovering that faith.