AEI: More Unions Means Fewer Jobs

In April Lee Ohanian of the American Enterprise Institute published a paper on the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) that is a must read. But this month he published a shorter piece that is just as interesting. In it, Ohanian claims that if we increased unionism as the Obamaites want to do, we’d actually lose jobs; 4.5 million of them to be precise.

Obama has spent his entire year in office (hard to believe this much destruction only took a year) looking for ways to pay unions big dividends and despite that Congress has been dragging its feet on unions’ most cherished legislative agenda, the EFCA, Obama has been bending over backwards for them (as we discussed here).

Despite that the EFCA isn’t yet a reality, Ohanian reminds us that unions have already damaged the nation under Obama. And they want more. If they get more, though, we will really be in trouble.

Those that want more unionization claim it is necessary to raise wages. Instead it will further depress the economy. My research suggests that if unionization rates returned to 1970s levels (roughly in the mid 20% range of the private work force), and if new unions could achieve the same wage premium as existing unions have achieved over nonunion workplaces, then employment could decline by about 4.5 million and real GDP could fall by about $500 billion per year.

The American economy is in bad enough shape without this sort of onerous force applied to it. But why is this all true? What did Ohanian base his conclusions on? Ohanian maintains that union wages hamper competition, small businesses would be severely impacted by spreading unions, and less educated workers would find it even harder to get work. Ohanian says that increased unionism will mean that job loss will “tend to fall disproportionately on the lowest-paid workers.” All this will tend to destroy jobs, he says.

So, in this day and age, unions are bad for us all. And why is Obama pushing unionism on the nation? How about the $450 million that unions spent getting him elected, for a start?

On any case, go on over and give Mr. Ohanian’s piece a read.

Warner Todd Huston

Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago-based freelance writer, has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and is featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart's, and all Breitbart News' other sites,,, and many, many others. Additionally, he has been a frequent guest on talk-radio programs across the country to discuss his opinion editorials and current events as well as appearing on TV networks such as CNN, Fox News, Fox Business Network, and various Chicago-based news programs. He has also written for several history magazines and appears in the book "Americans on Politics, Policy and Pop Culture" which can be purchased on He is also the owner and operator of Feel free to contact him with any comments or questions : EMAIL Warner Todd Huston and follow him on Twitter, on Google Plus , and Facebook.

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