Is Ron Paul a Socialist Pro-Union Sympathizer?Submitted by Chris Comotellamski on Sun, 09/08/2013 - 21:09
Another example of how Ron Paul spans the imaginary divide between the 'democrips' and 'rebloodlicans,' his view on trade unions:
Right to organize; but no special benefits for unions
Q: Are unions good for America?
A: The right to unionize should be a basic right of any group. You should be able to organize. You should have no privileges, no special benefits legislated to benefit the unions, but you should never deny any working group to organize and negotiate for the best set of standards of working conditions.
Source: 2007 Republican debate in Dearborn, Michigan, Oct 9, 2007
So in the spirit of free association, Ron Paul is all for unions. But what about all the special favors and graft? And the sometimes exorbitant wages? Again he clarifies:
Mandated wages & unions hurt unprotected workers
Minimum wage laws & mandating union contracts (closed shop) are designed to help a small segment of workers gain economic advantage while actually hurting unprotected workers. Long term, even the beneficiaries suffer from the unemployment that excessive wage demands bring about. High wages are great, but if there are no jobs they become meaningless. In a free society with free markets, workers should always negotiate for the highest wage, while businesses should always strive for maximum profits. And if left to the market, the consumer will decide which businesses thrive, and wages must go up, not because of coercive legislation but because under the circumstances there would be competition by businesses to seek out the best workers and reward them with the best wages. Coerced union wages and dictated minimum wages grossly distort the market process and contribute to the malinvestment initiated by the Federal Reserve policy and guarantee that in the correction, wages must come down.
Source: Liberty Defined, by Rep. Ron Paul, p.309-310 , Apr 19, 2011
Now, why did I have to go digging around for Ron Paul's stance on labor unions? Shouldn't I have already known it after all these years? Well I did, and not from reading it or hearing it from him. I knew this would be his view exactly because of free association.
That's why I find it especially ironic that trade unions (free association) are looked down on by people on web chat forums (free association) who claim themselves to be advocates of libertarian ideals (such as free association.) A triple whammy of irony!
Oh, and about the title - those aren't my words. They're from the comments on any and all pro-union posts I've ever seen here or any other 'right-wing'-type forum or article. However, in seemingly a supreme fourth irony, it appears that the answer to our initial question is yes - Ron Paul is 'socialist' in its classical definition of 'power to the people', he's 'pro-union', and naturally he sympathizes with them.