Forced Unionism Abuses Exposed – the facts Big Labor Bosses would rather you didn’t hear about.
“[C]ompulsory unionism and corruption go hand in hand . . . .”
— U.S. Sen. John McClellan (D-Ark.)
It defies common sense to claim that people who get the vast majority of their income from their jobs would lopsidedly favor living in states where they are worse off over states where they are better off.
Yet that’s effectively what Big Labor bosses and their allies in New Hampshire have claimed, again and again over the years, to fend off passage of a state Right to Work law prohibiting the termination of employees for refusal to join or bankroll a union they don’t want, and never asked for.
U.S. Census Bureau (BOC) data show that, when they have a choice, working-age Americans prefer not to live in a state where forced unionism is still permitted. They would rather live in a state that protects employees from compulsory union dues and fees. Today, there are 27 Right to Work states, including five that switched over to Right to Work since 2012.
Considered together, age-grouped state population data for 2019 released by the BOC last June and comparable data for 2009 tell an important story. They show that, over the most recent decade for which data are available, the total population of people in their peak-earning years (aged 35-54) for the 23 states that have yet to adopt and implement a Right Work law fell from 44.20 million to 40.93 million. That represents a decline of nearly 3.3 million, or 7.4%.
Nationwide, the peak-earning-year population fell by 4.4% from 2009 to 2019 as a consequence of aging Baby Boomers. But in the 22 states that had Right to Work laws on the books the whole time, there was no overall net decline at all.
Among the 45 states that were either Right to Work or forced-unionism for the whole period from 2009 to 2019, the 13 states experiencing the most severe peak-earning-year losses in percentage terms are all forced unionism. New Hampshire, with a 17.2% decline, suffered the second greatest loss of all. Meanwhile, the four top-ranking states for gaining people in their peak earning years are all Right to Work.
The obvious and correct explanation for these data is that breadwinners, along with their families, are fleeing forced-unionism states in droves. Working men and women find again and again that they cannot provide as well for their families in such states as they can in Right to Work states, with their generally higher real incomes and their lower living costs.
For example, U.S. Commerce Department-reported compensation per private-sector employee in 2019, when adjusted for interstate cost-of-living differences using an index calculated by the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC), a state government agency, was nearly $2,300 higher in Right to Work states as a group than in New Hampshire.
If Right to Work legislation is considered in the Granite State again this year, don’t expect Big Labor and its allies to admit this fact. Indeed, they will probably claim, as they have in the past, that corralling workers into unions somehow makes them more prosperous. And they will try to bolster this contention by citing economic data that don’t factor in regional cost-of-living differences at all, or don’t fully account for them.
Given that New Hampshire’s 2019 cost of living, as measured by MERIC, was 16% higher than the Right to Work average, leaving out or downplaying cost-of-living differences means you’ll get the wrong answer when you try to compare living standards in New Hampshire with those of Right to Work states.
And you’ll also have no plausible explanation for why America’s breadwinners prefer to live and work in Right to Work states over forced-unionism states as regionally disparate as New Hampshire, Ohio and New Mexico.
The Granite State’s elected officials ought to listen to the “foot voters” and trust them to know what’s best for themselves and their families. If they do, they should have no trouble voting to make New Hampshire America’s 28th Right to Work state.