Clive Crook over at the National Journal has an interesting piece on the auto bailout, and the unions’ role in the domestic automotive industry’s downfall:
Productivity in some of the domestic producers’ plants is now as good as in nonunion plants run by foreigners. But this came late, and only under duress. It took the imminent collapse of the industry to moderate the unions’ demands.
Unions destroyed Britain’s car industry, and during the 1960s and ’70s they accelerated the decline of British manufacturing and of the wider economy as well. Of course, they were far more powerful in those days than U.S. unions have ever been. Unions in America today are weak and getting weaker — a trend that they hope to reverse with the incoming administration’s help.
The point of the comparison is not to suggest that America might get a case of the pre-Thatcher British disease, but simply to question the Democrats’ conviction that stronger unions serve their voters’ wider interests. Look at GM, and tell me that strong unions are good for the economy