There is a Bear in the Woods

By December 6, 2007Labor Unions

Attended a news conference this morning sponsored by the Alliance for Worker Freedom, called to release the group’s new state-by-state rankings, “Index of Worker Freedom: A National Report Card.” It’s an excellent compendium and more on that later.

Grover Norquist, head of the parent organization, Americans for Tax Reform, addressed an issue that we sometimes wrestle with: How can you on one hand raise such an alarm about the anti-market, big government and liberty-hostile agenda of organized labor, and yet at the same time dismiss labor as a declining force? After all, not even 8 percent of the private sector is unionized. So stop your yapping.

Norquist:

Every once in a while, you read about some guy up in Alaska who’s eaten by a bear that was shot so many times it was dying. Organized labor is a dying bear. It is still big enough to eat you. And the billions of dollars in union dues…”Well, it used to be, 30 percent, now it’s 7.4 percent. They’re almost gone.”

Well, it’s a 10 billion a year operation. Take your calculation, how much cash they can kick off and make free for political work. That’s a rather large institution. It may be a dying bear, but it’s a grizzly bear, and on the way out it can do an awful lot of damage.

Here’s the soundfile.

UPDATE (1:30 p.m. Friday): Richard Hankins give it his “Quote of the Week” treatment at Workplace Horizons.

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