‘Nothing Short of Incredible’ Economic News

Mix on Right to Work Kentucky
Mark Mix: Along with Right to Work Michigan and Indiana, Right to Work Kentucky is “leading the U.S. in its manufacturing employment recovery from the brief, but steep, COVID-19 recession of 2020.” (Credit: Gage Skidmore/ Wikimedia Commons)

Big Labor Governor Basks in Kentucky’s Success

Four-and-a-half years after becoming America’s 27th Right to Work state, Kentucky is on an economic roll.

Soaring personal income, sales, and net business earnings are all contributing to a massive General Fund surplus in Frankfort.

“Along with Michigan and Indiana, whose Right to Work laws respectively took effect in 2012 and 2013, Kentucky is leading the U.S. in its manufacturing employment recovery from the brief, but steep, COVID-19 recession of 2020,” said National Right to Work Committee President Mark Mix.

“From April 2020 to April 2021, payroll manufacturing jobs in Kentucky soared by 17.6%! That’s a faster recovery than in every other state except for Right to Work Michigan and Indiana, and roughly triple the average for the 23 remaining forced-dues states.”

From 2010 to 2020, Factory Payrolls Rose by 9.1% in Right to Work States

Mr. Mix added: “This was no anomaly. U.S. Labor Department data show Right to Work states’ wide advantage in attracting and retaining manufacturing jobs goes back decades.

“For example, from 2010 to 2020, factory employment in the 22 states that had Right to Work laws on the books for the whole decade rose by 9.1%, despite the recession during the last year. Over the same period, manufacturing jobs in the 23 states that still lack Right to Work protections today fell by 0.2%.”

Of course, Big Labor Gov. Andy Beshear (D) does not deserve any of the credit for the thousands and thousands of high-paying jobs in manufacturing and other sectors that are now being attracted to and retained by Kentucky thanks to its ban on compulsory union dues and fees.

In exchange for getting massive Big Labor campaign support for his 2019 gubernatorial campaign, Mr. Beshear pledged to do everything he could to destroy Kentucky’s Right to Work law.

The ban on forced union dues and fees remains on the books today only because Kentuckians have sensibly refused, most recently in 2020, to install a Big Labor Legislature that would help Mr. Beshear get what he and his union paymasters want.

Despite his record of opposing a key component of Kentucky’s economic success, Mr. Beshear is all too happy to take credit for it.

‘The Real Heroes Are National Right to Work Members in Kentucky’

At a July 9 media conference he held just after a record $1.1 billion budget surplus was reported for Kentucky, Mr. Beshear exulted that the state’s economy is “on fire.”

He later added: “The economic news today related to our state budget is nothing short of incredible.”

“Andy Beshear is just one of a long line of Big Labor politicians to applaud the economic dividends of their own state’s Right to Work law even as they continue scheming to reinstitute forced union dues,” said Mr. Mix.

Mr. Mix recalled how, in June 1988, then-Idaho Gov. Cecil Andrus (D) had told a crowd of his union-boss supporters how “good, high-paying, stable” jobs were being created in the Gem State roughly a year-and-a-half after voters’ rejection of a Big Labor-backed referendum to repeal Idaho’s 1985 Right to Work law.

“In 1988, freedom-loving citizens deserved the credit for Idaho’s success,” said Mr. Mix.

“And now the real heroes are National Right to Work members in Kentucky.”

Mr. Mix remembered how, in 2015 and 2016, when many well-intentioned individuals were misguidedly pushing for limited “local-option” Right to Work rather than focusing on building support for a statewide Right to Work law, Committee members in Kentucky kept their eyes on the genuine prize.

Commitment to Right to Work For All Kentucky Employees Pays Off

“Before Kentucky could become a Right to Work state, a series of obstacles had to be overcome,” he said.

“The most formidable of all was Big Labor domination of the state House of Representatives, which continued until the fall 2016 elections ended it. 

“When Kentucky’s Right to Work law was signed just two months after voters spoke in November 2016, it was the culmination of a persistent, hard-fought battle to end compulsory unionism.

“While grassroots supporters’ primary motive for fighting to pass this law was to protect employees’ freedom of choice, they also contended it would benefit Kentucky’s economy. And they were right.” 

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