Go ahead and call me naive, but for the moment I'm willing to give the Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa the benefit of the doubt that his rant yesterday in Detroit was not a call for violence. If anyone needs more evidence that the union establishment has been hijacked by leftish ideologues though, Hoffa left a pretty clear indicator of what his real priorities are.
As he called for his (entirely metaphorical, we presume) army to mobilize, Hoffa also identified its enemy — the Tea Party.
Now this is interesting, because ordinarily we rely on unions to represent workers in the workplace. If Hoffa had aligned his forces against employers who had pushed for concessions, delayed hiring workers or shifted production overseas, one might still have questioned his understanding of economics, but he would be addressing workplace issues such as jobs, wages, benefits and working conditions. But the Tea Party has few if any employees, and (to this writer's knowledge at least) none of them are unionized. In terms of collective bargaining — supposedly the chief role of any union — a union president should have bigger fish to fry than the Tea Party.
The Tea Party is primarily a political movement dedicated to returning government to its proper functions, nothing more or less. Hoffa's choice of an enemy illustrates once again that he sees his mission primarily as ideological and political. This isn't about workers any more; it's about raw power. So why do we continue to leave workers in a position where they may be forced to pay dues to a political organization, and why in particular do we do that with government employees?
Permission to reprint this blog post in whole or in part is hereby granted, provided that the author (or authors) and the Mackinac Center for Public Policy are properly cited.
Permission to reprint any comments below is granted only for those comments written by Mackinac Center policy staff.