Volunteers vs. Union Jobs

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The last 2003 show of ABC’s 20/20 news show had a story on how public employee unions are fighting against people who volunteer for the public good. One of the great “Give Me a Break” segments by host John Stossel.

Heck, I volunteer as president of the downtown revitalization effort in my town, but since the city could hire someone to do the work I do, I am “stealing someone’s job”!!


The story is very reminiscent of the fight over privatization, where too often we argue about public employee’s “right to their salary” and not the taxpayers’ right to the most effective and low cost services.

It’s a travesty. Do we really think “volunteers on patrol” helping the local police, or weekend cleanup crews helping collect trash in parks is bad public policy? Do we want to create a “right to a public salary”?

You can read the transcript of ABC’s 20/20 story on this at

https://abcnews.go.com/sections/2020/GiveMeABreak/GMAB_Volunteers_031226-1.html or where I have pasted it below.

And by the way, Stossel got the idea for the show from Reason when we told him about the attacks on parents volunteering in San Diego schools.

”No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Are Volunteers Taking Workers’ Jobs?”

Transcript from ABCNEWS.com

”Dec. 26