With all due respect to Pat Buchanan, what no one seems to be discussing in all of this "auto bailout" morass is the fact that what the unions are to the auto industry, the Democrats are to the country. GM’s, Ford’s and Chrysler’s problems are just a microcosmic version of what the entire country is facing. This is another case of Republican leadership failing to take the message to the people. Yes, yes, it’s all over the news that President Bush and Republicans in Congress oppose the auto bailout, just as they (initially) opposed the financial industry bailout. What we’re not hearing is why. Yet again, Republicans are positioning themselves to be the “bad guys”; to take the fall for opposing help to some of America’s stalwart manufacturers, instead of taking the opportunity to show the public the larger picture. And that is this: The United States is every bit as much at risk if operated under the same disastrous liberal policies that have brought the American auto makers to the brink of collapse.
Originally, unions were established to provide a voice for employees who, as a group, could have influence and impact that, individually, none could. But that ceased to be the case long ago. Now, unions are powerful instruments of bullying and extortion; organizations whose violent tactics and threats are shrugged off and taken for granted as a cost of doing business. Their mantra has been a constant harangue of "the owners and producers make too much money" and "we've got to soak them for everything we can get" for decades now. (And one could argue that workers themselves know this. Union membership is down from a high of 37% in 1960 to just over 12% last year. That’s one reason why union leaders and Democrats are pushing for the elimination of secret ballots in union elections – so that union bosses can use the kinds of tactics for which they are infamous to pressure reluctant employees to vote for them. After all, why use choice when you can use force?)
Laura Hollis is an Associate Professional Specialist and Concurrent Associate Professor of Law at the University of Notre Dame, where she teaches entrepreneurship and business law. She is the author of the forthcoming publication, “Start Up, Screw Up, Scale Up: What Government Can Learn From the Best Entrepreneurs,” © 2014. Her opinions are her own, and do not reflect the position of the university. Follow her on Twitter: @LauraHollis61.