Unions Save Lives?

There’s been a lot if talk in the news about unions lately. The latest protests in Wisconsin (1), re-examining the American “union smashing” of the 1970’s that wrecked our industrial base allowing Germany, Sweden, and France to have a more thriving industry than we do (and a better quality of life for working class folk as a result) (2), and folks on the blogosphere digging up a 1999 study that shows that the five states where teachers’ unions are illegal have the lowest test scores. (3)

Here’s a facinating thesis drawn on various sources that UNIONS SAVE LIVES.

It’s a long line of logic to get there, so we’ll take it one step at a time…starting with…

UNIONS STRENGTHEN THE ECONOMY.

According to a December 2007 study by the Economic Roundtable Union Workers in Los Angeles County, union workers earn 27% more than nonunion workers doing the same jobs. The higher wages for the L.A. union workers – who number about 800,000, or 15% of the workforce – equal an extra $71 billion a year in earnings.

…next…

A STRONGER ECONOMY CREATES JOBS

These 800,000 workers purchased additional housing, food, clothing, child care, and other items with their extra $71 billion a year; the total of their purchasing power created an additional 307,100 jobs (64,800 more than would have been produced with out the higher union wages)….finally…

JOBS SAVE LIVES.

Harvey Brenner is a longtime student of the correlations between economic fluctuations and physical health. According to Brenner (a socialist and a public health expert at John Hopkins University and the University of North Texas Health Archive Center) for every one percent rise of the unemployment rate (about 1.5 million more people out of work) our country can expect 47,000 more deaths. These include 26,000 heart attacks, 1,200 suicides, 831 murders, and 634 alcohol-consumption related deaths.

…add those theses all together, and the synthesis is…

UNIONS CREATE HIGHER WAGES, WHICH STREGTHENS WORKER PURCHASING POWER AND THE ECONOMY; THE STRONGER ECONOMY CREATES JOBS, WHICH SAVE LIVES. 

The jobs created by the additional purchasing power of L.A. County union employees offset the national unemployment rate by .23 percent.

Which means that L.A. County unions saved 10,810 lives including 5,980 heart attacks prevented, 266 suicides prevented, 187 murders prevented, and 146 less alcohol-related deaths.All without even tryingThank you L.A. Unions.  Shame on us as Americans for fighting against unions, but we will get what we deserve.

After all we’re only killing ourselves.

1 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/15/wisconsin-state-workers-p_n_823476.html
2 Geoghegan, Thomas. “Were You Born on the Wrong Continent?”
3 http://blogs.ajc.com/get-schooled-blog/2011/02/22/no-strong-teacher-unions-lower-satact-scores-any-correlation/

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