Bill Murchison

Organized coercion by labor works in limited and specific ways. As we see, it can shut down schools in Wisconsin. It also works against itself. Basically, it undermines flexibility and freedom, two essential attributes of flourishing economies. A union that can say, "Do it our way, see?" is thinking in the terms of today rather than those of tomorrow -- the province of businessmen alert to changing conditions that require constant adaptation. A union contract -- the modern equivalent of the Law of the Medes and the Persians -- is the last place you look for flexibility and permission to alter flagging or flabby strategies. Organized coercion abjures flexibility. What's good for one is good for all, might be its creed.

Naturally, organized coercion provides no room for individual dissent. The closed shop exists to keep dissent to a minimum. How else ya gonna present a united front? All together now: We want ... we want ... !

Human affairs since that messy business in Eden require constant rebalancing. The old unions weren't always wrong about the indifference of capitalists who minimized compensation and safety requirements to save money and cut corners. The human race, if we don't all know it by now, is generally nutty. What, all the same, is organized coercion save the dictatorial enterprise of people who, via their own membership, in humanity are as nutty as anyone else?

The marketplace, with its large space for choice and constant realignments of ideas and enterprise, is the forum that can reinvigorate America. That's what Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin sees, with a clarity and courage that do him honor.

Bill Murchison

Bill Murchison is the former senior columns writer for The Dallas Morning News and author of There's More to Life Than Politics.
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