Biting the hand that feeds you

Orrin Judd provides an example in The other Wisconsin.

Union chief’s ego gets in way as he overplays players’ hand: When NFL dust settles, owners still will be rich and the players will have gained … what? (David Haugh, March 12, 2011, Chicago Sun Times) … Players and owners aren’t partners on equal footing. Without the NFL, most owners still would be filthy rich. Dare I suggest you can’t say the same about many of the 1,900 players.

What seems to get lost in many of these Union, tax, and budget debates is matters of capital and risk. Those are matters of the hand that feeds. Public employee unions need a governmental infrastructure and health to provide their salary and benefit packages. Football players need stadiums to play in, teams to play with, and all that stuff related to making money in order to be able to get their income.

The focus is often on the pay and benefits as if they are a right and are owed to the employee. Yet without someone building an idea and risking capital to put it into practice and engaging in those activities necessary to make the business happen, the employee would be without opportunity. Private unions have done in much of big manufacturing by biting the hand that feeds them. States have done the same. Some learn that biting the hand that feeds you is probably not a good idea. Some take a long, long time to learn this lesson.

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