The Instigator
Pro (for)
1 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

On balance government employee labor unions have a positive impact on the United States

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/10/2010 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,791 times Debate No: 11703
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (9)
Votes (1)




I stand in affirmation of this resolution for some key reasons.
First, Public sector unions benefit workers
Unionization across the board is beneficial to workers that join them. Particularly in the Public sector, employees are given health insurance, pension plans, higher wages and job security. This in turn raises incentives for those in the labor force to get a job and work. Those workers who are unionized earn on average 30% more than workers who are not unionized. Also many studies have been conducted on the damages of unions to the economy or to companies in general, and the Economic Policy Institute finds that while these unions might cut down on profits they have no damaging effects. Considering the jobs that exist in the public sector, teachers, firemen, postal workers, and policemen to name a few, and the nature of their work the benefits they receive do not seem so outrageous. In fact we are rewarding these people for completing public services.

Second, Unions facilitate the democratic process
In the United States our core value is democracy and that every individual has a voice. When we look to the nature of unions one can see that they only further the democratic agenda of this nation. These unions allow for a collective voice of workers to be heard in large corporations, and in the public sector, our government. In an analysis done by the University of California Berkeley on the effectiveness of unions, the conclusion reached was unions close the gap between wage and profit. According to head professor of Education unions have pushed forth several key pieces of legislation that have bettered the labor situation of all Americans. Key examples include,OSHA, FMLA, and FLSA. They have added to the democracy and utilized that process to pass employee protections. Thus they are a positive impact.

Third, Public sector unions benefit education.
Considering that one of the largest government employee labor unions is the American Federation of Teachers it is only naturally that they would have an impact on education. This is duly noted by the CATO institute in a systematic study of teachers unions ad the effects on education. The study takes a look at the strength of each states teachers unions and the quality of education in those states. the interesting facts derived from this study were that in states such as New York ad Rhode Island where unionization rates were substantially larger the quality of education was also much better. This is directly linked to the incentives unionization provides for teachers, when wages are higher and there are more benefits obviously the job gets done better. When we compare unionization rates in New Jersey 66% to that of Georgia 10%, and then look at each states drop out rates we can see the effects of strong teacher unions. 10.8% drop out rate in New Jersey and 22.1% in Georgia. Thus these Unions have a positive impact.


I would like to thank my opponent and those who are looking at this debate. Now I will state my points.

1.Taxes increase – Many people are already having trouble paying taxes but if labor unions force the government to make wages higher, taxes will get raised even more, which lessens government budget so the government can't do what it needs to do
2.Workers will take advantage- Workers will abuse their ability to not get fired and slack off and do other bad things knowing they won't get fired: union teacher has do something like murder a student to get fired, unions make it so they have the power not employers
3.Causes distrust- unions make employees go against employers which is counterproductive to working together, unions give an "us versus them" mentality
4.Unions cause strikes- when unions don't get what they want they cause strikes, strikes are a great harm to the economy which is already in bad shape, the US postal strike of 1970 disrupted delivery of pension and welfare checks, tax refunds, census forms, and draft notices eventually the armed forces had to deliver mail that must not be repeated but if postal unions don't get what they want it might

Now I will rebuttal my opponent.

Although unions do help give people a bitter bigger pay checks that also means you get more trouble paying your taxes."while these unions might cut down on profits they have no damaging effects" my opponent admits that unions cut down on profits and in reality unions cut down on on budgets a lot which has a negative impact on the united states.
Unions are not good in a democratic way. First of all not everyone always has a say sometimes only the union leader has a say. Second union do political lobbying saying "do this and we won't strike" and political lobbying has a negative effect on the US. Third government employee labor unions leech jobs and competition and success from private corporations. Things being run by the government is communism and communism has a negative impact on the US.

Unions made people work less hard since they will still have a good pay check no matter what. Also it is nearly impossible to fire unionized teachers that are doing a bad job and need to be fired. Public school teacher unions are some of the most corrupt unions out there. They actually decrease our quality education.

Government employee labor unions don't have a positive effect on the US since they increase taxes,make workers take advantage, cause distrust, cause strikes, lower budgets, cause corruption, and decrease our quality education. This is why I urge a con ballot.
Debate Round No. 1


thank you for taking this debate,
I will know rebut my opponent's case
1. tax increase, while many people might be having trouble paying their taxes these public sector unions truly have no effect on tax increases. These wage increases have always followed some sort of price increase or inflation. If we do not increase consumer purchasing power and keep up with inflation many more people will struggle to make ends meet.
2. Workers taking advantage, this is simply untrue. While unions do offer job security they do not offer immunity to offenses. My opponent gives the example of teachers and the amount of security they have on the job. While teachers enjoy this they are all still subject to the judgement of their administration, and in states like Tennessee where a merit pay system is implemented they are subject to state wide reviews thus eliminating ridiculous job protections. On balance workers do not take advantage of these unions, but utilize them to bridge the gap between employee and employer benefits.
3. Distrust, to this I offer the simple question of when has this occurred. Unionized workers have been on strike and in situations where productivity is lacking, but when one goes deeper into the issue at the heart of the matter lies wage inequalities and discrimination. On the other hand in almost every instance the opposite is found. Where unionization exists a greater amount of productivity exists as well. These benefits proposed by unions offers the incentives to get a job and join.
4. Striking, I briefly covered this in the last point, but to the example of the postal strike, should we simply ask these workers who are serving the nation to be content in unfair situations and less than kosher working situations? The postal workers have a demanding job and when they utilize the democratic process to accomplish a goal then that is a progressive step and a good thing for the U.S.

I will now answer my opponent's rebuttal and affirm my original points.
I will state again that when these public sector unions fight for wage increase it does not come just to them it comes across the board so that every average American worker can have that pay increase to keep up with the rising prices. These unions cut down on profits, yes but are we really concerned with a million dollar decrease in a billion dollar profit? Unions do not cause budget cuts, my opponent cannot directly attribute any budget cut in the U.S. budget to any union. My opponent goes on to say unions in the public sector leech from the private sector this is again untrue and backs this claim with nothing. People in the U.S. have a choice where to work and if they choose the government it is still a choice. Our government runs many programs and we are in no way communist, to say that our government running things is not a well thought out statement. We again go into the job security issue, I have already addressed the teachers and how they are subject to reviews and can be fired on any reasonable grounds. All unions do is prevent unreasonable and discriminatory actions against employees. My opponent simply states that unions are corrupt and decrease education but provides no example of this ever happening. It is shown in my original case that unions improve education. Unions and factions are inevitable in our society and a part of democracy. Unions hold elections on secret ballots under the EFCA(employee free choice act) for every major decision, such as a strike. This is to ensure each worker has a say.

Government employee labor unions do do have a positive impact on the U.S. on balance, which is key to the resolution, because they benefit workers by offering better working conditions and higher wages, facilitate the democratic process by offering workers a louder voice in the over head decisions, and last they contribute to education, which is a vital piece to the prosperity puzzle. For all these reasons I strongly urge your vote in affirmation. Thank You.


Thanks for posting.
I now block my opponents rebuttals.

1. My opponent has stated "public sector unions truly have no effect on tax increases" could that be more untrue. My opponent obviously needs to check his facts. Of course government labor unions increase or taxes! Where else would the government get the extra money labor unions make the government pay it's workers!? My opponent's rebuttal is incorrect and only hurt themselves.
2. My opponent stated "Workers taking advantage, this is simply untrue". Workers taking advantage is simply true.There are thousands of unionized government workers so "there are always a few bad apples" meaning some of them are not working as hard as they should so therefore they are taking advantage of their high pay checks. Sometimes government transportation security officers (the people who are supposed to make sure your not carrying bombs onto the plane) don't correctly check people creating a safety hazard therefore having a negative impact on the US according to the Washington Post.
3. I don't really see how my opponents rebuttal against my distrust point proves unions don't cause distrust. Unions pit employees against employers causing distrust.
4. My opponent stated that unions causing strikes is "good thing for the U.S.", you see if you agree with that after not getting your pensions, welfare checks, or any sort of mail!

Now I will rebuttal my opponent's blocks.

My opponent has stated "yes but are we really concerned with a million dollar decrease" of course we are! We are already over 3 trillion dollars in debt!
Unions steal jobs from private sectors to public sectors which supports communism since communism is things being run by the government.
My opponent has stated "All unions do is prevent unreasonable and discriminatory actions against employees" this is oh so false. There are two things false about that. First, Unions make employers pay employees more than they should get. Second, they only help unionized workers, they don't care about you unless you're in the union.


Unless you want high taxes, communism, more debt, distrust, and strikes VOTE CON! Government employee labor unions don't have a positive effect on the US since they support communism, cause high taxes, increase debt, cause distrust, and cause strikes, so I URGE A CON BALLOT!
Debate Round No. 2


thanks for the great debate so far
1. The issue with the tax increase is that our government has many sources to acquire funds. Right now the government's main source of income is borrowing. Also according to the Keynesian theory of economics government spending increases aggregate demand which boosts the economy.
2. Obviously with any scenario there will be imperfections, and the same is true with unions. However the resolution does state on balance so as my opponent states "a few bad apples" do not disturb the balance. In fact quite the contrary is true. Public sector labor unions provide services to the American people. Remember were talking about policemen fire fighters and teachers.
3. For the point of pitting employees and employers we have to look to the nature of unions and why they are a great thing. Public sector unions are one of the many small hands that can push big brother around. I go back to the fact that unions facilitate the democratic process. When two groups have friction and they use voting and democracy to solve these issues that is obviously a good thing. This in no way calls for any distrust between the two.
4. The very reason these people go on strike is because they are not getting these benefits. They are being treated unfairly and thus they go on strike. However I did look into this and according to the federal employee act of 02 federal employees cannot go on strike. The AFT confirms this stating that teachers who strike are not part of the union and they risk being fired.
With that I move on to state some summary arguments
What you have to do when casting your vote is look at the on balance effects. A million dollar increase is not a momentum swing. When a broader view is taken one million dollars is a minuscule number compared to the overall budget less than a 1% increase. Also it is not accurate to say if you aren't in a union you are not cared about. These benefits I have discussed that Unions get passed benefit all workers such as minimum wage OSHA FMLA FSLA so again the benefits are on balance. Lastly Unions benefit education. This point is one my opponent failed to refute. Strong teacher unions birth better education systems. It is no coincidence that the states with the highest public unionization also have the best schools. So for today's debate you must look at an on balance effect and when you do that you can surely see that on the Pro side the on balance approach has been taken. My opponent however has failed to do so. Vote pro


anonymous9304 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


I'm just going to not post an argument and give my opponent a chance to respond to the last argument.


I am sincerely sorry for forfeiting the last round. I was unable to reach a computer while camping.

1. My opponent seems to be avoiding the fact that government needing more money means you have to pay more. You still have to pay more when government labor unions want more.
2. My opponent also seems to be avoiding the fact that no matter how few, government workers slacking off still has a negative effect on the US which is what this debate is all about. My opponent has failed to clearly state how my second point doesn't have a negative effect on the US so therefore my 2nd point still has a negative effect on the US.
3. My opponent fails to realize that employers aren't included in this vote. So they are voting to make the employer treat them better so they are going against they're employers. This makes them feel like it's employees vs. employers which has a negative effect on the US.
4. My opponent fails to say anything about the effect a government worker strike has on you. If the postal service has a strike you won't get any mail at all. Is not receiving any mail even mail that you must get like pensions okay? Of course not!
Government employee labor unions may give a slightly higher quality on the US but as my opponent has said we must look from a broader view. From a broader view slightly better education is almost nothing compared to the other horrible effects government employee labor unions have on the US.
On balance government employee labor unions DON'T have a positive effect on the US since they support communism, cause high taxes, increase debt, cause distrust, and cause strikes. This is why urge a CON BALLOT.
Debate Round No. 4


MWHSdb8 forfeited this round.


anonymous9304 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by jingzhezhang 8 years ago
The same topic..
Posted by anonymous9304 8 years ago
what is the nationals topic?
Posted by jingzhezhang 8 years ago
Michael you will fail.
Posted by MWHSdb8 8 years ago
its ok have you seen the nationals topic for pf?
Posted by anonymous9304 8 years ago
Again I am so sincerely sorry for forfeiting! I was debating this topic at a tournemant.
Posted by MWHSdb8 8 years ago
haha its all good
Posted by anonymous9304 8 years ago
I am so sorry I forfeited! I was camping for the whole weekend and was unable to reach any computer.
Posted by MWHSdb8 8 years ago
Yeah I love it. This topic is my topic for State tournament. There is only one kind of debate better than PF and thats parley. Its the best.
Posted by anonymous9304 8 years ago
This is the April PF topic. PF RULES!
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Hurstman 8 years ago
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Total points awarded:10