Thank you for the thoughtful editorial on the Supreme Court case of Harris v. Quinn ("Paying one's dues," Jan. 23). While it may seem reasonable to force people to pay union dues in order to engage in commerce, it might be more reasonable to consider the possibility that people should be free to engage in commerce on their own terms. Why did Illinois decide to treat these people as employees in the first place? After all, the doctors who receive Medicare funds are not state employees. And the real beneficiary of the Medicaid funds is the person receiving the care. Is it possible that this arrangement was designed to give political favor to the union?

You make the argument that ruling in favor of the plaintiff would deny the right of workers to join unions. That is simply not the case. In no way is a worker's right to organize in jeopardy. What is at risk is the monopoly power that unions receive from government. No attempt to cloud this privilege with appeals to resolving inequality can change that fact. I find it ironic that you suggest that people should exercise their right to associate by finding work elsewhere. If we were truly free to associate, then there would be no need to work elsewhere.

Jeff Taylor, Odenton

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