One of the narratives that conservatives have been pushing recently is the idea that “unions are ruining our country.”
Unfortunately the articles I find with such bold statements are often very light on details and proof. As an example, if you compare union membership to the unemployment rate, GDP or inflation you will see there is no correlation.
There is, however, one group that is adversely affected by union membership in the U.S. – the top 1%. Data shows that as the number of Americans in unions increases the share of the income taken home by the top 1% decreases. The pie becomes more evenly distributed as workers get a larger percentage.
So when conservatives hop up on their soap box and suggest that supporting unions means you don’t support America, our kids, or the free market, realize that union support is directly linked to the growth of the middle class and helped level the playing field for the less fortunate.
Regardless of what conservatives might believe, proponents of unions are not some singular entity that blindly agrees with every action a union takes. Union members have plenty of gripes about the organizations that represent them. However, they support the overriding goal of unions as a balance to the power of large corporate entities.
But conservatives will use any excuse to eliminate the competition, so rather than rationally discuss ways to improve upon some of the more eccentric union rules, they advocate for a complete end to unions.
Oddly enough conservative politicians may be cutting off their nose to spite their face with this mentality. If we are going to start eliminating organizations that are detrimental to the country, Congress would be first on the chopping block, given that they block more legislation than they pass. And, unlike the 61% support collective bargaining enjoys, Congress is hovering closer to a 10% approval rating.
Very few people would argue that unions are perfect, but their existence is good for the middle class and subsequently for the overall economy. The reality is that working to end union rights has almost nothing to do with job creation. It is a power grab to essentially create a jobs bank for do-nothing politicians.