Workers have also learned that there is no free lunch, which is why they have, over the years, increasingly voted against being represented by unions in secret-ballot elections.
One set of workers, however, remained largely immune to such repercussions. These are government workers represented by public-sector unions.
While oil could replace coal, while U.S. Steel dropped from number one in the world to number ten, and Toyota could replace General Motors as the world’s leading producer of cars, government is a monopoly. Nobody is likely to replace the federal or state bureaucracies, no matter how much money the unions drain from the taxpayers.
That is why government unions continue to thrive while private-sector unions decline. Taxpayers provide their free lunch.
— Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. © 2011 Creators Syndicate, Inc.