John Yoo: How to Save California: Outlaw Public Employee Unions

According to [Pete] Wilson [former governor of California who left office with a budget surplus], public employee unions trigger a destructive dynamic. Public employee unions take money from their members and use them for partisan political purposes. They pressure government officials to cut them sweetheart deals, especially through things like job protections and pensions, that don’t show up on the bottom line for years. They create a larger and larger interest group that demands more government spending and higher taxes, which drives out private entrepreneurship and swells their ranks even more. Reduce the power of the public employee unions, and you lower the size of government, reduce the costs of the state, and fix the looming pension problem.

So here’s my idea, and it applies beyond California. There is no constitutional right for public employees to form a union and to use their dues to pressure the government for more spending and benefits. As Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes once wrote while a state judge, a policeman “may have the right to talk politics but he has no constitutional right to be a policeman.” Unions only have this right because state government has granted it to them. So how about a one sentence ballot initiative, to amend the California constitution, that simply says that public employees cannot form unions — and why not do this state by state.


I like that quote. Emphasis mine.