Mickey wonders if we haven't already glimpsed institutions that make unions' political role redundant:
The internet has already empowered organizations like MoveOn.org to provide both dollars and volunteers to Dems through a structure that need not have anything to do with organized labor. (Here in California, the Courage Campaign has the same idea, though it hasn’t come close to pulling it off.) Why picket when you can click it?
If MoveOn and its imitators can perform unionism’s Dem-funding rolejust as OSHA can perform unionism’s workplace safety role and Obamacare can perform unionism’s health-insuring rolethen who needs unionism again? The left can let it witherwhich, at least in the private sector, simply requires letting events run their course.
That's also partly true of the unions' political role. Organizing and fund-raising are feasible online - just look at the Obama campaign. My own view is that union dues should operate like campaign contributions: give them if you want to. Will Wilkinson has more, in a post noted earlier. And see this item on the difference between being overpaid and underpaid too.