With public attention being paid to state battles over union boss powers, Right to Work proposals have received plenty of attention from national publications. In The Washington Examiner, Right to Work President Mark Mix explains that states are turning to Right to Work laws to jump-start their troubled economies and safeguard workers’ rights:
The logic of state Right-to-Work laws is ironclad: Not only is safeguarding worker freedom the right thing to do,it also yields tremendous economic benefits. Recent studies from the Cato Institute and the National Institute for Labor Relations Research suggest that Right-to-Work states enjoy higher job growth and more cost-of-living-adjusted disposable income for workers than their forced-unionism counterparts.
They also seem to be weathering the recession better than old Midwestern industrial bastions like Michigan, Illinois and Indiana, states that lack protections for individual workers’ rights.
Perhaps the most compelling evidence in favor of state Right-to-Work laws was reported in a Wall Street Journal editorial last year. Citizens are voting with their feet, leaving forced-unionism states in droves for job opportunities with their Right-to-Work neighbors.
Elsewhere, Deroy Murdock lays out the case for a National Right to Work Act:
The NRTWA’s economic rationale is compelling:
? Among America’s 22 right-to-work states (including Florida, Georgia, and Texas), non-farm private-sector employment grew 3.7 percent from 1999 to 2009, while it shrank 2.8 percent among America’s 28 forced-unionism states (e.g. California, Illinois, and New York).
? During those ten years, real personal income rose 28.3 percent in right-to-work states and sank 14.7 percent in forced-unionism states.
? In 2009, cost-of-living-adjusted, per-capita, disposable personal income was $35,543 in right-to-work states versus $33,389 in forced-unionism states. Americans in right-to-work states enjoyed more freedom — and a $2,154 premium.
Notwithstanding that right-to-work states are comparatively prosperous engines of job growth, the case for right-to-work laws is not merely economic, but moral.
“Government has granted union officials the unprecedented power to force individual employees to pay up or be fired and to coerce workers into subsidizing union speech,” says the National Right to Work Committee’s Patrick Semmens. “This fundamental violation of individual liberty — an infringement on freedom of speech and freedom of association — finally would end with passage of the NRTWA.”
If you’re looking for a straightforward introduction to the economic and moral case for Right to Work laws, both pieces are a good place to start.