I just came across a book written in the late 1950s about unions of all things. After participating in many discussions regarding unions, the corruption and coercion perpetrated by unions, the bailing out of unions at taxpayer expense, the false claims that unions have only the best interests of their members and indeed the entire work force whether they be union or not etc, I found this old book. http://www.mises.org/books/powerunlimited.pdf Now I know none of you will read all 300 plus pages but chapter one brings up issues that are wholly relevant to today's economic situation. Coercion marks the beginning and corruption the conclusion of the march of union power observable in the McClellan Record. The process begins with the use of compulsion to secure members. Thereafter new and different coercive devices are used to bind the unwilling employees to the union. After a union has learned the usefulness of coercion in increasing membership, it falls into the habit of using even more in disputes with employers. Some trade union leaders hold that any employer who resists their demands is an "enemy of the labor movement" who must be taught a lesson, and, if he continues to resist, must be exterminated. If employees themselves refuse to acquiesce in strikes, if, instead, they exercise their right to continue working during strikes, they are considered traitors, against whom brutal reprisals are not only permissible but praiseworthy. I have seen the attitude among members here that unions are justified in abolishing secret ballots and are in favor of the sign here now version of union recruiting even if it means those not wanting to join a union are coerced and threatened. I mean after all, who wouldn't want to be forced to pay union dues that are used for posh dinners and political whoring around? The question remains, are unions justified their thuggery and violence? When a traditional union gets higher wages by violently preventing employers from operating with workers who are willing to take less money, the public as a whole is the victim of unlawful extortion. The cost of living goes up. Fewer people can afford to buy the goods at the higher prices. Therefore there is less demand for those goods, and soon some of the workers must be laid off. Unemployment is the necessary result when unions insist on higher wages than the market will bear. They, not businessmen, have thrown people-their own members at that-out of work. Isn't this exactly what happened with the UAW? The union is directly responsible for the uncompetitiveness of US auto companies but the deny this fervently. Somehow it is the government's fault, or the fault of the company. Surely an organization that does nothing but fight for the rights of its members is not at fault is it? Now we are being called on to bail out the unions. NOT the auto companies, the unions. Certainly those auto companies could run at a profit if they were allowed to hire people who would work under a different contract than that of union rule. But unions would rather see a company fail and see it's members out of work first. And all the while unions have their members duped into thinking that their unions are looking out for them. I am reminded of a quote What luck for rulers that men do not think who do you think said that? Adolph Hitler. Now does Hitler's infamy make the message wrong? Of course not. The point cannot be emphasized enough. The harm done by criminals masquerading as union officials is enormous and filled with the most ominous signs for the future of society. But it is still less than that produced by the power of the traditional unions. They daily coerce and brutally attack workers who decline to join or refuse to participate in strikes. They throw out of work hundreds of thousands of men because of their artificially inflated wage costs. They create irresistible inflationary pressures and compound the evil by encouraging costly and destructive deficit-spending by governments. Through the use of legal and political special privileges, they tie up entire industries into tight monopolies and cartels which abuse the public and threaten the destruction of the free and competitive economy which has always been the American ideal. Unions do not want a free competitive economy do they? Their actions do not support a free competitive economy. Saddling the taxpayers with more deficit spending and higher taxes does not support a free competitive economy does it? This is the panorama of union power. Traditional unions have secured for themselves special privileges which vest in them unlimited power. This power, like any other unlimited power, can only be abused, and it is abused. Violence and economic coercion by themselves create socially harmful conditions, the consequences of which are infinite and unpredictable. Besides, they exert a magnetic force, drawing to the trade unions some of the worst types of criminals, who find there an environment which suits them. The combination is a destructive force which no society can long survive: on the one hand, abuse of the citizenry and impairment of peaceful, progressive, productive activity; on the other hand, dissolution of the moral and political structure. In the special privileges of coercion and compulsion which unions have gained, there breeds a rotten growth which corrupts the whole moral and political structure of society. That those so quick to decry corporate and government corruption are also willing to turn a blind eye to the deep seated corruption of unions reveals a dichotomy in reason of the worst kind.