TCS Daily

The Consequences of Government Intrusion into Prices

By Jon N. Hall - July 20, 2009 12:00 AM

Prices are set by billions of people constantly making trillions of decisions about what they need, what they can afford, and what is important to them, i.e. their values.

But that's only how prices work in some pure, laissez-faire, free enterprise system. Such a pure system hasn't existed in America since at least the advent of FDR. More and more, government comes between buyer and seller and subverts the sensitive mechanism of price -- a mechanism at the very heart of commerce and the economy.

Where price is especially sensitive is in the realm of essentials, such as food and fuel. If there's a shortage of an essential, its price immediately soars -- unless the government intrudes. Government can stop upward spirals in the price of essentials with price controls and price gouging laws. But such measures can cause supply to run out even sooner or drive sales underground.

Last summer, when the price of petroleum went through the roof, politicians called for tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. In other words, drive down the price at the pump by creating more supply. But this would have been a misuse of the SPR as it is for emergencies only; high prices aren't an emergency.

Just as government tries to keep some prices low, it tries to keep other prices high.

For instance, during the Great Depression FDR destroyed livestock and perfectly good food just to keep prices high. (This, while many Americans were hungry.) And now we see the government trying to prop up the plunging price of housing.

Government, though, is partly responsible for the turmoil in housing prices. Sure, there were unscrupulous actors in the private sector, but government also played a leading role in the housing drama. From the creation of Fannie Mae in 1938, to its "privatization" in 1968, to the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977, to the historically low interest rates set by the Federal Reserve in the aftermath of 9/11, government has intruded into the housing market, and therefore into housing prices.

The Community Reinvestment Act was a major culprit in that it forced banks to abandon their time-honored lending standards, such as requiring hefty down payments. The CRA is an egregious case of government intrusion into a price, i.e. the price of money, loans. With money so cheap, the heightened demand "manufactured" by the CRA made home prices soar. Stan Liebowitz of the Journal observed: "If substantial down payments had been required, the housing price bubble would certainly have been smaller." Now that the housing bubble has popped, some in government want to shore up falling house prices rather than let the market sort out those prices.

This is yet another instance of the government picking winners and taking sides. In this case they've sided with buyers (especially first-time buyers), who benefit from the deflating price of housing. That the price of housing may be too high, or that America might be "overbuilt", or that some folks just aren't responsible enough to be homeowners seems not to have occurred to the government. Government simply decided that more Americans should own homes -- it was social engineering on a grand scale.

Price is at the heart of the mess in the financial sector, as well. Treasury Secretary Geithner created the Public-Private Investment Program to determine (by means of Geithnerian "price discovery") the price of the famous "toxic assets" that have so bedeviled the banking industry. But banks showed little interest, and now PPIP has been postponed indefinitely. Meanwhile, foreclosed properties sit unoccupied and untended and wide open to squatters and vandals while their values plummet. Some former owners even trashed their homes before vacating. And some homes have had to be demolished for the sake of surrounding communities.

Government has its fingerprints all over the rise and fall of housing prices. But politicians refuse to admit their mistakes, blaming it all on the private sector. They tell us that "only government" can fix the problem, even though government caused much of it. (Check out the free streaming videos of Peter Robinson's interview of economist Thomas Sowell on the housing bust at National Review Online. They're terrific.)

We speak of "wage and price controls" as though they were two different things. But a wage is a price: the price of labor and services rendered. And in the sphere of wages and fees, government again intrudes into price. Government does this by subsidizing certain activities and enterprises with direct outlays (education, health-care); requiring folks to buy things, like health insurance (the individual mandate); and siding with one faction over another (Card Check). All such efforts are either designed to keep prices high, or simply end up doing so. The recent bailouts of GM and Chrysler are mostly about the government propping up the price of UAW labor.

The enterprises where we see the most rampant inflation are where government is most involved. This is especially so in the health-care and education industries.

Mandated employee benefits jack up the price of employment, which gets passed along to the consumer. Minimum wage laws are the government dictating a price. And the federal minimum wage is scheduled to go up on July 24th -- in the middle of a recession!

Government intrusion into the tender mechanism of price is actually an imposition of the values of one group onto everyone else. If the geniuses in Washington happen to think everyone should be paying a higher price for burger flippers (minimum wage law), then that's the way it going to be -- and we'll all be paying more for fast-food. Those most willing to impose their own values onto everyone else comprise the political left. (Yet, it is this same political left that tells us we shouldn't make "value judgments".)

The consequences of government intrusion into prices include: shortages; unemployment; inflation; loss of industry due to offshoring; and artificial prices that foul the real market.

Jon N. Hall is a programmer/analyst from Kansas City.


"an imposition of the VALUES of one group onto everyone else". Now if only the word RIGHT is used
Still, I am happy that the words VALUE and IMPOSE are used.

I hope the words FORCE and VIOLATION also will find their way into the articles.

I generally buy FL Natural OJ @$2.79/half gallon.

That price has not moved much, if at all for months even though there was a big scare that OJ prices would rise.

As far as I know, there are no government price controls on produce and importation is allowed, however FL Natural claims ONLY FL OJ.

Government subsidizes the medical industry and the academic industry. Both are notorious for above average cost increases and lower quality of service. Coincidence?

prices and the strategic pretroleum reserve
The SPR can have a small impact on helping to level out prices, without compromising it's basic mission.

Only buy oil for the reserve when demand is low and prices are otherwise low. When demand and prices rise, slow down the purchases, if not stop them altogether.

Employer-paid health care is such a consequence.

Many relatively new names for various cuts of meat were created to avoid price controls by the name of the cut of meat.

Anti-price gouging legislation will soon result in the total unavailability of essential goods in disaster zones.

"When will they ever learn? When will they ever learn?"

Government sets their price in Medicare...
and the rest have to pay the difference.

The 'they' that need to learn is 'us'.
As long the the public keeps believing the lies the socialists spew, they will continue to vote them in.

If there are so many business owners out there, why are they not speaking up, loudly, and informing their customers about how business really works?

There are too many businesses that are political entrepreneurs instead of economic entrepreneurs.

"Washington Needs to Help Businesses for a Change"
Kudlow gets this wrong in is post a few days ago.

The only 'help' businesses need from government is to be left alone by government.

When one goes down the 'incentives' path as Kudlow suggests, the best 'incentives' go to the best politically connected, the best political entrepreneurs, not the best economic entrepreneurs.

Natural utilities...
When there is a natural monopoly...such as a water company with lines buried in the is appropriate that the government should impose a reasonable price for the water sold to households. A franchise is granted to the water utility and that company might otherwise reasonably increase the price of water up to the point that some families could not afford it at all but the profits of the water company would be maximized by overcharging those who could.

Our Supply Side players...multinational corporations with immense shares of the market in consolidated industries underwritten with high ratio leverage from very large banks...are supposed to benefit Americans with high quality, commodity priced goods and full employment. Television sets, home computers and cell phones for people on welfare...very affordable used cars that run...more food than nature intended. But when it goes wrong and such monopolies as the health care industry, the credit card institutions or elite universities really start killing us with their monopoly power then the government has a problem. Health care costs are going to consume the entire GDP at this pace...and health care entitlements are going to take over the government's budget before that...if left to their own devices.

Just like with the water company...we have no choice. We can only go to their regulated hospitals, be seen by their licensed doctors and nurses and take their approved medicines...or we will surely die of something like a common matter what the price. Just like the water company, the government can let the industry maximize its profits by overcharging those of us who can afford health insurance (of course, no one can go it alone any more) and let many of us simply die or the government can impose a reasonable price.

The government restricts competition in the health care business in the interest of the society. This is a socialistic approach to the market and we have gone along with it. Just like with the water. So controlling the delivery of health care is already part of the government's mandate. Paying for health insurance with our tax dollars...or forcing us to pay for insurance no less than we pay our taxes...and setting the prices across the industry...those are only small details. We've had de facto socialized medicine in the United States for many decades already. We just called the health care industry a free market phenonenon but it was always a government controlled monopoly.

You know...there's a price we pay to live in the United States. It's called taxation. The government declares that price and we pay it or we go to prison. Grow up people. We can't fix this if we let them treat us like children.

It's OBVIOUS that you THINK you are a grown up. So, why are you wasting your time here FB?
I mean, when you declare "We can't fix this", why are you wasting your time here?

Whining on theory
A person needs to be a scholar to even decipher all the BS, misleading points and half-facts in this article. Thats the words. The higher ideal of this persepective is noble, just taken to such an extreme in this article that it becomes farce. Just another Limbaugh-head. yawn..

"Government does this by subsidizing certain activities and enterprises with direct outlays (education, health-care); requiring folks to buy things, like health insurance (the individual mandate); and siding with one faction over another (Card Check)."

Notice from this section the misleading and factually incorrect points. Such obvious falsities cast a pall on the rest of the points in the article. Maybe there are many more errors that aren't this obvious.

Who does the Government require to buy health insurance?
Which Unions/companies are being forced by the Government to have secret ballots?

What "factually incorrect points" BJ? Doesn't the Fed pay for education and health-care?

No such thing as a natural monopoly.
Monopolies can only exist with government protection.

Therefore, if we are the government, such protection can be rescinded.

"Which Unions/companies are being forced by the Government to have secret ballots? "
A secret ballot is the law, so far, which the unions hate.
If you live in MA, the government forces you to buy health insurance or you pay a tax penalty.

what is it going to take to change your point of view.
There are many examples in history of monopolies with out government protection. For example, Microsoft, Rail Roads, and in History there has been control of a single source of a natural resources including, Salt, Water, Timber, Grain, etc...

To be clear:
MONOPOLY: A single seller of a unique product with no close substitutes.

Here are several such
I can think of two categories of natural monopoly right away. The first would be public utilities that move through a common grid, such as urban water and sewer, electricity and natural gas.

Yes, in a rural area you provide your own well and septic, and in a pinch you can generate your own electricity and heat.. but as a practical matter, most Americans living in an urban-suburban setting choose to use what's there. They don't enjoy brand preference.

The other category is police and fire protection, the use of the legal system and other public services being offered only through federal, state and local governments. Since you can't live here without such services being made available (nay, mandatory) the price is included in your residence fee. That would be, of course, the hated TAXES.

Mauritania calls. I think they don't have any of those things, either rule of law, taxes, electricity or anything else. And as a white man, I think you may enjoy a free entry into their privileged class.

What is 'natural' about them?
Public utilities are not natural. They require the force of government to implement and maintain.

Going off grid is becoming a desired goal for many using wind and solar for power, collecting rain water and using dry/composting toilets.

In the rural community where I grew up, farmers could contract with local fire stations for service, and many of those were volunteer.

All monopolies require government protection.

What government protection did Microsoft have?

"MONOPOLY: A single seller of a unique product with no close substitutes. "

Using this definition, monopolies do not exist as there are no products that are that unique that only one entity can have 100% of the market.

The ultimate monopoly
A very old Scrooge McDuck comic book that stayed with me from my childhood was written by the very subversive Carl Barks.. a person it's hard to understand why Walt Disney ever kept on the payroll.

Anyway it has Scrooge, as usual, playing in his money bin, thinking of ways he can corner some more money to put in the bin. So he calls his accountant in, and asks him "Is there anything left I don't already own?"

The fellow looks in his ledger a long time, and then says "No, Sir. I believe you already own everything there is."

Which puts Scrooge into a funk, until finally he jumps up, with a light bulb over his head. And shouts "Eureka! I'll own the air!" And calls up his design engineers to devise a meter everyone can put on their chests to monitor their air consumption.

The last frame has a very tiny Scrooge jumping exultantly up and down under a huge expanse of (his) skies.

It reminds me of Monsanto's current attempts to own all the crops in the ground, by making farmers sign seed agreements.. whereby they can be sued if they save any seed. They have to agree to buy fresh seed every year from Monsanto.

And the beauty of it all is that their genes fly through the air, in wind-pollinated crops like corn, wheat and rape (canola). So they show up in everyone's crops around the world.. where a case can be made that these farmers are all using Monstanto's property without permission. Even Mayan farmers in the Yucatecan outback, who've never even heard of anyone owning corn itself.

Percy Schmeisser, a rapeseed farmer in Alberta, was sued by Monsanto for using their genes without permission. Even though Percy could prove he'd never bought any Monsanto product, and that the genes in question had apparently blown in from adjoining fields.

Monsanto argued that he should have then destroyed his seed stock, as he should have known he was using it without their permission. And in Canada's Supreme Court, they won.

If the rebels ever lose the war, food is going to cost us. Big time.

A natural monopoly defined
I know you have this war going with the English language. But here are a couple of commonly accepted definitions of the phrase "natural monopoly":

1. "A natural monopoly is a monopoly that exists because the cost of producing the product (i.e., a good or a service) is lower due to economies of scale if there is just a single producer than if there are several competing producers.

"A monopoly is a situation in which there is a single producer or seller of a product for which there are no close substitutes. Economies of scale is the situation in which the cost to a company of producing or supplying each additional unit of a product (referred to by economists as marginal cost) decreases as the volume of output increases.

"Economies of scale is just one reason for the existence of monopolies. Monopolies also exist because of sole access to some resource or technology and because of the use of non-market means to eliminate competition, including buying up competitors, colluding with suppliers or customers to discriminate against competitors, enacting legislation to restrict competition, threatening costly lawsuits or even engaging in physical violence."

2. "A "natural monopoly" is defined in economics as an industry where the fixed cost of the capital goods is so high that it is not profitable for a second firm to enter and compete. There is a "natural" reason for this industry being a monopoly, namely that the economies of scale require one, rather than several, firms. Small-scale ownership would be less efficient.

"Natural monopolies are typically utilities such as water, electricity, and natural gas. It would be very costly to build a second set of water and sewerage pipes in a city. Water and gas delivery service has a high fixed cost and a low variable cost. Electricity is now being deregulated, so the generators of electric power can now compete. But the infrastructure, the wires that carry the electricity, usually remain a natural monopoly, and the various companies send their electricity through the same grid.

"To prevent utilities from exploiting their monopolies with high prices, they are regulated by government. Typically, they are allowed a fixed percentage of profit above cost. But this type of regulation can lead to inefficient high costs, since the monopoly is guaranteed a profit. Economists call this a "lazy monopoly." To get around this problem, some municipalities and government districts own the local utility and provide the service at cost. Another way to handle the natural monopoly is to periodically put the delivery service up for bidding, with the lowest cost firm getting the contract."

Note that this second author is an libertarian as it is possible to be, without becoming a total nutjob. Listen to him.

"It is not economically feasible to eliminate territorial and natural monopolies, but it is not necessary for these monopolies to be coercive. Voluntary governance and share rents are the keys to having both efficient and just natural monopolies." ..That is, democratic and representative forms of government that rest on the will of the people.

Close does not equal 100 percent.
Never mind logic will not work with you.

Your mind is closed to other point of views.

If govt regulation is the problem, why is more govt regulation the solution?
Health care and banking are two of the most heavily regulated industries in this country. The other is like unto it, insurance, of all kinds.

Higer education suffers from the problem of govt subsidies. When govt declares that it will pay whatever the university wants to charge, is it really surprising when the price the university charges explodes upwards?

The health care industry is not a monopoly. Not even close to it. You really should learn what the words you use mean.

An example based in reality. Which by the way, everyone of your examples fails
Microsoft. Not a monopoly, not even close.
RailRoads. Never a monopoly, not even close.

In order to change minds, one must come up with data from the real world. Try again.

Your definition is incomplete.
MONOPOLY: A single seller of a unique product with no close substitutes.

To be a monopoly, there must also be high barriers to entry. To prevent competitors from entering the market.

you're projecting again
Somebody doesn't buy into your imagined examples and your defective definition, and all of a sudden, their minds are closed.

Microsoft is not a monopoly, because there exist several competitors to it.

Ditto with every one of your examples.

all your examples fail
1) It's not a big deal to have two or more power lines.
1a) Even if it were impossible to have more than one power line, there is no reason why the generation of electricity needs to be a monopoly. There is no reason why the distributor of electricity also needs to be the generator of electricity.

2) Fire and Police protection. Just because we in the US currently use govt monopolies to provide these services, is not evidence that this is the only way to provide these services.

not a single one of your examples fits the definitions that you provided.
not unusual for you.

Ok. THen give me a real world example of a Monopoly.

roy still shows no evidence of understanding the words that he uses
How does Monsanto requiring each farmer to not save seeds make Monsanto a monopoly.

Last time I checked, there were dozens of companies selling seeds.

ah yes, standard liberal logic. If I disagree, it's a lie
The only BS being thrown here comes from you, roy and WT.

I'm guessing that you have absolutely no familiarity with Obamacare. It's loaded with individual requirements.

As to card check, you are being disengenuous (I'm being generous, you are actually lying) the govt wants to allow unions to organize companies without the use of secret ballots. Current law states that if either the company or the union requests a secret ballot, a secret ballot must be held.

Bad decsion
"Monsanto argued that he should have then destroyed his seed stock, as he should have known he was using it without their permission. And in Canada's Supreme Court, they won."

Monsanto violated the property rights of the farmer by allowing their product to be blown onto the farmer's property. The farmer has no obligation to Monsanto.

Unions closed shop states.

Because "we" includes you...
No matter how confused you are they still let you vote.

He offered a poor defense
My own (strong) feeling is that Schmeisser should have sued Monsanto for contaminating his own pure seed stock with modified genetic material. There was no way Monsanto could have ensured that this largely untested genetic material might not have greatly harmed Schmeisser's crop.

I have no idea why he, or his lawyers, didn't. It was a key case, and the ball was dropped. At any rate Monsanto did violate his property rights. And the court found against him. As a result, the onus is on farmers everywhere to now prove they haven't been intentionally taking advantage of Monsanto's marvelous, patented genes.

Benjamin Franklin about going off the grid...
“All the property that is necessary to a man, for the conservation of the individual and the propagation of the species, is his natural right, which none can justly deprive him of: But all property superfluous to such purposes is the property of the public, who, by their laws, have created it, and who may therefore by other laws dispose of it, whenever the welfare of the public shall demand such disposition. He that does not like civil society on these terms, let him retire and live among savages. He can have no right to the benefits of society, who will not pay his club towards the support of it.” (1783)

If you want to live in this society then you play by its rules, you pay your bills and your taxes. Your ability to get along on your own terms only exists out in the fringe. At any snapshot of time you only imagine that you have choices...but your decisions have already been made for you.

Expanding the definition
You should really read this article. It has a wealth of useful observation on the actions of monopolies.

True, there are high barriers to entry. But these need not be by legislative fiat. Mostly they are economic barriers. You could, for example, compete with the water department in your home town. No one's stopping you.

Of course you'd have to build a distributional grid to serve each of your customers. And I would think provide them with a valve, so they could easily switch from the municipal service to your own service.

Could you do that, undercut the city in price, offer superior service and make a profit? If so, go for it! It's no longer a monopoly.

Monopoly holders only very occasionally move to exclude others from competition. That would render them liable to prosecution.. even in our own lax regulatory environment. Often they do voluntarily adopt a pricing policy that behaves as though there is competition. That way they pre-empt the ability of a potential competitor from going into business against them. That is, they price the product or service so low any competitor would be hard pressed to get below it.

In such a case monopoly doesn't sound like a bad thing. And in fact when government does a proper job of regulation, monopolies serve the public admirably well.

No, I could find my own supply of water.
Unless the government forced me to buy from its monopoly.

"Monopoly holders only very occasionally move to exclude others from competition"

They don't have to, the government protects them.

On the farm we had well water and we had rural water, a monopoly coop, if we chose. the co-op had to have government sanction to force rights of way.

Why do you bother living?
"but your decisions have already been made for you. '"

That's Canadian socialism for you.
Protect the big corporations.

The Octopus
Monsanto's marketing strategy is designed to make a gradual takeover of the shares of its competitors inevitable. Buy seeds from them once and you must sign an agreement never to buy from anyone else again.

Further, you agree not to save seeds yourself, using some of those you grew last year. Each planting, you must go again to their store.

These agreements also stipulate the use of biocides like their own RoundUp. And in fact they put a lot of work into creating "RoundUp Ready" crops, that are the only plants left standing after you use RoundUp.

What Monsanto is is a very ambitious monopoly in the making. Ag interests in many countries are very concerned, particularly when their markets are being forced open by trade agreements, so they can't ban Monsanto from marketing in their home countries. It means that whether or not you want to plant GM crops, you end up with GM-contaminated seeds, and potential lawsuits from the Octopus. The winds respect no property boundaries.

Your example falls a little short
Whether it's a closed shop industry or merely a union shop industry, joining the union is a mandatory benefit. If you feel strongly about it you have the freedom to move elsewhere or get into a different profession. But membership does confer a benefit.. and presumably it was one you desired or you never would have gotten into that particular business.

It does cost. You have to pay dues. And in this it's like any other benefit. You could tell your boss you didn't want his health plan, for instance, but would like to take the difference in a higher wage. Or you didn't want to create a 401K, but would prefer to take his matching funds in your paycheck.

Lots of luck with any of that. They're not set up to deal with employees like you. Just go with the flow. And if they tell you you have to pay for a uniform with your name embroidered on the pocket.. pay for that too. Or, of course, leave for greener pastures.

I expect that I must just have a a higher threshold for resentment than you do. I used to pay Teamster dues once, when that union did absolutely nothing for me. But I loved the job.. that was just a minor cost of doing business there. That was when I was with Ringling Brothers.

" joining the union is a mandatory benefit." What benefit?
When offered a choice, in right-to-work states, most workers don't see the benefit and decline to join.

That's government regulation for you.
NOW you don't like the regulations?

Going to the well
You really do have a bug up your behind about anyone "forcing" you to do anything you don't feel like doing. I'll bet your neighbors get awfully tired of you saying things like no one can force you to mow your lawn, or force you to turn your music down.

Yes, if you'd like, you can dig up your yard in the city and see if you can hit water. But municipal water service does fit the commonly used definition of a 'natural monopoly' because most people would think it just makes more sense to let the city take care of it. They save money that way and don't have to worry about what to do when their pump motor breaks, or the well runs dry.

BTW I'm very happy with my well water. All the cities around here impose sanctions during drought conditions.. which occur every summer. And water prices everywhere just keep going up. Whereas I'm fortunate in having a good well.

There is some possibility that the closest town might annex me at some point and 'force' their water on me. In such an event I wouldn't be able to avoid paying the hookup charges, even though I would tell them just to cap the pipe, I'll continue using my own water, thank you very much. It would be a little like when you're happy with your dirt road.. and then they pave it and charge you for it.

Pay the Man what he's asking. He has a natural monopoly, meaning it's cheaper than declaring war on him.

beats the alternative...
The truth will not make you free...only reasonably priced.

Do I really have to explain?
In a right-to-work state there is only the most marginal of benefits. In many cases you can't enter into meaningful negotiations if they can just hire nonunion workers to replace you. So why pay dues to join a powerless union?

However you can still bargain from strength when you have a really crappy job, like butchering hogs for Smithfield. Their Tar Heel plant just went over to the union.. something of a first for NC. The reason is, there's no reason for anyone NOT to join. Smithfield found it could no longer get away with any of the crap that kept the unions out for so many years.

I personally always tried to stay out of the unionized professions. They tend to be unpleasant work, and have intrinsic labor-management discord. I would strongly prefer companies that were employee-owned. No way you can hate the boss when he's you, eh?

I know no amount of explanation would ever convince you there was ever any advantage to joining. So you should probably just remain in a nonunion situation, which suits you much better.

Is that your final answer?
Monsanto's method doesn't have anything to do with government regulation. It has to do with contract enforcement. I think that was a bad answer.

Their model overseas does rely on trade agreements they can use to force their foot in the door. But a clause that says a country can't arbitrarily exclude them from competing doesn't fit my definition of regulation.

Human Action
I read Ludwig von Mises Human Action some years ago and it helped clarify my reasons for leaving the anti-economic socialist side forever.
The debate for economic calculation continues however because the left never bothers to think about the importance of being able to calculate the relative money value of things. And so the left's ideas when carried to fruition lead to shortages, ruin and starvation ultimately.
Socialism's disruption of the price signals and their aim to destroy them means they cannot themselves calculate or plan production or consumption. They must then blame the producers and consumers for their inability to control distribution and so leading them more and more to insist on greater and greater control over people's actions.
This was Mises message as well as FA Hayek's in his Road to Serfdom.

How about the other two points?

I edited down my original quote to help you see the other two factually incorrect points. You can look below in the string at a MarkTG post to see him repeat this fact-mugging.

"Government does this by subsidizing certain activities and enterprises... requiring folks to buy things, like health insurance (the individual mandate); and siding with one faction over another (Card Check)."

Who does the Government require to buy health insurance?
Which Unions/companies are being forced by the Government to have open ballots?

Unions are exempt from anti-trust legislation
That alone proves Marjon's point that they are monopolies and such status is supported by the government.

Whether they are mandatory (closed shop) or not has nothing to do with it.

So why pay dues to join a powerless union?
Why coerce workers to join unions or pay agency fees in order to make powerful unions?

Your hypocrisy is so stark you don't even see it.

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