Unions offer protection to workers in some situations, but union membership represents only one fifth of the American labor force. And while some unions do benefit their members, it is generally at the expense of competing workers and frequently at the expense of the consumer. Government? Government provides some protection, but its efforts are minor. Some workers with only one possible employer—or with no possible employer— enjoy very little protection. The right answer to the question “Who protects the worker?” is that the worker is protected by employers — by the existence of other employers who can and will compete for his or her services if a present employer fails to provide decent wages and working conditions. The only real way to protect the standard of living of the American worker is to preserve a freely competitive labor market.