Saturday, August 30, 2008

A More Perfect Union

Megan Mcardle at The Atlantic

The problem with teacher's unions is inherent in the way that Democrats talk about unions: by banding together, they say, you create a powerful counterweight equal and opposite to the power of the companies in negotiations.

So the schools have a gigantic, powerful bargaining bloc. Who doesn't have a bargaining bloc? The kids.

Of course, the customers of corporations don't bargain with unions either--but they have the right of exit, which is what prevents the unions (or their corporate bosses) from turning them upside down and shaking them until the last nickel falls out of their pockets. Unsurprisingly, the schools in this country that function worst are the ones where the kids have no realistic ability to exit. So for whom are those schools run? The teacher's unions, the principal's unions, the janitor's unions, the friends and relations of people with seats on the school board. The children have the least powerful voice. Which is why, as far as I can tell, every single thing that is proposed by any of these groups "for the children" has the primary side effect of employing more teachers/janitors/principals, paying same more, or making their jobs more pleasant.

For progress to become a reality we need to break the teacher's unions. I like the way she explains how the market is different for teacher's unions compared to other unions where market forces can hold it in check. This is effect of the government monopoly. Sphere: Related Content

No comments: