Saturday, November 24, 2012

Twinkie

The death of the Twinkie has been attributed to strong unions.  I haven't kept up on my union research, but the last I looked, unionized labor composes only 13% of collective bargaining agreements.

I have been a stanch union member of the MEA for over 33 years, but I can see union power diminishing in strength.  On Black Friday, union Walmart protesters at 100 stores took center stage to show that their $8.70 wage was not high enough.  What effective result did they achieve?  Besides being an inconvenience, do you think that Walmart rose their wages?  Walmart officials claim that they had over 5 million applications last year.  I believe that workers at Walmart supply their labor in a perfectly competitive market and are termed "Wage Takers."

A friend explains the union perspective like this.  He says that if I hire a plumber to fix my toilet, does the plumber own my toilet?  His answer is no, because we traded mutual benefits and detriments.  The exchange would not have happened if we both didn't gain.  So his answer to Hostess workers and Walmart workers is to find another job.  That is, find another job if you can.

As social institutions change and new technologies disrupt order, I find it necessary to constantly reinvent myself through education.  It is only through education that I can insulate myself from globalization, politics, and technological advances.  I also find that I am one of the few Americans who would constantly work to develop my human capital instead of watching a football game or shopping on Black Friday.  Could it be that the demise of the unions in endogenous and not exogenous?

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