George Reisman, professor of Economics at Pepperdine University and author of the book Capitalism: A Treatise on Economics, attempts to answer the question of where would General Motors* be today without the United Auto Workers. Some of his ten conclusions include:

#1. GM management could fire inefficient employees without worrying about a strike, resulting in higher quality vehicles.

#2. GM would be able to use more efficient, lower-cost methods in building their products instead of negotiating it with the union to the point of creating 'phony' jobs to placate the membership.

#6. GM would not be paying $140,000 per employee to leave.

#10. GM workers, without the union benefits, would be motivated to consider saving for the future instead of threatening for more money from an already financially-strapped company.

Hmmm. A bit harsh but perhaps there are some grains of truth in there. Opinions? Shout out in comments.

*Reisman does state his analysis also applies to Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler. He chose GM for his example since it's the largest automaker.

[Source: Ludwig von Mises Institute]