Unions and Pensions

Workers need unions to protect their rights. Is this really true? Only as much as any other group in society needs someone to protect its rights. The function of protecting peoples rights, which should be equal, is performed by the Sate. In the case of unions, rather than rights, we should be talking about privileges. At least to the extent that their “rights” become more important than those of others, most notably their employers and taxpayers.

Of course, as a libertarian, I have nothing against the idea of a union. The freedom of people to associate, is as valid as any other freedom. If employees and employers have reason to believe that they can gain from these activities then by all means they should do so. What I am opposed to, however, is the current union system in most of Europe. Unions today, represent nothing more than a political weapon, to be used in the process of bargaining. The problem I have with unions, is their high level of political influence and power. Like with anything, completely natural, which arises from the free-market, intertwining it with politics will only create problems and corruption.

The second issue I wanted to talk about is pensions. Many people think that governments should also be involved in this process. But why? The idea of having a centralized pension plan is absurd. Free individuals should be allowed to choose how and what proportion of their money to save. What most people don’t realise is that governments don’t actually “save” your money for retirement. Instead, they spend it, on amongst other things, the payments for pensioners today. So the government is always running a deficit, which the taxpayer funds at no interest. Instead, in a free-market, pension funds are invested and actually yield a return. A privately organised pension system would be a million times better than any public one. The only problem you can argue is as always, that of equality. But if what you want is to somehow redistribute wealth from savings funds, you don’t need to pull everyone into the public system. This is an unneccessary complication



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