I walk up to Prof J and demand $20 at gunpoint. At this, he would have me thrown in jail. And rightfully so. I have zero claim on the fruits of his labor. What’s his is his and not mine. I would hope that most clear thinking folks would agree with me. However, let’s change up the scenario just a little.
I run for office and pass a law that confiscates some of Prof J’s money. I take that money and give it government workers, such as TSA agents. TSA agents, in turn, form a public sector union and require its members to contribute dues. Part of these dues, which were once Prof J’s money, is used to help elect more folks like me. I’ve now essentially laundered Prof J’s hard earned money into campaign donations for myself. This is the workings of a public sector union.
Is this “legal plunder” in scenario 2 substantially different than armed robbery in scenario 1?