Killing the goose that lays the golden egg is one of those tales for children that has a heavy message a lot of adults should listen to.
The labor unions, which have driven the makers of Twinkies into bankruptcy, potentially destroying 18,500 jobs, could have learned from that fairy tale.
Many people think of labor unions as organizations to benefit workers, and think of employers who are opposed to unions as just people who don't want to pay their employees more money.
But some employers make it a point to pay their employees more than union wages just to keep them from joining a union.
Why do that if it is just a question of not wanting to pay union wages?
The Twinkies bankruptcy is a classic example of costs created by labor unions that are not confined to paychecks.
The work rules imposed in union contracts required the company that makes Twinkies, which also makes Wonder Bread, to deliver these two products to stores in separate trucks.
Moreover, drivers were not allowed to load either of these products into their trucks.
And the people who did load Twinkies into trucks were not allowed to load Wonder Bread, and vice versa.
All of this was obviously intended to create more jobs for unions' members.
But the needless additional costs that these make-work rules created ended up driving the company into bankruptcy, which can cost 18,500 jobs.
The union is killing the goose that laid the golden egg.
Not only are there reasons for employers to pay their workers enough to keep them from joining unions, there are reasons why workers in the private sector have increasingly voted against joining unions.
They have seen unions driving jobs away to non-union competitors at home or driving them overseas with costly work rules or in other ways.
John L. Lewis called so many strikes in the coal mines that many people switched to using oil instead, because they couldn't depend on coal deliveries. A professor of labor economics at the University of Chicago called Lewis "the world's greatest oil salesman."
There is no question that Lewis' United Mine Workers raised pay and benefits for coal miners.