"Let anyone who believes that a high standard of living is the achievement of labor unions and government controls ask himself the following question: If one had a “time machine” and transported the united labor chieftains of America, plus three million government bureaucrats, back to the tenth century—would they be able to provide the medieval serf with electric light, refrigerators, automobiles, and television sets?"
by:
Ayn Rand
[Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum] (1905-1982) Russian-American novelist, philosopher, playwright, and screenwriter
Source:
Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal
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Reader comments about this quote:
Labor unions once played a roll in protecting certain of workers' status. By example, decades ago, unions would provide educational apprenticeships that superseded many other sources of journeyman preparation (no longer). Self reliance, creativity and wealth building entrepreneurship were never part of union training (it was in the free market of workers that Ford brought about a 40 hour work week - not unions or government). Governmental regulation and otherwise controls have always been antithetical to self reliance, creativity (including product inventiveness) and wealth building entrepreneurship. Today's serf, under union and government controls, still labors in a fog outside that spark which is freedom of thought.
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    The communist party is a big labor union. What good did it achieve? ???
     -- cal, Lewisville, TX     
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     -- jim k, Austin      
    Brilliant! Voluntary membership in a union is fine -- it is the right to associate. But to compel workers to join and support a union as a condition of employment is a corruption. Great observation, cal!!
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    What a childish quote....
     -- robert, Somewhere in the US     
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    Is that all you got Robert wake up man, I challenge you to name one good thing and union is done in the last 50 to 60 years , you can't do it . And might I add civil-service unions are the most corrupt.
     -- Warren, Elk Grove, Ca     
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    Without the productive creative entrepreneurs who come up with something new and anew, designs a new product and/or devise that in the end results in new jobs and in the hiring of people to produce the product there would be no possible use, necessity or want for either the bloated myriad of government bureaucrats or the labor unions.
    Something that the "childish" Robert who cannot figure out where in the U.S. he resides also is a fail at understanding.
     -- Mary - MI     
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    Fun quote. If we could do that we should. They may not help those that receive them but we sure would benefit their absence.
    Unions were started and run by communists until the mob ran them out.
     -- warrren, olathe     
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