Facts Show Right to Work is Right for America

Facts Show Right to Work is Right for America

Writing in the Miami Herald, James Sherk of the Heritage Foundation makes the case of Indiana and other states to enact Right to Work laws to protect their workers: Who could fault a worker who did not pay dues to the Teamsters? In the past two years the Department of Labor has charged or convicted of corruption 11 Teamsters officers. A government monitor recently accused the union’s president, Jimmy Hoffa, of trying to bribe election opponents with Teamster funds. Should a worker be fired for not paying union dues? Unions think so. They negotiate contracts that force workers to pay union dues or lose their job. Some workers object to their union’s political spending. Other workers could earn more than their union negotiated for them. Still others feel their union is corrupt. Right-to-work has returned to the national agenda. Twenty-two states have passed right-to-work laws that let workers decide whether to support unions or not.  It protects employees’ right to work, whether or not they support unions. New Hampshire legislators narrowly failed to override their governor’s veto of right-to-work. The Indiana legislature will soon debate whether to make the Hoosier state America’s 23rd right-to-work state. They should. Right-to-work benefits the economy as well as personal freedom. Unions organize more aggressively in non- right-to-work states. It is worth it to attempt to unionize any business they have a shot at. If a state becomes right-to-work, however, expensive organizing drives at good employers becomes less worthwhile — unions cannot force content workers to pay dues. Businesses want to know that, if they treat their workers well, unions will leave them alone. Right-to-work makes that more likely — and businesses notice. Studies show right-to-work laws are a major factor in business location decisions. Most new auto plants have been built in right-to-work states. More investment means more jobs.

Maine Fights for Right to Work, Too

Maine Fights for Right to Work, Too

Like New Hampshire, Maine is looking to enact a Right to Work law. Writing for the Bangor Daily News, Matthew Gannon makes the case: Jobs, jobs, jobs. The first, last and often times only things on the mind of voters across the country right now are jobs. Politicians drone on endlessly about “job creation” and attack “job-killing policies” while voters punish those whom they perceive as being uninterested in improving the economy. Despite this, legislatures aren’t holding up their end of the bargain. Some minor things are being done that would help the jobs situation, but let’s be honest, a lot more could be done. Maine has a rather historic opportunity to lead on the issue of job creation, outflanking its more free-market neighbor, New Hampshire. Maine can, and should, pass a right-to-work law. Right-to-work laws exist in roughly half of the states in this country, mostly in the South and West. At their most basic level, these laws prohibit agreements between labor unions and employers which make membership in a union and payment of union dues a condition of employment. In other words, if you want a job but don’t want to join the union, you can’t be forced to as a condition of your employment. Imagine the opportunity that presents. Companies that want to bring their business to a northeastern state would have one option: Maine. That would be an incredible recruiting advantage that could help make Maine one of the most attractive places to do business in New England.Too often our laws have given special favors to unions, because unions play such a big role in elective politics. Unions funnel money into politicians who promise to help make unions more powerful, and in turn those same politicians make unions more powerful. It has always been a very incestuous “you scratch my back, I scratch yours” arrangement, to the detriment of workers.

"Former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm Makes the Case for Right to Work Laws"

Matt Mayer of the Buckeye Institute debunks the long-term economic growth without Right To Work freedom is sustainable. Mayer uses a Columbus Dispatch reporter Joe Hatlett column that featured Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm to expose the fact that corporate welfare and reduced regulations ignore the “proverbial elephant in the room weighing down” compulsory union states like Indiana, Ohio, Illinois,, and Michigan. From Matt Mayer’s post: “With Michigan bleeding jobs and tax revenues, Granholm said she followed the corporate playbook in her attempt to close a huge state budget deficit and make Michigan more competitive. ‘In listening to the business community, I cut takes [sic] 99 times, and I ended shrinking government more than any state in the nation. In my two terms, I cut more by far than any state in the nation. And yet, we still have the highest unemployment rate. There was no correlation.’ Granholm conceded that streamlining business regulations and lowering taxes — Kasich’s economic recovery mantra — are helpful, but they aren’t a panacea…[l]abor costs, help with start-up costs and proximity to markets are other factors.” Hallett and Governor Granholm fail to mention why streamlining regulations and lowering taxes aren’t helping the northern states (located within 50 percent of the U.S. population and with low start-up costs) compete against the southern and western states. Instead, Hallett ignores the obvious answer and pleads for an end to corporate pork (with which we enthusiastically agree). The reason Michigan and Ohio can’t compete is that the southern and western states already have fewer regulations and lower taxes, so “catching up” with those states still leaves the proverbial elephant in the room weighing down the northern states. Plus, those states are also pushing for lower taxes and fewer regulations, so the northern states are perpetually behind them. The elephant, which Governor Granholm does hint at, is labor costs, or, more specifically, unionized labor costs (see: General Motors and the United Auto Workers). As I noted in Six Principles for Fixing Ohio, “Of course, tax and regulatory burdens also impact a state’s economy. Although many of the forced unionization states have heavy tax burdens and many of the worker freedom states have light tax burdens, some heavily taxed worker freedom states (Idaho, Nevada, and Utah) had the strongest sustained job growth from 1990 to today. Similarly, a few moderately taxed forced unionization states still had weak job growth (Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri). The combination of both a heavy tax burden and forced unionization is deadly when it comes to job growth, as 11 of the 15 worst performing states are ranked in the top 20 for high tax burdens.” If Ohio and the other states from Missouri to Maine want to truly compete with Texas, Georgia, and South Carolina, then those states need to enact laws that protect the rights of workers not to join a labor union to get a job.

"Former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm Makes the Case for Right to Work Laws"

"Former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm Makes the Case for Right to Work Laws"

Matt Mayer of the Buckeye Institute debunks the long-term economic growth without Right To Work freedom is sustainable. Mayer uses a Columbus Dispatch reporter Joe Hatlett column that featured Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm to expose the fact that corporate welfare and reduced regulations ignore the “proverbial elephant in the room weighing down” compulsory union states like Indiana, Ohio, Illinois,, and Michigan. From Matt Mayer’s post: “With Michigan bleeding jobs and tax revenues, Granholm said she followed the corporate playbook in her attempt to close a huge state budget deficit and make Michigan more competitive. ‘In listening to the business community, I cut takes [sic] 99 times, and I ended shrinking government more than any state in the nation. In my two terms, I cut more by far than any state in the nation. And yet, we still have the highest unemployment rate. There was no correlation.’ Granholm conceded that streamlining business regulations and lowering taxes — Kasich’s economic recovery mantra — are helpful, but they aren’t a panacea…[l]abor costs, help with start-up costs and proximity to markets are other factors.” Hallett and Governor Granholm fail to mention why streamlining regulations and lowering taxes aren’t helping the northern states (located within 50 percent of the U.S. population and with low start-up costs) compete against the southern and western states. Instead, Hallett ignores the obvious answer and pleads for an end to corporate pork (with which we enthusiastically agree). The reason Michigan and Ohio can’t compete is that the southern and western states already have fewer regulations and lower taxes, so “catching up” with those states still leaves the proverbial elephant in the room weighing down the northern states. Plus, those states are also pushing for lower taxes and fewer regulations, so the northern states are perpetually behind them. The elephant, which Governor Granholm does hint at, is labor costs, or, more specifically, unionized labor costs (see: General Motors and the United Auto Workers). As I noted in Six Principles for Fixing Ohio, “Of course, tax and regulatory burdens also impact a state’s economy. Although many of the forced unionization states have heavy tax burdens and many of the worker freedom states have light tax burdens, some heavily taxed worker freedom states (Idaho, Nevada, and Utah) had the strongest sustained job growth from 1990 to today. Similarly, a few moderately taxed forced unionization states still had weak job growth (Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri). The combination of both a heavy tax burden and forced unionization is deadly when it comes to job growth, as 11 of the 15 worst performing states are ranked in the top 20 for high tax burdens.” If Ohio and the other states from Missouri to Maine want to truly compete with Texas, Georgia, and South Carolina, then those states need to enact laws that protect the rights of workers not to join a labor union to get a job.