For the first time in U.S. history membership in public sector unions has surpassed membership in private sector unions. As the Wall Street Journal writes, this is deeply significant for U.S. democracy.
Roughly 51.4% of unionized workers in America belong to a public sector union. Over this same period membership in private sector unions has declined. While workers in the private sector are still subject to market forces, unionized public sector workers enjoy lifetime protection, “once a city or a state’s workers are organized by a union, the jobs almost never go away.”
This puts public sector workers directly at odds with middle-class taxpayers. Public sector unions enjoy growing support from politicians, enabling them to win greater benefits and higher salaries regardless of budgetary reality. The alliance between politicians and public sector unions is a recipe for dysfunctional government. Elected officials lose claim to being representatives of the people and become nothing for than an insider lobby for public sector worker interests.
A previous post explains the Executive Order that gave rise of the public sector union.