Time to Give Indiana an Economic Edge

Time to Give Indiana an Economic Edge

As Right to Work legislation finds its way back to the top of the legislative agenda in the state capital, Andrea Neal looks at the benefits of enacting a Right to Work bill in the Hoosier State: It doesn't take an economist to spot the common thread in these recent economic development headlines: Chattanooga, Tenn., July 29: "Volkswagen hires 2,000th employee." Shreveport, La., July 28: "NJ-based bag manufacturer to build Louisiana plant." Decatur, Ala., July 21: "Polyplex to build $185 million plant." West Point, Ga., July 7: "Kia builds vehicle No. 300,000." All four stories have Southern datelines. All come from states with right-to-work laws, which prohibit labor contracts that [force] employees to join a union or pay a union representation fee. This is the issue that prompted the five-week House Democratic walkout during the 2011 Indiana General Assembly. The Democrats -- a minority in both House and Senate -- had no other leverage. So when a right-to-work bill came up unexpectedly in a session that was supposed to be about the budget, redistricting and education, they bolted. Republicans capitulated and took the legislation off the table. In 2012, it will return with a vengeance, and this time Democrats can't avoid it. Right-to-work has been promised a full public airing. The Interim Study Committee on Employment Issues, chaired by Sen. Phil Boots, R-Crawfordsville, is taking a first crack this summer and hopes to recommend a bill by November. Gov. Mitch Daniels, who didn't support the bill last session, has hinted he might this time around.

Recent Right to Work Victories Under Fire

Recent Right to Work Victories Under Fire

Big Labor Blitzes For Compulsory Unionism in Wisconsin and Ohio (Source: May 2011 NRTWC Newsletter) Since the 1960's, Big Labor lobbyists in 21 states have successfully pressured elected officials to pass statutes explicitly authorizing union bosses to get independent-minded public servants fired for refusal to pay dues or fees to a union the employees would never voluntarily join. Until this year, despite the growing success of the Right to Work movement with regard to the private sector, not a single state legislature had ever revoked government union bosses' forced-dues privileges after previously granting them by statute. But this March two states, Wisconsin and Ohio, made history by restoring the Right to Work of public servants. Over ferocious and sometimes menacing Big Labor opposition, Badger State legislators approved, and GOP Gov. Scott Walker signed into law, S.B.11. Key provisions in this law abolish all forced union dues and fees for teachers and many other public employees. Unfortunately, it leaves public-safety officers unprotected. The Buckeye State reform, which union militants opposed with nearly equal bitterness but considerably less media attention, includes provisions protecting the Right to Work of all categories of state and local government employees, including public-safety officers. This law, signed by GOP Gov. John Kasich, is still commonly referred to by its legislative bill number, S.B.5. National Right to Work Helped Mobilize Public Support For Reforms

Washington Post Pushes Mitch Daniels for Republican Presidential Nominee, Rush Limbaugh Expresses Doubts

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, who recently caved-in to fleeing Democrat lawmakers by giving away freedom in exchange for continuing Big Labor compulsion, receives a glowing Washington Post blog post while Rush Limbaugh is dubious: RUSH: I'm just sick and tired of Democrat Party and the media picking our candidates. They picked McCain. They picked Dole. I'm tired of it. I don't care who the candidate is, I'm sick of Democrats picking them, because I know they're not gonna pick somebody that can win. That's the whole point. Headline: "Mitch Daniels: The Man Who Could Reshape the Republican Field." Okay, I think Chris Cillizza wants Obama to be reelected. I know Chris; he works at it Washington Post. Chris Cillizza is like everybody else in the main stream media: He doesn't want a conservative to be elected. So here we get a piece in the Washington Post telling us that the only chance we really have as Republicans is if Daniels is the nominee. Sorry, folks, it's the messenger here that is alerting my antennae -- and in this piece is a quasi-endorsement of Mitch Daniels from none other than Obama! What I saw Thursday night at the debate does not lead to our defeat. This story tells me it does. This story tells me that that will cause us to lose, and therefore somebody who would not have sounded that way Thursday night is the only one that can win -- and in today's case it happens to be Mitch Daniels. It's time to get serious now? Well, given the source, I read that is a giant slam. That's an insult. That is a profound insult, and I consider the source: Where is it coming from?

"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.

"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.

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels Sabotages Right to Work Law

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels Sabotages Right to Work Law

(Source: March 2011 NRTWC Newsletter) In Contrast, Maine Governor Stands Up For His Avowed Principles Eight years ago, Indiana citizens who were determined to free themselves and their fellow Hoosiers from the shackles of compulsory unionism launched what they knew from the beginning would be a sustained, and often difficult, effort to pass a state Right to Work law. Ever since then, the organization these citizens put into high-gear in 2003, the Indiana Right to Work Committee, has mobilized an ever-loudening drumbeat of support for employee freedom. Over the course of the ongoing campaign, the Indianapolis-based Right to Work group has benefited from the counsel and experience of the National Right to Work Committee. And National Committee members and supporters who live in the Hoosier State, roughly 119,000 strong and growing in number year after year, have been the bulwark of the Indiana Right to Work campaign. Stubborn Opposition to Right To Work Has Ended Long Political Careers in Indiana In the 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010 state election cycles, pro-Right to Work Hoosiers sent thousands upon thousands of postcards, letters, and e-mail messages to their legislative candidates urging them to oppose forced unionism. Right to Work activists also reinforced the point with phone calls and personal visits. Since the Indiana Committee emerged as a major statewide citizens lobby, many politicians who once rode the fence have decided to take a stand in favor of Right to Work. Other politicians who stubbornly continued to carry water for, or at least appease, Big Labor have gone down to defeat. For example, in early 2005, then-Senate President Pro Tem Robert Garton (R-Columbus) told National Right to Work Committee President Mark Mix that Right to Work legislation wouldn't get a floor vote in his chamber as long as he held his leadership position. In 2006, Mr. Garton, a 36-year incumbent and the longest serving Senate pro tem in American history, was defeated by primary challenger Greg Walker, an underfunded political novice. A critical asset Mr. Walker did have going for him was his 100% support for Right to Work. That same year, 26-year state Rep. Mary Kay Budak (R-LaPorte) was ousted in a primary upset by pro-Right to Work challenger Tom Dermody. A few months earlier, Ms. Budak had been one of the minority of House Republicans who voted with Big Labor to defeat an amendment that would have made Indiana a Right to Work state.