"On Dec. 8, 1881, a fire consumed Vienna's elegant Ringtheater during an opera performance. Hours later, when nearly 400 bodies had been removed from the smoldering ruin, the policeman heading the recovery operation reported to the emperor's famously tender-hearted cousin, Archduke Albrecht, 'All saved, Your Imperial Highness.' In old Vienna, one maintained a good facade no matter how awful the truth."
-- Barrymore Laurence Scherer, Wall Street Journal, March 30, 2011
The riverboat pilot's union that Mark Twain describes in "Life on the Mississippi" added value to society. For a long time the union tried to push on a rope--they just demanded higher wages and bargained themselves out of jobs.
Eventually the union pilots began to record their observations on the latest developments with the ever-changing rivers--where a sandbar had formed, where a new wreck lay, where a new channel was cut. They dropped these written observations in locked boxes where the steamboats moored. Union pilots, therefore, were the best informed on the river.
When an insurance company was contracted to underwrite a steamboat cargo, it insisted on a well informed union pilot. That's when the pilot's union found success by providing valuable information in the market.
People are free under the Constitution to assemble and form whatever associations they want. People are free to resist forming associations, as well. Unions should be free to organize. Business should be free to just say no, if they want. Unions will be successful if they can add value.
John's mother paid for his birth by digging potatoes during the final stages of her pregnancy; his father was in a body cast due to a train wreck. Mom recited The Raven to put John to sleep at night. The soles of his feet were thick and hard from going barefoot for eight months per year; his back was tanned from going shirtless. He loved to read fantasy and science fiction.
John completed a PhD in economics from the University of South Carolina. He has published research on the economics of terrorism, education, gambling, corporate incentives, and other topics.
John married Julia about the time he earned his first degree. They now live in a small southern mountain town with their three sons. John works hard to show his students how they can use rational decision making to enrich their lives. Julia works hard to raise three sons and an aggravating husband. John writes speculative fiction. He was published in Writers of the Future, Volume 27. Julia, the world's most voracious reader, edits his work. His mother is now deceased. His hero is his father, Scotty.