Today's WSJ offers AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka "equal time" on the issue of public-employee unions.
Trumka offers the usual litany: unions are responsible for the existence of the middle class, without them the rich would get still richer at the expense of the working person, this is really all about warfare against the middle class, etc. No need to respond at this point: the song remains the same.
But there is something we feel obliged to point out.
First, Trumka asserts that unions are all that stand between the middle classes an penury. That's why we need them so very much.
Then, to dispel the notion that public employees are overpaid, he says that public employees earn less than their private-sector counterparts, when controlling for education.
We suspect on the latter point he can say that truthfully, if it is truthful at all, only because he excludes benefits. But that's not our point.
Our point is that private-sector workers are organized at a hugely lower rate than public employees. Yet, apparently, they earn more. Yet, apparently, unions make their workers better off.
So unorganized workers earn more than unionized workers, but we should protect unions to protect the prosperity of the workers.
That, Mt. Trumka, makes perfect sense. Thanks for helping us see the logic of your position. We find ourself firmly persuaded.