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

4 Responses to “Union temper tantrum in Michigan ignores facts about right-to-work laws”

  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.

Leave a Reply

Devo does not want Scalise to 'Whip It'
A founding member of the 1980s band Devo really does not want to see House Majority Whip Steve Scalise “Whip It Good.” Scalise has been using the bands hit song “Whip It” at events and his staff recently created a joint fundraising committee with Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) to raise money for a 1980s-themed birthday party […]
Jon Stewart rips Democrats for race-bait

“Oh, for f---s sake.”

Jon Stewart skewers VA wait times

In case you forgot, the VA is still terrible.

Stewart hits Cruz on privacy
Sen. Ted Cruz’s Monday presidential announcement made Christmas come early for Jon Stewart and “The Daily Show.” Stewart was positively gleeful as he prepared to mock everything from the kiss between Cruz and his wife to the fact that Liberty University students were forced to attend the campaign speech. But the liberal host did make […]
Jay Leno: College kids are too PC

Whether it's how ethanol subsidies are terrible or how college kids need to get over themselves, Jay Leno has been on point lately.

White House

White House promises not to use legal loophole to keep NSA spying alive if Patriot Act expires
If the Patriot Act expires, it will stop the National Security Agency’s bulk spying too. The Obama administration promised this week that it will not take advantage of a legal loophole to keep the NSA spying alive unless Congress re-authorizes the Patriot Act, Reuters reported. Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which authorizes the NSA to collect data on […]
In honor of National Puppy Day, here are the top 10 cutest presidential puppies

Today is National Puppy Day! To celebrate, we give you the top ten cutest puppies to grace the White House Lawn.

Obama: ‘By hook or by crook’ I’ll push my agenda through
This is probably not the smartest phrasing to use. President Obama had an interview with Huffington Post over the weekend and while much of the interview was his oft-repeated lines about how Republicans are the reason nothing is getting done in Washington, he added a new phrase about his legacy that is bound to raise […]
Obama tells Prince Charles that Americans like the royal family better than their own politicians

President Obama has admitted what we all already knew: Americans far prefer the Duchess of Cambridge to Michelle.

Obama suggested that voting should be mandatory. Now he’s being called ‘totalitarian.’

President Obama is taking some heat for suggesting this week that mandatory voting might not be such a bad idea.

Congress

Sen. Harry Reid will not seek re-election
WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, the wily Nevadan who dominated the Senate for a decade from the minority to the majority and back again, announced Friday he will retire after five terms. Reid, 75, who shepherded key Obama administration initiatives including the president’s health care law, lost his role as majority leader — […]
Schock: Lincoln faced challenges too
Embattled Rep. Aaron Schock (R- Ill.) gave his farewell speech on the House floor Thursday, promising that it was “not the end of a story, but rather the beginning of a new chapter.” While his own trials are more of the “Downton Abbey” decor and Katy Perry concert variety, Schock likened this tough time to that […]
Boehner, Pelosi read mean tweets
Taking a cue from Jimmy Kimmel’s famous “Mean Tweets” series, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Sen Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) got in on the fun and read some mean tweets about themselves in a video for the 2015 Radio & Television Correspondents Association […]
GOP blocks Warren's student loan plan
THE HILL — Senate Republicans on Wednesday blocked an effort by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) to attach an amendment aimed at lowering student loan rates to the budget. Senators voted 46-53 against Warren’s amendment to the Republican budget resolution. Warren’s amendment would have allowed people with college loan debt to refinance at interest rates from […]
Rand really liked those 'Stand with Rand' trolls

During Ted Cruz's big announcement at Liberty University yesterday--which students were required to attend--some Rand Paul supporters decided to troll Cruz with some "Stand with Rand" shirts: