In reference to Frank Coleman’s March 6 letter, there are unions and there are unions. Private-sector unions are and have been badly needed over the years, i.e., to counter the enormous profit pressure on company management. Public-sector unions serve little legitimate purpose, since bureaucrat management is not under similar pressure to control costs. You simply gradually and quietly increase taxes as salaries go up and employees are added.
Books have been written arguing the various pros and cons of the above, but fundamentally cost pressure is the issue.
Over time, the impact has become huge. For example, the area surrounding the seat of federal government (Washington, D.C.) is by far the richest locale of the nation. Local public-sector workers may manipulate the bureaucratic system and retire on pensions several times that of similar private-sector workers. A private-sector worker can be terminated almost at will; public-sector workers almost cannot be terminated.
Now I recognize this is a highly charged, controversial issue. But private and public unions are extremely different in purpose and impact; it could be argued that they should not even be grouped under the same word, union.