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N. Y. Judges want to wear the union label

01/12/2011

State court judges in New York are unhappy with their pay and are not getting any satisfaction from their paymaster legislators in Albany. The New York City Family Court Judges’ Association polled it’s members and 90% of those who responded are for creating a judge’s association to negotiate on behalf of the jurists.

“The message is: United we stand,” Judge W. Dennis Duggan said.

New York state finances are in bad shape with new governor Andrew Cuomo walking into a $9 billion budget deficit and what the New York Times calls a “perennially dysfunctional Legislature.”

“But some judges argue that as their caseloads have grown, the effect of going years without a pay raise is that they are being paid far less for far more work,” explains the Times.

“In government operations, the consumer is treated like an unwelcome intruder,” Murray Rothbard wrote in For a New Liberty “an interference in the quiet enjoyment by the bureaucrat of his steady income.” Conversely, in private business more demand is welcomed.

Unionized judges will just hasten the state’s bankruptcy. If you thought the wheels of justice turned slow now, wait till a judges’ union limits the number of cases heard and negotiates other work rules with the dysfunctional legislature.

Rothbard pointed out:

the monopoly courts of government are subject to the same grievous problems, inefficiencies, and contempt
for the consumer as any other government operation. We all know that judges, for example, are not selected according to their wisdom, probity, or efficiency in serving the consumer, but are political hacks chosen by the political process. Furthermore, the courts are monopolies; if, for example, the courts in some town or city should become corrupt, venal, oppressive, or inefficient, the citizen at present has no recourse.

Imagine walking into the courtroom and your judge appears sporting a Teamsters patch on his or her black robe.

In a free market, citizens would likely subscribe to court service, Rothbard imagines, or a fee would be paid when court service is needed. These fees would finance the justice system.

Author:

Doug French

Douglas French is President Emeritus of the Mises Institute, author of Early Speculative Bubbles & Increases in the Money Supply, and author of Walk Away: The Rise and Fall of the Home-Ownership Myth. He received his master's degree in economics from UNLV, studying under both Professor Murray Rothbard and Professor Hans-Hermann Hoppe.

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