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Monday, February 04, 2002

GOP-Teamster Axis?-The Teamsters seem to be gravitating towards the Republicans these days, with ANWR being the latest example. I'll posit a good reason- a growing economy helps the Teamsters, and the GOP is the party of economic growth. The Democrats are the party of economic redistribution. Economic growth means more stuff being shipped, and the Teamsters will be there to help move the stuff around. Unlike manufacturing unions who have a protectionist agenda and public-employee unions whose jobs depend on big government, the Teamsters and other private-sector non-manufacturing workers don't have a natural tie to the Democrats. The Carpenters are another union that are leaning Republican-you can't import buildings (not easily at least) and a growing economy means more construction. As long as unions are given decent legal protections allowing organization, the private-sector non-manufacturing workers will be fair game for Republicans. As a kid I thought it was a side-effect of being mobbed-up that made the Teamsters GOP-leaning. No, there is an honest self-interest in backing the party of economic growth.

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