The High Cost of Free Money


Michelle Malkin posted a followup today to a running story about Illinois Governor Pat Quinn forcing in-home care workers to unionize under Service Employees International Union. I know I’m supposed to be outraged by this story, but I walked away from it with a big “Eh.” Malkin quotes Pam Harris, the focus of the post, as saying,

We are NOT ‘public employees.’ We are parents who take care of our adult sons and daughters with significant disabilities in our homes, in the community so they can thrive and live safely with meaning and purpose.

While Harris may not technically be a government employee, she and the others who are protesting the forced unionization “receive state funding to assist someone, usually a family member, at home with a developmental disability.” In other words, Harris and the other complainants rely on government funding to carry out their calling.

It’s been said countless times in countless places, but when a person receives government assistance, that person gives up some of his or her freedom. The state of Illinois has every right to want to know what taxpayer dollars are paying for, and union sock puppets like Pat Quinn can easily say that unionization is a form of quality assurance. Sure, it’s a bogus excuse, but that’s the argument they make.

I don’t like SEIU, and I’m sure that Pat Quinn is a thug, but as supporters of limited government we do ourselves no favors by objecting when a group of socialists takes over a socialist program that we happen to like. In other words, did people have no problem with a program that gave people money to stay home with relatives until SEIU showed up?

I’m not offering solutions here. I have no idea what it’s like to care for a developmentally disabled adult. These programs seem like the compassionate thing to do. However, these social welfare programs not only open the door to corruption, they are paid for by taxpayers. This isn’t the hill I’d want to die on.


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