Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Unions and the Destruction of High Culture?

A recent interview on CNBC with Nina Munk, a contributing editor with Vanity Fair, outlined the budgetary problems plaguing the New York Metropolitan Opera.  This interview was fascinating.  Ms. Munk oscillated between bemoaning the loss of high culture if the opera were to close and reprimanding its management for running a horrible, horrible business.

According to the interview, the NYMO brought in around $250 million in revenue, but its costs were nearly double that amount.  Faced with bankruptcy, management is negotiating with various labor unions (hammer users, voice users, electricity conjurers, light manipulators, and others) to cut costs.  As unions are known to do, they will not budge.  

Unions, while starting out as advocates for their constituents, almost always end up mauling the hand, if not destroying it utterly, that feeds them.  If this example does not convince you of the veracity of this claim, then I would point out the following examples: Greece and California.

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