My Two Cents

Clive Crook on Unions

Chris Farrell Oct 1, 2007

Good piece by Clive Crook in the Financial Times on the future of American unions. Here’s the money quote:

A new road for American unionism

The late Rudiger Dornbusch, ever a fount of economic wisdom, was fond of the maxim, protect the worker not the job. Unions are wired to ignore that good advice. Their leaders’ power and pay is bound up with the existence of particular jobs. They are institutionally opposed to creative destruction and economies need a lot of that to thrive. But if workers, not jobs, are to be protected, governments do need to step in. The list is familiar, and has a strongly Democratic flavour: more generous employment subsidies for the low-paid, high-quality education, universal health insurance and help for workers who fall victim to restructuring.

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