Present Day Unions Essay

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Since the '80 we are gradually thinking more "American" on how to organize our society: governments are a burden, big government-supported programmes (healthcare, public transport, etc.) need to be dismantled and replaced by competing private enterprises, taxes are evil and should be as little as possible, collective organisations such as political parties, unions, etc. are outdated, etc.
This "American" way of thinking conflicts with the way we have been thinking in Europe since WWII. We neither wanted the state controlled bureaucracies of the Soviet-Union, nor the every-man-for-himself Wild West capitalism of the US. We choose something in between: private enterprises and initiative, but government investment and decent public programmes such as good healthcare, education systems and public transport.
When this "American" style of thinking came to Europe, on the national level there was not a lot of enthusiasm for it. A very large group of the population is either employed in such government programmes (you must have a teacher, nurse, etc. in your family), benefits from it, or both. Politicians that need to be reelected do not want to abolish it head-on.
In comes the increasingly powerful European Union the last decades. The most vocal opponents of the "American" style are national organisations, e.g. unions, consumer organisations, left parties, NGO's, etc. Those organisations are not that effective on the EU-level, so you can get legislation accepted that e.g. forces national public organisations (e.g. railways) to disband, because you believe in the American Dream of private enterprise competition.
Now all those national organisations (and the majority of the voters), i.e. those that are directly effected by how the national railways are organised, are simple passed by. And they do not like it: we have never voted for those reforms, they affect us negatively and mostly benefit foreign companies and investors. Why should we listen to the American gospel...

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