The Corner

The Life of Julius

Remember the White House’s poster child for welfare dependency, Julia? Meet Julius.

Julius is the star of a new original production from my team at the Competitive Enterprise Institute and narrated by AlfonZo Rachel, “The Life of Julius: How Unions Hurt Workers.” Julius is a fictional character, but his aspirations, hopes, and values are shared by every American. He wants opportunity and economic security. He wants his years of hard work to mean some level of comfort in his retirement.

Unfortunately, labor-union bosses, and the politicians and laws they support, continually frustrate Julius’s prosperity in ways both large and small, both obvious and subtle. Labor unions have a political stranglehold on the economy in hundreds of ways that affect every single worker, whether they are union members or, like Julius, never belong to a union in their entire life.

For example, when entering the job market for the first time as a teenager, Julius finds the job pool artificially shrunk — thanks in part to minimum-wage laws (vigorously promoted by unions for decades) which kill thousands of entry-level jobs by increasing labor costs on the types of businesses that hire teenagers like Julius. 

Later in life, as a homeowner and father in early middle-age, Julius is about to send a child to college. But labor unions conspire in a variety of ways to leave Julius with a smaller paycheck, limiting his ability to pay for food and vacations — as well as his daughter’s education.

Later still, at age 64, Julius finds his pension jeopardized by labor unions just as he is about to retire. And on and on.  

What we’ve tried to do with ”The Life of Julius” is to illustrate how the way unions are run today hurts workers at every stage of their working life — even if they are never a member of a labor union.

You can also see Julius’s story, and learn more about unions’ effects on the economy at WorkPlaceChoice.

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