That's a problem and this millstone is hurting us in many ways, as Lloyd Billingsley points out in the Detroit Free Press:
As the latest BLS statistics reveal, more union members – 7.9 million – now work for the government than the 7.4 million union members working for companies in the private economy, which has five times more workers. This imbalance has profound consequences for all workers, and for democracy itself.
The unions work three shifts, and spend considerable funds, to help elect politicians. The politicians, in turn, reward unionized government employees with higher salaries and benefits. Those must be paid for in taxes, and the process puts higher spending and taxes on autopilot.
Workers in the public sector have a stake in the expansion of government, and union bosses, unelected by the public, enjoy considerable leverage with lawmakers. Witness demands by Andy Stern (SEIU) and Rich Trumka (AFL-CIO) to exempt unions from the tax increase on high-cost health insurance plans in the president's health care program.
Unions are in decline, and like the dying Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1914, organized labor is choosing to lash out. But instead of declaring war on Serbia, unions are attacking taxpayers by convincing the Democratic Party to give them sweetheart deals for their "Cadillac" health plans, and unions are attacking business by trying to ramrod the ludicrously misnamed Employee Free Choice Act into law.
Meanwhile, the Cato Institute's Daniel Griswold argues that unions "are becoming an economic anachronism."
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