[QUOTE=Kandahar;1059305016]I will think on this awhile, and I appriecaite you giving me something to think about, but at my core, I don't believe this to be true, at least not to the level you suggest. Teachers, despite unions, are not paid the same from place to place, nr are the conditins the same. There are places you can't pay a teacher enough to teach at.There are a certain number of positions for qualified teachers available; there are a certain number of qualified teachers to fill them. Each school wants to fill the position for the lowest price (salary) possible, while each teacher wants to find a position at the highest price (salary) possible. The price would naturally reach an equilibrium. In this regard, the labor market is not much different than a widget market. But when you introduce a monopoly on the labor supply (or the widget supply) which drives the prices artificially higher, the public suffers. This is why monopolies on widgets are generally illegal. Yet public teachers' unions monopolize the labor supply, and the public is the one that suffers.
As to there being other factors besides overpaying/underpaying teachers that could lead to a disparity in supply and demand: Yes, but they're all ultimately tied to the salary. Jobs in crappy conditions command a premium salary, for example...while jobs in extremely secure/cushy conditions generally receive a lower salary.
I don't see labor as a monopoly. I think they are doing exactly what you suggest they should be able to do.Depending on how exactly the businesses are grouping together, this may or may not be illegal too. And I agree that labor (or business) groups that want to lobby the government should be legal...but it should be just that: Lobbying. Not monopolizing the labor force to cripple the operations of the government, which the public paid for. If individual workers want to join a special interest group, of their own volition, whose mission is to advocate for policies that increase the median wage in the United States, they should absolutely have that right.
Yes, but the reasons for that are not that they don't care or that they have no motivation to do differently. We can even point to some business in the private sector, despite the motives you attribute to them that would stop it, who run deficits.The experience of the past 50 years shows that this just isn't true. Governments at both the state and the federal level have almost constantly run deficits.
The government can take just as much advantage of a worker as a corporation can. And while the public does want services as cheaply as possible, and has a right to fight for that, it is not accuarte to assume they cannot underpay, or abuse those who work for them. In fact, I would argue they do so often. Many serivces are running understaffed, and are not getting rich. While a few did well, very well, most don't fit that criteria.The problem with this is that a government employer is not a corporation. I saw this stated quite well in an op-ed piece a couple days ago: Private unions were created to guard against the greed of the corporations. Public unions were created to guard against the greed of...the public?
The government simply does not have enough money to be wasting it on stuff like this. Public employees are not dependents of the American people who need charity; they are the people whom we hire to perform the services we deem important. We have public services that the American people need, and we have a limited amount of cash to pay for them. Every dollar spent overpaying a public union employee is one less dollar that can be spent on the public service itself.