American Dream Alive and Well in Right To Work States

‘American Dream’ Lives in Right to Work States

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Right to Work states enjoy a 2.2-to-one advantage over forced-dues states in single-unit housing authorizations. source: Getty Images/iStockphoto/LightFieldStudios

Far Fewer Single-Unit Homes Being Built in Big Labor Domains

Last year, Apartment List, a private service company that connects renters with apartment listings, surveyed 6,400 millennials on their plans for homeownership.

The company reports that 89% of millennials want to own their own homes, but just 4.9% “say they will do so within the next year,” and 34% expect they will have to wait five years or more.

Of those who are putting off homeownership, 72% cite affordability as a reason.

Fortunately, single-family homes are far more affordable in some regions of the country than in others.

Of the 10 Bottom-Ranking States For Housing Permits, Nine Are Forced-Unionism

And U.S. Bureau of the Census (BOC) data have long shown that making the transition from renter to homeowner is far less difficult in Right to Work states than in states where employees aren’t protected from compulsory unionism.

For example, the BOC’s tracking of housing authorizations shows that there were 3.59 permits for construction of privately-owned, single-unit houses per 1,000 residents in the 27 Right to Work states as a group last year.

That’s well over double the 2018 average of 1.62 per 1,000 residents in the 23 forced-dues states.

In absolute terms, there were 592,600 single-unit housing authorizations in Right to Work states last year. That’s 126% more than the total for states where employees may be fired for refusal to join or pay fees to a union.

“The correlation between state laws prohibiting forced union dues and fees as a condition of employment and single-unit housing authorizations is quite robust,” said National Right to Work Committee Vice President Matthew Leen.

“Eleven of the 13 states with the most authorizations per capita of such housing are Right to Work states.

But all of the six bottom-ranking states — Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island — and nine of the 10 bottom-ranking states are forced-dues.” 

More Affordable Homes Just One of a Host of Right to Work Economic Advantages

“Of course,” Mr. Leen added “housing authorizations are only one of manifold pieces of evidence pointing to higher living standards and faster economic growth in Right to Work states.”

As a second example, Mr. Leen cited the U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of the Census (BOC) data for mean household income in the 50 states for 2017, the latest year for which such statistics were available as this Newsletter edition was prepared:

“Adjusted for regional tax and cost-of-living differences according to indices calculated by the Tax Foundation and the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, the BOC data show an average after-tax income of $57,416 in Right to Work states.

“That’s nearly $4,500 higher than the average for states that still lack Right to Work protections for employees.

“The three top-ranking states for cost of living-adjusted after-tax household income — Virginia, Texas, and Utah — are all Right to Work.”

Laws Help Raise Living Standards by Empowering Individual Employees

Mr. Leen continued: “There’s no reason to be surprised by the fact that Right to Work states are more successful than forced-unionism states at helping their residents better provide for themselves and their families.”

Right to Work laws, he explained, simply protect the freedom of employees to get and hold a job without forking over dues or fees to a union that is recognized as their “exclusive” (actually, monopoly) bargaining agent.

“Unless they are protected by a Right to Work law,” he said, “independent-minded employees have no power to fight back against a greedy and tyrannical union boss by withholding their financial support.

“And when employees have no personal freedom of choice, union bosses have relatively little incentive to tone down their class warfare.

“Employees are consequently far less likely to reach their full productive potential and reap the accompanying benefits.

“That’s a key reason why single-unit housing authorizations, real-after tax spendable incomes, and countless other economic indicators point to the fact that forced dues lower living standards.”

(source: May 2019 National Right To Work Newsletter)