A hitherto unknown business group the Center for Union Facts ran a startling, rather nasty, anti-union ad in yesterday’s New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal. The ad basically blames unions for job losses overseas. Now, as an economic matter, it stands to reason that anything which raises wages makes it harder to compete with ultra-low-wage foreign producers, but life is much more complex, since human capital is more than just simple hours of labor. And unions are shrinking anyway.
But I’ll leave all that to the economists. What interests me is who paid for it. According to the New York Times, all that the group’s spokesman would say is: “various companies and a foundation had contributed to his nonprofit group, but he refused to identify them.” And their web site is even more opaque about who is behind it.
Do you suppose that the corporations paying for this stuff are booking the contributions under their ‘corporate social responsibility’ expenditures?