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Labor unions and the Electoral College

Summary:
Public employee labor unions often require their members to pay dues in support of political lobbying activities, even if the individual does not agree with the union position. Collectivists tend to support these policies, whereas individualists oppose policies that force people to support views with which they do not agree. Something similar occurs in US presidential elections. When a majority of voters in a state vote for candidate X, supporters of candidate Y have no say in the final outcome. They might as well have just stayed home. All that matters is the view of the collective—the state in this case—minority views don’t matter. In other countries, voters for the losing candidate in a given state still have their votes count in the national election. They

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Public employee labor unions often require their members to pay dues in support of political lobbying activities, even if the individual does not agree with the union position. Collectivists tend to support these policies, whereas individualists oppose policies that force people to support views with which they do not agree.

Something similar occurs in US presidential elections. When a majority of voters in a state vote for candidate X, supporters of candidate Y have no say in the final outcome. They might as well have just stayed home. All that matters is the view of the collective—the state in this case—minority views don’t matter. In other countries, voters for the losing candidate in a given state still have their votes count in the national election. They would not want to stay home, as doing so would make it less likely that their candidate wins. Their vote counts as an individual, not just a member of a collective.

Interestingly, although collectivists tend to support ignoring minority views and forcing public employee union members to speak as one, when it comes to the Electoral College they tend to have the opposite view. And while individualists tend to oppose these collectivist union policies, they tend to support the Electoral College.

I am a rare exception, I have always opposed both forms of collectivism.

Labor unions and the Electoral College

Scott Sumner
Scott B. Sumner is Research Fellow at the Independent Institute, the Director of the Program on Monetary Policy at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and an economist who teaches at Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts. His economics blog, The Money Illusion, popularized the idea of nominal GDP targeting, which says that the Fed should target nominal GDP—i.e., real GDP growth plus the rate of inflation—to better "induce the correct level of business investment". In May 2012, Chicago Fed President Charles L. Evans became the first sitting member of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) to endorse the idea.

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