Defend Union Thugs in Wisconsin!

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It would probably be just as correct to title this post Block Made Easier, as I am not attempting a new defense of Professor Block’s call for support of union thugs, but simply making an attempt to put the Professor’s argument in a form that might be more easily understandable.

Suppose you are walking at night in Boston’s beautiful Boston Common. It’s late, and this being a public park, there is no protection in the park. As you walk down the park, you see two local thugs Scott and Union. Now Union is smaller than Scott, so he fights a little different than Scott but they are both thugs. Scott being bigger, meaner and tougher, he usually controls the mugging. You really wouldn’t want to run into either one of these guys alone, but together, you are in double bad luck.

As they head towards you, Scott bursts out to Union, hey I’m sick of this 50/50 split. I want 80% because I am bigger and stronger, you can still loot but I am only going to give you 20%. Suddenly, they stop heading towards you. A fight breaks out between them. Do you root for Scott to beat Union instantly to a pulp? Of course not.

Once Scott gets done with Union, his next stop will be you. Since they are both thugs, you keep hoping that they keep slamming at each other. You kinda root for Union to get in a good couple of slams against Scott to keep the fight going. The last thing you want is for either to win because then you are next.

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2011 Economic Policy Journal