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Letter: Well-paid union members are a benefit to society, economy

The mayor and some of the Assembly feel union employees are overpaid. Mr. Ahrens (Letters, March 9) says that government produces nothing and so is a drag on our capitalistic system. How in the world did we get into this position?

Perhaps, in the free marketplace of workers, the government wasn’t able to attract qualified applicants without offering pay and/or benefits that would attract them and so compete with private industry. Their union-scale pay helps the public employees not need WIC, food stamps or a second job to live their lives comfortably. Not needing a second job allows them more free time with their families which can lead to children needing fewer public services. These workers can better afford to pay for goods and services that help keep Mr. Ahrens in business.

As far as being a drag on the economy, think back to the NFL’s problems last fall when the referees, those non-producing employees, weren’t working. Government operating properly makes it possible for businesses to operate fairly and support non-union workers with the aforementioned programs.

— Mark Lovegreen

Anchorage