"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.

Young Employees Thrive in Right to Work States

Young Employees Thrive in Right to Work States

(Source: March 2011 NRTWC Newsletter) Millions Have 'Voted With Their Feet' For Better Opportunities For a combination of reasons, nationwide the number of young adults aged 25-34 is growing far more slowly than is the number of Americans aged 55 and older. In 1999, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were 37.94 million people aged 25-34 living in the U.S. By 2009, there were 41.57 million people nationwide in that age bracket. That's a 9.6% increase. Over the same decade, the number of Americans aged 55 and older soared from 57.93 million to 74.36 million, a whopping 28.4% increase! The nationwide decline in young employees' population share, relative to that of Americans nearing or in their retirement years, is obviously an impediment to economic growth. Eleven Non-Right to Work  States Suffered Young-Adult Population Declines

The Real Issue in the Government Worker Union Battle

The Real Issue in the Government Worker Union Battle

NRTW President Mark Mix from the Investor's Business Daily: In Wisconsin, union officials — with support from the Obama White House — continue to orchestrate illegal teacher strikes, lead angry mass protests at the state capitol and picket the residences of legislators to safeguard Big Labor's government-granted monopoly bargaining power over hundreds of thousands of Badger State public employees. Raucous union rallies and intimidation of elected officials and their families in support of Big Labor's purported "right" to unchallenged monopoly bargaining control are occurring in other states as well. Americans learning about organized labor's battles in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana and other states from TV, radio and newspaper reports may understandably be confused about what is at stake, especially if they have no personal experience with unions themselves. From afar, it's easy to draw the conclusion that public employees' right to join a union is at stake. But that is hardly the case. Public employees' freedom to join and pay dues to labor organizations is already legally protected across the U.S. and is not being challenged anywhere. What reform-minded elected officials are seeking to curtail, and in some cases even abolish, is government union chiefs' legal power to force public servants into a union as a condition of employment. Under the current labor laws of nearly half of the states, government union officials have been explicitly authorized to force all public employees in a workplace to pay union dues or be fired, as long as a majority of their fellow employees (among those expressing an opinion) support unionization. Such forced-unionism laws, which Big Labor is now fighting furiously to keep on the books in the face of increasingly intense public opposition, actually trample on, rather than protect, employees' freedom to make personal decisions about unionism.

Right to Work: Rx For Job-Losing States

Right to Work: Rx For Job-Losing States

(Source: December 2010 NRTWC Newsletter) In every region of the country where both Right to Work states and forced-unionism states are located, the Right to Work states' long-term economic growth is superior. The Midwestern contrast is especially strong. Legislators Look at 'Oklahoma Model' For Stronger Economic Growth It's been more than seven decades since The Grapes of Wrath, both the John Steinbeck novel and the Hollywood movie it inspired, established the desperate migration of "Okies" from the Dust Bowl to the orchards of California as an icon of the Great Depression. Times have certainly changed. As an October 12 USA Today feature story noted, since 1999, "the number of Californians departing the Golden State for Oklahoma has outnumbered those going the opposite direction by more than 21,000 . . . ." The net influx of people into the Sooner State from California and many other states with sub-par or abysmal job and income growth records is, as USA Today put it, "a sign of Oklahoma's growing economic prowess." To explain the state's recent record of economic success, the USA Today feature specifically mentioned Oklahoma's low and relatively stable housing costs, its concentration of aerospace and defense technology expertise, and its oil and natural gas reserves. But as important as these assets are, Oklahoma had them all in the early 1990's, when its long-term job and income growth still trailed the national average. The real turning point for Oklahoma's transition from an economic laggard to an economic leader was in 1992 -- when the National Right to Work Committee teamed up with local grass-roots activists to map out a multi-year campaign to pass a Sooner Right to Work law. Benefits of Right to Work Campaign Were Evident Long Before State Law Was Passed "In the early 1990's, the 'Dust Bowl' was already a distant memory, but Oklahoma's job climate still seemed pretty dry," commented Matthew Leen, vice president of the National Right to Work Committee. Domestic population migration data reflect Oklahoma's "growing economic prowess." The 1994-2001 Sooner State campaign to pass a Right to Work law, as well as the law itself, helped build that prowess. "From 1984 through 1994, the decade before the Committee program to pass a Right to Work law in Oklahoma was initiated, private-sector employment in Oklahoma increased by less than a third as much as the national average, according to the U.S. Labor Department. "Over that same decade, inflation-adjusted U.S. Commerce Department data show Oklahoma's real personal income grew by just 2.3%, less than a tenth of the nationwide percentage gain. "But in 1994, the seeds of change were

Ohio Gov.-elect John Kasich to overhaul state employees collective bargaining rules

Ohio Gov.-elect John Kasich to overhaul state employees collective bargaining rules

Ohio Governor-elect John Kasich intends to overhaul current state employees' collective bargaining rules (passed by Big Labor-financed state legislators and signed by a Big Labor-financed Governor) that he says allow unelected third parties to force the state of Ohio its counties and towns to raise taxes without any say by taxpayers.  Kasich also intends to dismantle federally imposed wage rules that drive up construction costs.  A better idea would be to give all workers in Ohio the right to choose to pay or not pay union dues or fees, rather than being forced to pay dues and fees as a condition of employment.  Ohio needs a Right to Work law to protect all employees. Reginald Fields of The Plain Dealer wrote: COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Public employees who go on strike over labor disputes should automatically lose their jobs, says Gov.-elect John Kasich. "If they want to strike they should be fired," Kasich said last week. "I really don't favor the right to strike by any public employee. They've got good jobs, they've got high pay, they get good benefits, a great retirement. What are they striking for?" Kasich has made it clear that dismantling Ohio's collective bargaining law will be a top priority of his administration. The 1983 collective bargaining law, which gives public employees a right to unionize, was implemented by a Democratic-controlled legislature and signed by Democratic Gov. Richard F. Celeste. In particular, Kasich is going after binding arbitration rules … "You are forcing increased taxes on taxpayers with them having no say," Kasich said. The Middletown City Council recently tabled a resolution asking the Ohio General Assembly to revise the state's collective bargaining law. City Councilman Josh Laubach, who authored the resolution, said the city had to dip into reserves to pay police and fire costs this year and is expecting a $2.5 million increase in safety personnel in 2011 despite adding no new positions, according to the Middletown Journal. The 1983 collective bargaining law, which gives public employees a right to unionize, was implemented by a Democratic-controlled legislature and signed by Democratic Gov. Richard F. Celeste.

Good Advice

Labor can spend a billion dollars but the American people clearly rejected their scare tactics and messages.  Now, Bruce Walker has made a persuasive case in favor of pushing new Right To Work laws as a way to protecting workers, creating jobs and promoting prosperity: The 2010 landslide means that Republicans in the House can stop any new legislative initiatives by the Democrats and that Senate Republicans, if united, can stop almost anything Democrats want to do in that body as well. House Republicans can also send to the Senate bills that will put political pressure on Obama and Senate Democrats, like a complete extension of the Bush tax cuts. But at the federal level, Republicans cannot actually do anything without Democrats caving in.  The situation is very different at the state level. Republicans now control both houses of the state legislature and the governorship in a number of states. Republicans now have complete control of state government in twenty states compared to a paltry seven states before the midterm election. Crucially, Republicans now control all state government in five industrial rust belt states: Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and Wisconsin. This control will allow Republicans to draw congressional districts and also, just as importantly, state legislative districts -- a real political blow to Democrats. Unlike the federal government, a party that actually controls the state legislature and governorship can enact laws -- the filibuster is an odd creature almost unique to the United States Senate. There are many things Republicans in control of state governments should do:  limit spending, cut tax rates, reduce regulation. But there is one reform that stout-hearted Republicans running those five rust belt states should definitely do: pass Right To Work laws. The Taft-Hartley Act allows each state the option of enacting right to work laws, which allow workers to not join a labor union as a condition of employment. Twenty-two states have adopted right to work laws, and these states closely resemble the twenty-two states that Obama lost in 2008. Although the leftist establishment media gets a disproportionate amount of attention from conservatives, along with risible "civil rights" leaders and surreally silly academicians, the real political muscle of the Left comes from organized labor -- meaning the bosses who run with those vast empires called "labor unions" and who use the forced dues from members to engage in constant war against conservatives.