Grosse Pointe Blank, the story of a depressed contract killer going home for his 10 year high school reunion, may not initially seem like an economically based film, but really that is all it is about.
Ostensibly Martin Blank, hitman, only goes home because he is required to do a job for one of his larger clients after bungling a previous contract. I’m going to skip how this could be an argument about good customer service. And besides having to win the heart of the woman he foolish left behind, his biggest problem is dealing with another assassin who wants to unionize all the independent killers to ensure that the price for their skills remains high. Most of the action of the film comes from the fact that, like most unions, the assassin’s union uses violence to take you out if you don’t comply with their demands.
In fact the movie begins with this rather lengthy discussion of unions, supply and demand, and right to work issues:
Grocer: Kid, I’m putting together a little concern, which would enable those of us in our, uh, rarified profession to avoid embarrassing overlaps.
Martin Blank: What, like a union?
Grocer: More like a club. You know, work less, make more.
Blank: Wow, sounds like a great idea, but… thank you, no.
Grocer: No? You remember Burma?
Blank: Yeah, I do.
Grocer: That nut, General Kwang? You were like a… colonel in that army, weren’t you?
Blank: Yeah, yeah, he sold you all those tanks, you shipped ’em to Alabama…
Grocer: T-34s, I took a bath on that.
Blank: Yeah, that was fun.
Grocer: That’s what I’m talking about, kid, we could be working together again, for God’s sake! You know, making big money, killing important people! I want to structure an arrangement where you get like shares, original shares on the ground floor.
Blank: And you would be the President of this organization or maybe just a father figure to me.
Grocer: Hey if you want a father I’ll give you a spanking.
Blank: Yeah, I’ll think about it.
Grocer:Look the employers are getting us a lot cheaper. There are so many more of us.
Blank: Well after the Berlin thing what can you do?
Grocer: Soviet Bloc Collapse
Blank: The market’s flooded.
Grocer: Okay, that’s what I’m looking at, I’m looking at consolidated bargaining. Okay. Look, I don’t want to play against you! This thing is real.
Blank: How real?
Grocer: Maranga Brothers, them, uh, East German ex-Stasi guys…
Blank: Oh, I don’t like those guys.
Grocer: Them butch Filipino ladies…
Blank: What, the dwarf, maid…
[makes stabbing motion]
Grocer: Stabbers! Queens of the hotel hit, you know.
Blank: You got a great crew.
Grocer: Everybody’s in!
Blank: Yeah well, not me, so don’t paw at me with your dirty little guild?
Grocer: Alright, well, life’s full of second chances. And here’s chance two for you, you think about coming in with me. You ponder. Because either way I’m going to get you kid.
And this is a great insight in to the modern union. Yes, there may have been a time when company stores and union busters may have made needing to organize a necessity…and we still need the right to organize to prevent this…but the modern union isn’t about doing what is best for the people in the union. As shown quite clearly modern unions are only about maximizing profits through forcing everyone into their club…and those who don’t comply get whacked.
Think that’s an exaggeration? Just look at this story of a Michigan teacher who was told that trying to leave her union would result in the union destroying her credit score.
The fact of the matter is that no matter what the history, the modern union is only about bilking whoever their employer is for maximum costs at the least amount of service and using force and intimidation to ensure they have an illegal and unethical monopoly on the market. And to have a functional economy you need to break the power of these bullies.
And just consider that federal workers are unionized…yeah that results in some great work don’t you think. You’re getting your money’s worth there, aren’t you?