American Dream Alive and Well in Right To Work States
‘American Dream’ Lives in Right to Work States
Far Fewer Single-Unit Homes Being Built in Big Labor
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
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
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
“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
Laws Help Raise Living Standards by Empowering Individual
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
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.”