I’m afraid that even those commentators who discuss the basic problem with public-sector unions are not explaining the problem clearly enough. Analogies, ideally homely analogies, are always the way to go.
Let’s say I’m not a very good employee, but that I want a 3% raise anyway. My company offers 6% raises to outstanding employees. So, I tell my manager that if he goes to bat for me to management and gets me a 6% raise, I’ll give him half my raise every payday.
Clearly, this is fraud against my employer and both my manager and I could end up in jail.
But – this is precisely the way public-service unions work. The ‘I’ of the story above represents the unions; the manager, the state legislatures; and the company, the taxpayers. And the 3% kickback of the story is the campaign contributions the unions make to pliant legislators.
Not being a lawyer, I would argue that all contracts between states and public-service unions should be invalidated because of their basically fraudulent nature – but I note that no one else is going that far. Yet.