It was not "union members" but "public union members"
Submitted by Steven (United States), Mar 2, 2011 09:26
Yes, union members are people too as are PUBLIC union members; however, they are not the same people as a simple economic impact illustration will show. Private employer union pay and benefits increases impact consumer prices more directly than they do taxes in that consumers feel the pinch of a price increase much more quickly in the marketplace than they would feel a tax imposed later in the following year during the budgeting process to cover increases in government spending. Moreover, a portion, by necessity, of these increases is covered by lowered real profit margins by their employers. In short, there is a more tolerable impact on the taxpayer/consumer as a result of benefit increases to private sector union members although it is short-sighted not to acknowledge the danger wage and benefit inflation poses. Public sector union benefits, on the other hand, are sourced solely from taxes or fees, which are paid by taxpayers, obviously. In addition, when paid by a corporate or business taxpayer, a large portion of that tax is ultimately passed on to consumers via higher prices. So a public section union member's pay and benefits are of a materially different kind than private sector union members. Moreover, FutureofCapitalism's point was NOT that the opinions of PUBLIC sector union members did not count. It was a more subtle point - that the analysis offered by the NYT journalist was not honest in its assessment of the poll results.
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