Right to Work Key For Economic Recovery

Latest Data Show Exodus From Forced-Unionism States Continues

(Source: January 2010 NRTWC Newsletter)

Without a doubt, much about the U.S. economy has changed since the real estate crash of 2007 and the extraordinary mortgage-loan crisis that soon followed in its wake.

However, as the dust from the recent turmoil slowly settles it is becoming clear that many important and longstanding economic trends have not changed over the past couple of years.

A U.S. Census Bureau report issued just last month is illustrative.

The report shows a continuation of the massive exodus of employees and their families from forced-unionism states that the Census Bureau has documented ever since it began tracking state-to-state domestic migration during the 1990’s.

From July 1, 2008 through July 1, 2009, a net total of more than 339,000 Americans moved from forced-unionism states to Right to Work states.

And since April 1, 2000, there has been a net transfer of nearly five million Americans to Right to Work states.

‘Employees of All Kinds Are “Speaking” With Their Feet’

“While both forced-unionism states and Right to Work states were rocked by the mortgage-loan debacle, Right to Work states retain far superior job-market fundamentals and are now poised to enjoy rapid economic growth once again,” noted Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Committee.

“That’s why the latest Census Bureau data continue to demonstrate the harmfulness of the federal labor-law provisions that empower Big Labor to get workers fired for refusal to pay dues or so-called ‘agency’ fees to an unwanted union.

“Employees of all kinds are ‘speaking’ with their feet.

“Millions have sought out and accepted jobs in the 22 states with Right to Work laws, which protect employees from being fired for refusal to pay dues or fees to a union.”

While Americans of all ages have moved to Right to Work states, young employees and entrepreneurs seeking higher incomes clearly constitute a major part of the ongoing transfer.

Between 1998 and 2008, the number of Right to Work state residents in the 25-34 age bracket increased by 16%, from 14.36 million to 16.65 million. Meanwhile, the population aged 25-34 of non-Right to Work states fell from 24.32 million to 24.17 million. (Oklahoma, which adopted its Right to Work law in 2001, is counted as a Right to Work state for the entire period for consistency’s sake.)

Tax Filers Report Higher Incomes After Moving to Right to Work States

And multi-year data supplied by the Statistical Information Service (SIS) of the IRS show that tax filers who move to a Right to Work state consistently report higher adjusted gross incomes than do tax filers moving out of a Right to Work state.

For example, the 1.523 million personal income tax filers moving to a Right to Work state between 2007 and 2008 reported a total of $76.432 billion in income in 2008, or roughly $50,190 per filer.

Meanwhile, the 1.338 million tax filers moving out of a Right to Work state during the same period reported a total of $61.773 billion in income in 2008, or roughly $46,165 per filer.

Right to Work States Constitute 15 of 16 With Best Economic Outlooks

A recent study by eminent economists Arthur Laffer, Stephen Moore, and Jonathan Williams provides additional confirmation that forced unionism eliminates job opportunities and cuts employees’ real incomes.

The 2009 study, entitled Rich States, Poor States and published by the American Legislative Exchange Council, identifies “15 policy variables that have a proven impact on the migration of capital — both investment capital and human capital — into and out of states.”

Fifteen of the 16 states ranked at the top for their current “economic outlook,” based on all 15 policy variables, have Right to Work laws on the books. And not one of the 15 bottom-ranked states has such a law.

“The 2009 Laffer-Moore-Williams ‘Economic Competitiveness Rankings’ sum up well the stark and widening contrast between the 22 Right to Work states and the 28 forced-unionism states,” said Mr. Mix.

“Government-sanctioned forced union dues and fees have predictable economic consequences.

“Where forced dues are legal, union bosses use their power to disrupt labor markets, jack up costs, and bankroll Tax & Spend, regulation-happy state legislators and governors.

“Therefore, the economies of forced-dues states are bound to continue falling further and further behind as long as Congress perpetuates the coercive federal labor-law provisions that are holding them back.

“In forced-dues states, Big Labor routinely insists on rigid work rules and cultivates the ‘hate the boss’ mentality to cement its power over employees.

“Unless they are protected by a state Right to Work law, independent-minded employees have no power to fight back against union bosses by withholding their financial support.

“And when employees have no personal freedom of choice, union bosses have little incentive to tone down their outrageous demands, massive political activity, and corrupt behavior.

“As a result, states that don’t have Right to Work laws are far less likely to reach their full productive potential and reap the accompanying benefits.”

Committee Helped Secure Senate Roll Call on Forced-Dues Repeal Last Year

“Fortunately, legislation that would protect private-sector employees and businesses from compulsory union dues and fees in all 50 states is now back on Congress’s radar screen,” Mr. Mix continued.

Last year, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), working hand-in-hand with the Committee, forced his colleagues to vote directly on the federal policy of compulsory unionism for the first time in more than a decade.

The DeMint Amendment to S.181, the so-called “Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act,” would have removed all current provisions in federal labor law that authorize and encourage compulsory union dues and fees.

“Not surprisingly, the Big Labor Senate did not adopt the DeMint Amendment,” noted Mr. Mix.

“However, history shows that when politicians vote for compulsory unionism they often pay the ultimate political price.

“Over the years, voters have littered the political landscape with the corpses of politicians who publicly vote to force hardworking Americans to pay union dues just to get or keep their jobs.”

Mr. Mix vowed that the Committee would pursue the same “amendment strategy” it employed in the Senate to seek a House floor roll call on national Right to Work legislation this year.