The Spectacle Blog

Legalized Extortion? I Love New York!

By on 7.28.08 | 10:42AM

Last week New York Governor David Paterson signed a new law permanently denying his state's "public service" employees the right to conscientious objector status when it comes to the unions they may or may not believe are representing their best interests. Join a union. Don't join a union. You pay those dues either way in the Empire State. This sort of statist enforcement might seem a bit overbearing to the layperson--what? these magnificent unions aren't able to persuade people to join?--but, really, it's just sensible policy, according to...um, "labor leaders":

"In public employment, they have the right not to belong, but I still must represent them," said Richard C. Iannuzzi, president of New York State United Teachers. "If under the law we're obligated to represent every employee, then it's only fair that every employee pays something toward the cost of being represented."

So as long as I pay for my union dues, I can choose not to belong to the union? Wow! Thieves should go into union management: Instead of going to jail for jacking people up, you get fancy dinner parties, absurd lionization from net-nerds and the governor driving your figurative getaway car. Not bad!

I know the phrase Orwellian gets thrown around a lot, but...

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