The Daily Show had a classic correspondent piece on Monday. Assif Mandvi takes a look at the hypocritical practices of the UFCW (United Food and Commercial Workers Union) in Nevada. In a way that only the Daily Show can, the clip highlights a UFCW attempt to rally against Walmart for their “oppressive” labor policies. However, the focus soon shifts when Assif finds out that the picketers are temporary employees hired by the union and receiving minimum wage and no benefits to picket in 107 degree heat.
See the clip here:
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c|
While the Daily Show makes light of the situation, there are important issues at play. The hypocrisy of the union’s leadership shows how unions have evolved to become identical to the organizations they claim to fight, and brings up the question: “how do you protect the individual against more powerful entities in society?”
Liberals claim the answer to be two-fold: government regulations and unions. However, both fail for the same reason. In each case, there is a monopoly that gives either the government or the union power over the people due to the extreme cost imposed of searching for an alternate good. A public school teacher must be in a union. Should the union start to adopt policies that he or she doesn’t appreciate, the teacher must switch not just his or her job, but switch their field of expertise. Quite simply, it is infeasible.
Similarly, our government holds us so that we are reliant on its services. The only option otherwise is to leave the country, quite obviously an expensive maneuver. To leave requires liquidation of assets, access to another country, and a similar switch in jobs. As such, a government can create policies that are not popular. While voter recourse still exists, the expansion of the government bureaucracy here has left little that elected officials can do, while more and more of the laws on our books are enforced by lifetime bureaucrats who ultimately answer to no one.
Lastly, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the role of Corporations in this argument. Liberals love to blame the “Big Business” for all of societies woes. But corporations do not suffer from the aforementioned flaws that unions and government face. With few exceptions, corporations face competition both for sales and for employees. While competition doesn’t provide a complete protection for the individual, it is much easier to buy a different car, shop at a different store or work for a different company than it is to shed the burden of a union or a government which becomes oppressive.
Unfortunately the Supreme Court long ago threw away the one protection afforded to citizens against government when it discarded the 10th amendment, which would have created a competitive “free market” environment amongst the states. Ultimately, we need to look for new solutions to ensure that an individual can flourish in society. Concealed monopolies such as our government and unions certainly are not the answer.