Comment 90592

By kevlahan (registered) | Posted August 01, 2013 at 17:20:25 in reply to Comment 90582

I assume by "overbearing unions", you mean "overbearing unions" and not "unions" generally, because there is little correlation between rates of unionization and overall economic performance in G7 countries.

Some examples:

Country Unionization of workforce

USA 11%

Canada 27%

United Kingdom 26%

France 8%

Germany 18%

Italy: 36%

Japan 18%

And also (non G7, but relevant comparisons)

Australia 18%

New Zealand 20%

Source: OECD

So, most G7 (and similar) economies currently have unionization rates of around 20%, with France (8%) and the USA (11%) having very low unionization rates, Canada and UK having slightly higher rates (around 26%), and Italy having by far the highest rate (36%).

It is hard to make the argument that the low unionization rates of France and the USA have helped their economies, or that the relatively high unionization rates of Canada has harmed its economy. Germany has done very well with a rate of unionization almost twice that of the USA. And we haven't considered the role of unions in reducing inequality.

There is also the fact that the US economy did very well in the 1950s and 1960s "despite" having much higher rates unionization than today: 31% in 1960. The rate of unionization in Canada, on the other hand, hasn't changed very much: 29% in 1960 compared with 27% today.

Comment edited by kevlahan on 2013-08-01 17:21:03

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