Union temper tantrum in Michigan ignores facts about right-to-work laws

The only word to describe what is currently occurring in Michigan is insanity.

Today democratically elected state representatives in Michigan are set to pass a bill to make Michigan a right-to-work. This bill will be passed in the context of Michigan essentially suffering a one-state recession for the past decade and Michigan voters rejecting several pro-union referendums in the November election.  Instead of respecting the democratic process and attempting to sway voters in future elections, Democrats and their union allies have reacted by threatening a political war and throwing a public tantrum.

They are doing this for two simple reasons: they have no legitimate argument against this bill and they fear that the bill will help make Michigan business successful before the next election. This isn’t a policy disagreement between two sides trying to help the state of Michigan, it is a dispute between one side that is attempting to do something it believes will benefit the state and another that is attempting to make a lot of noise to avoid an actual debate.

This is not the first time Democrats and unions have attempted this method, as they threw a very similar tantrum and forced a recall election in Wisconsin this year. Not only did Democrats and unions in Wisconsin fail to recall Walker, they are now dealing with the reality that Walker’s reforms were extremely successful.  As Byron York of The Washington Examiner has noted, Walker’s actions resulted in more money, more teachers and better conditions in schools around the state. Union allies in Michigan realize voters could see similar success by the time the next election comes around, and therefore they have once again chosen to acting like five-year-olds that didn’t get the toy they wanted for their birthday. Elections have consequences. The people of Michigan elected a Republican-led state government and now Republicans deserve the opportunity to pass laws they believe will turn the state around.

The reality that Democrats are actively trying to obscure is that all this law does is give people a choice whether or not they want to be part of a union. It does not ban unions or in take away from any employee rights they currently have. Free association is one of the most sacred principles in America. Individuals should be allowed to decide if belonging to a union, which will likely use large amounts of their hard-earned money towards paying union bosses and supporting one-sided political causes, is worth the dues they are forced to pay.

If this bill passes, Michigan will become the twenty-fourth right-to-work state in the country.  Right-to-work states have an unemployment rate that is significantly lower than forced-union states. They also made up an overwhelming majority of the new jobs that were created in the twenty first century. Between 1999 and 2009, job growth rose in right-to-work states by 3.7 percent and fell in “forced-unionism states” by 2.8 percent. These are jobs that Michigan is losing to other states and now has a chance to get back.

Opponents of right-to-work are purely relying on ignorance as they have very little substantive support for their position. The two most commonly used arguments against right-to-work are easily disproven distortions. First, union supporters claim that right-to-work legislation causes wage losses for employees.  They make this claim by deceptively pointing to the fact that right-to-work states have lower average wages. While this is true, it has nothing to do with unions.  States like California, New York and Illinois have significantly higher costs of living, so the wages in those states are automatically higher.  However, when one looks at actual changes in income, the numbers aren’t even close. Between 1999 and 2009, personal income in right-to-work states grew by 28.3 percent while it only grew by 14.7 percent in forced-union states.  In other words, wages and income actually grew at twice the rate in states that implemented right-to-work. On top of that, part of that income is automatically taken away to pay for union dues.

The only other argument that opponents of right-to-work make is that workers who leave unions will act like free-riders and benefit from union bargaining without paying union dues.  This argument would make sense if companies had to give all of their employees the same contracts, but they don’t. Companies are free to pay their union workers at higher rates than non-union workers if union bargaining really does mean a huge pay advantage. In fact, if unions really are able to negotiate better pay and benefits, most workers will freely choose to remain members and pay dues. The problem is that in many cases unions don’t deliver these superior wages, which is why so many people believe that the dues they are forced to pay are simply a waste of money.

That Democrats and their union allies are having such a panic attack over the possibility of Michigan’s legislature giving workers the freedom to choose whether or not to join a union and where their money should go is telling in itself.  Those groups are rightly worried that right-to-work will permanently take away their ability to use Michigan workers for their own ends. The fact is that this fight isn’t about them. This is about allowing Michigan, a once great and thriving state, to finally experience a real economic recovery. They can throw tantrums, but the jig is almost up. Fairly soon right-to work will be the law in Michigan and voters can judge for themselves whether they want more jobs, real choice, higher incomes or another decade of despair.

 

Comments

Comments

  1. Frank Lee says:

    More jobs? Really? Try facts: “Indiana passed a similar right-to-work law in early 2012… Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels said [it]would bring more businesses to the state…. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data from Indiana, Michigan had more jobs in October, the most recent month available, than it did the year before. Indiana had FEWER.”

    http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-michigan-protests-20121211,0,656633.story

  2. Frank Lee says:

    More jobs? Really? Try facts: “Indiana passed a similar right-to-work law in early 2012… Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels said [it]would bring more businesses to the state…. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data from Indiana, Michigan had more jobs in October, the most recent month available, than it did the year before. Indiana had FEWER.”

    http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-michigan-protests-20121211,0,656633.story

  3. Chong Lee says:

    Poor frank…. its alright you can kick and scream all you want.

    I heard hostess bakery are hiring….. oh wait….

  4. Tyler Brown says:

    “[T]hey have no legitimate argument against this bill[.]“?

    Actually unions have a very legimitate argument against this bill. With Right-to-Work, unions are obligated by law to provide a service even if the individual is not paying union dues. Otherwise, they are subject to duty of fair representation (DFR) charges. That’s why these so called “right-to-work” laws are so outrageous.

    For example, you’re an attorney. How would you like it if the state in which you are practicing law passed legislation that says you are legally obligated to provide legal services to a person, but it is totally up to that person whether or not they pay you. And if they don’t pay you, and you don’t provide adequate legal services, you can be sued for legal malpractice? I suspect you wouldn’t like that so much.

    How would corporations like it if legislation was passed saying that they had to provide a product to a consumer, but it was entirely up to the consumer or not whether they paid the corporation for the product? Corporate America would be outraged—why should the union’s react any differently?

    So with all due respect, there is, in fact, a very legitimate argument against these so called “right-to-work” laws.

Polititainment

Bill Clinton, Usher fundraiser for Dem

In the latest instance of Democrat-celebrity coupling, former President Bill Clinton and singer Usher will join forces at a September 13 fundraiser for Democratic candidate for Senate in Georgia Michelle Nunn.

Eric Roberts: Bush killed James Foley

Actor Eric Roberts on Twitter Monday accused former President George W. Bush of killing American journalist James Foley, who was beheaded by an ISIS terrorist in a video posted to YouTube in August.

Palin asks fans to pray for Joan Rivers
Sarah Palin and her daughter Bristol are asking their fans to show support for comedian Joan Rivers, an unlikely pal of the Palins. Rivers,81, has been unconscious in the hospital since Thursday after she went into cardiac arrest during a procedure. Palin posted on her popular Facebook page Friday directing fans to a blog post by Bristol. […]
Grover Norquist loved Burning Man
It’s official: Grover Norquist absolutely loved this year’s Burning Man festival. Before the blaze with co-founder of Burning Man Larry Harvey.He has created a wonderful festival/movement/Brigadoon pic.twitter.com/3iq5UzcPYG — Grover Norquist (@GroverNorquist) August 31, 2014 Burning Man. 65,000 participants. 1000s of works of art. Anyone who walks through BM and only notices nudity tells you only […]
Celebs gin up youth votes for midterms
THE HILL – With young voters more apathetic about voting and government than ever, several organizations are trying to woo the “selfie generation” to the polls this fall. “About half of those who vote in presidential elections do not vote in midterms,” explained Andy Bernstein, executive director of HeadCount, a non-partisan organization that partners with musicians […]

White House

Obama notifies Congress of airstrikes in Iraq
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has sent official notification to Congress of his order for last week’s airstrikes and humanitarian aid drops to help Iraqis threatened by Islamic State militants. The White House on Monday released a letter formally letting Congress’ leaders know that Obama approved the mission that repelled Sunni fighters in the northern Shiite […]
Obama: The world seems really messy because of ‘social media’

President Barack Obama, speaking at yet another fundraiser with a script that's been recycled more than a Hollywood romantic comedy, had an unlikely culprit for the world's problems.

White House scrambles to control the fallout from Obama’s ‘We don’t have a strategy yet’ comment
It’s hard to imagine that there was any other reaction than full panic from White House staffers after President Obama uttered a fateful gaffe Thursday afternoon, “We don’t have a strategy yet.” The line quickly exploded on Twitter and on television — though not quite as much as the president’s tan suit — as it […]
GOP: ‘He’s not a king’
THE HILL – Whether lamenting the so-called vacationer-in-chief’s swing of a golf club or criticizing his handling of the healthcare rollout, Republicans are getting in the habit of comparing President Obama to a monarch. “It’s one thing after another. You know he says he has no choice but to act. He says he has a pen […]
Obama’s Democratic fundraising just might ruin Labor Day weekend for the rest of us

Barely having returned from a 15-day vacation on Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, Obama will spend is Labor Day weekend traveling to support his Democratic friends. The problem is, this means that Americans planning to take seaplanes to East Hampton, Montauk, Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket won't be able to travel themselves.

Congress

Dem candidate: Republicans 'worse than ISIL'

Jesse Smith, a Democrat running for Alabama's 3rd Congressional district, compared Republicans to ISIL (or ISIS) militants on Twitter Monday, asserting that the GOP is "worse" than the terrorists that have wreaked havoc in Syria and Iraq.

When Congress was popular
THE HILL — If you’re not a paid staffer or blood relative, as the joke goes, you probably hate Congress. The institution is so unpopular that voters were more positive about brussels sprouts, head lice and root canals in one recent survey. But there have been a handful of times over the last 100 years […]
Cruz highlights issues for 2014, 2016 elections
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) elicited huge cheers from the audience at the Americans For Prosperity’s “Defending the American Dream Summit” Saturday when he vowed Republicans would take back control of the U.S. Senate and “retire” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. “I’m convinced we’re going to win in 2014 and 2016 is going to be even better,” […]
IRS says Lerner's Blackberry 'destroyed'

A senior IRS lawyer has said in a sworn declaration that Lois Lerner's BlackBerry was intentionally destroyed after Congress had begun to investigate her involvement in IRS targeting of conservative groups.

Youth impact reason enough to pass jobs bills
The U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means is in the midst of releasing 40 reasons over the course of 40 days that the Senate should take up the 40 jobs bills the House has already passed. While most of their reasons have focused on general unemployment and economic growth statistics, they turned their attention […]