The Union’s Political Game is Twisted from the Beginning
I don’t think WRNI reporter/commentator Scott MacKay would take offense at the suggestion — or bother to deny — that he’s got a union-friendly worldview, but I wonder whether it’s occurred to him that this imbalance in political influence might be structural and unfair in its core:
Union activists and their allies in the liberal wing of the Democratic Party won some big victories. The legislature that takes office in January is likely to be more liberal that the one that adjourned in June.
There is no secret as to why this happens; forget the peddlers of arcane conspiracies. The liberals and labor union members take elections seriously. While the business leaders squawk, labor leaders walk, as in door-to-door campaigning in districts across the state. …
But there is a solution to the State House labor-business imbalance. Business advocates should leave their boats on the moorings some weekends and try selling their case to door to door to average voters.
Put aside the class-warfare angle. What MacKay elides, here, is that labor leaders and their activist allies make their livings by the activities for which MacKay applauds them. Business leaders — whether of the boat-owning sort or the just-getting-by-working-eighty-hours-a-week (and daily-thinking-about-leaving-the-state) set — must engage in politics on their spare time and with money piled upon the already burdensome costs of operating in Rhode Island.
Not only that, but when it comes to public sector unions, their politicking directly helps them to increase their revenue. And it is ultimately taxpayers’ money that is being used to fund campaign activities on behalf of candidates who wish to transfer more of it to their union supporters.