Over the last several years, the number of unions representing workers in U.S. manufacturing has dwindled significantly. Fine with me: I believe unions tend to make people lazy. I live in Rhode Island, which is the most corrupt state there is. Unions run the state by strong-arming the politicians and threatening them with the possibility of not being reelected. Years ago, I believed unions had a purpose — benefitting workers by protecting them from abuse. In today's global economy, the U.S. simply cannot afford them.

As a machine shop owner who treats his employees fairly, we could not survive in our local economy, never mind against our Asian competition, if we were unionized. U.S. automakers are a perfect example of this. I recently had a UAW discussion with a customer of mine in Canada. He told me about a robot that could weld a chassis in a production mode that would out-produce a human by 20 to one. However, he claimed that a certain Michigan automaker would not use the robot because the union did not want to put any workers out of jobs. Yet by not doing so, we are not being competitive with our nonunionized foreign competitors.

Questions, comments welcome at MSD

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