There is no “union movement” in the United States, and hasn’t been since the 1930s. Instead, what we have today is a union establishment. One possessed of perks and privileges granted by New Deal-era labor laws, including the power to coerce employees to pay dues (at least in non-right-to-work states).

Furthermore, we have a labor establishment that has abused its power (refer to Automakers, Big Three, former), with the abuse growing even worse as unions have expanded into the public sector. More than other institution, unions (and the misguided and/or self-serving politicians who gave public employees the privilege of collective bargaining) are responsible for creating a privileged class of government workers who do much better than the taxpaying population that supports them.

Indeed, that last abuse has contributed to the creation of a real social movement, the Tea Party. Spat on and demeaned by the government and union establishments, we’ll see if it has the mass and persistence to bring about durable reform.