December 18, 2012

RICHARD EPSTEIN: The End Of Unions? “Between 1980 and 2011, overall employment levels rose by 71 percent in right-to-work states. In non-right-to-work states, they only rose by 32 percent. That differential does not come at the expense of wages, which grew four times as fast in right-to-work states: 12 percent versus 3 percent elsewhere. The explanation is clear enough. The productivity gains from escaping union work rules are shared with employees as employers bid up wages. The short-term monopoly gains to unionized workers eventually are, over time, more than offset by productivity losses. The New Deal union model is an economic mistake of major proportions.”

But it offers greater opportunity for graft and political manipulation, and will thus always find support among the political class.