Keep writing those letters to the editor, folks. Following is one that was published in the the Courier recently. If you’ve had a letter published anywhere, email it to me: firstname.lastname@example.org. And I’ll post it on our website.
From Anita Savio. Pub. Aug 21.
A Bend Bulletin editorial, recently re-published by the Courier, argued it is unfair for the state to deduct union dues from state employees’ pay. Those employees who value the services of the union, asserted the editorial, will ante up their dues without being forced.
But this ignores what economists refer to as the “free rider effect.” It operates something like this: I’m a state employee and, gee, I really like how our union advocates for me and my fellow employees. So I should chip in my share of union dues. And I will. I intend to. But right now I’ve got other expenses that are more pressing. And let’s face it, I’m forced to pay my mortgage or rent, utilities, car insurance, food and clothing. If I want to go see a movie or eat out with friends, well they won’t let me in the movie theater if I don’t pay, and I’ll get arrested if I don’t pay the restaurant bill.
But I still get the benefit of union representation even if I don’t pay. So I will get around to paying my union dues. Really. I will.
That’s the free rider effect.