Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Obama, the Democrat Party, and Public Employee Unions

The Center for Freedom and Prosperity has released another of their "Economics 101" videos. This latest video highlights the gross inefficiencies associated with monopolies, particularly government monopolies such as the post office, Amtrak, and the public school system. As any economist who studies these issues will tell you, government run monopolies are maintained almost exclusively for the benefit of the public employee unions rather than for the benefit of those for whom they presumably work: the public. CF&P videos are generally succinct and easy to follow and this one is no exception:

This video's focus on the government run school monopoly is timely since the Democrat Party recently paid off a campaign debt to teacher's unions by killing the DC voucher program that allowed low-income families in one of the nation's worst school districts to send their kids to private schools:

The answer to the above woman's question, "Why?", is very simple. Obama and the Democrat Party is owned lock, stock, and barrel by the public employee unions, as Daniel Henninger chronicled in a recent column for the Wall Street Journal. He will never do anything to cross them, regardless of the fact that the low-income families he claims to champion are hurt most by failing public schools. And make no mistake, those hurt the most by Democrat fealty to teacher's unions are the children of lower income parents who are stuck in these disastrous government run schools with no chance of escape.

Obama and the Democrat Party have a fundamental misunderstanding of the concept of competition. During the health care debate he made the ludicrous claim that a "government option" was required to foster competition among the private sector insurance companies. That any government option would necessarily be subsidized by taxpayers and thus, shielded from competition, is a contradiction he and his fellow Democrats are unable to comprehend.

If Obama was interested in real competition, he would allow insurance companies to sell policies across state lines as Governor Palin and others have advocated. This would, of course, anger the public sector employees of state insurance bureaucracies whose sole reason for existing is to prevent this from happening. Public teacher unions have a similar goal. Indeed their goal is the same as it is for all public sector unions: to avoid competition and accountability while extracting as much from taxpayers as possible. In this endeavor they can count on Obama to do all he can to assist, regardless of the negative consequences to those not in the union.

Obama could have offered those kids in D.C. some real hope and change. Instead, he dashed their hopes and left them at the mercy of the D.C. public employee unions, to whom he pledges his true allegiance. I guess this is the kind of change Obama believes in.

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