Free Markets, Free People

Right-to-work states most productive

You remember our Chicago lawyer whose sole argument against moving some of the Boeing Dreamliner production to a non-union plant in SC (a right to work state) was that Southerners in general were less skilled and less literate?

Apparently he pulled that out of the part of the anatomy that doesn’t get much sunshine.  In his case that might have been his head, considering where it had to be residing at the time to come up with that sort of an argument.

Nevertheless, the Washington Examiner, in an editorial, examines a CNBC survey on exactly that topic and finds the lawyer’s argument to be specious:

The strongest remaining argument that labor unions are relevant or desirable is that they provide business with a better-trained and more knowledgeable work force. But as quaint as it is to think of organized labor as the guardian of know-how and quality, it just isn’t so, according to a new CNBC ranking of "America’s top states for business." The survey, which considered the work forces of all 50 states, found that the downsides of unionism far outweigh any advantages when it comes to work force quality.

And those downsides are demonstrated by the results of the survey:

Incredibly, 17 of the top 18 states ranked by CNBC in terms of "work force" are "right-to-work" states, where unions are significantly less powerful. In states with right-to-work laws, workers cannot be compelled to pay union dues, and workers are far less likely to let unions represent them if they are actually given the choice. In CNBC’s survey, all 22 of the nation’s right-to-work states (mostly states in the South and West) made the top 25 in terms of quality of work force. In the separate category of business friendliness, which gauged states’ regulatory and legal environments, 10 of the top 15 states were right-to-work states as well. Needless to say, the combination of good workers and congenial business climates make these states highly attractive to business.

You’d think it would be “needless to say” such a thing, but then our Chicago labor union lawyer points out why, in fact, it is necessary to say these things.   Primarily because it is a myth that union states provide a more highly skilled and productive workforce and it is also a myth that unions are necessary in today’s business climate.  Those are two myths which are obviously hard to kill, but the survey makes the point that potential employers have already discovered and have been taking advantage of for years – something of which our Chicago lawyer was obviously completely unaware.  Workers in right-to-work states are highly skilled and productive and willing to work at a good wage that still gives their employer the ability to compete.

But on the other side of this there’s a method, or at least a policy, that is so obvious it is getting to be hard to deny, and the Examiner hits it:

Obama has made the survival of unions a much higher priority for his administration than sustainable job growth, beginning with the bailout of the automakers and continuing most recently with his National Labor Relations Board’s persecution of Boeing for expanding its manufacturing operations in the right-to-work state of South Carolina. It is sad, although perhaps not surprising, that Obama would subordinate the interests of 93 percent of American workers to those of one politically favored group, but this is precisely what he is doing. The 93 percent would do well to take notice in the coming elections.

I’m not sure all of the 93% will all notice, but those who are and have been effected by this administration’s obvious bias should – like those Boeing workers in SC, or the screwed-over stakeholders in GM and Chrysler, etc.  This is an administration, along with the party it is a part of, which have cast their lot with unions almost to the exclusion of the rest of the working public.  Their NLRB action against Boeing in SC makes that point loud and clear.

And that’s not a myth – that’s reality.  It is a narrative which needs to be used in 2012 when it will again become obvious who it is the Democrats and the Obama administration will turn for funding and activists.   We’ve seen the union rent-a-mobs working before.  They’ll be in action again.   That relationship needs to be highlighted and relentlessly exposed, especially in this era of high unemployment.


Twitter: @McQandO


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4 Responses to Right-to-work states most productive

  • Unions TEND to protect the lowest common denominator.  They TEND to emphasize “us against them” thinking, “management fat-cats”, etc.  They TEND to emphasize LOWERING production to RAISE employed membership.  High productivity has traditionally been equated with exploitation.
    Little wonder non-union states are more productive.

  • Take note, there have been numerous documented instances in the past couple years where unions literally ‘rented’ mobs, paying people who weren’t even in the union (at minimum wage) to go out and carry pro union signage against whatever they were currently opposing.

    Union proud.

  • A coworker of mine is from the north.  He railed about how Southerners don’t like unions.  Little did he know my views…

    Unions are wonderful FOR UNION MEMBERS.  They extort better pay and benefits (which increases their cut, of course) and see to it that even the most stupid, lazy, or even criminal worker keeps his job.  The impact of this on everybody else, of course, is ignored.

    My best friend’s father was an ardent union supporter for years.  His attitude changed overnight when an employee was walking out of the plant through security*, and a stolen bundle of welding rods fell out of his coat.  He nonchalantly picked them up and kept going past the flabbergasted security guards.  He was fired on the spot, then got his job back a few weeks later after the union intervened.  No loss of pay, no loss of seniority, nothing.  The union was proud that they’d kept this man in a job.  His coworkers were horrified: “Our union went to bat for a f*cking THIEF????”


    (*) I also muse about the fact that a plant manned by highly-skilled, PhD-educated, super-motivated, good-to-their-mothers union employees needed security guards, but, on the other hand, it was a brewery and flesh is only so strong.

  • The CNBC ranking inherently marks a state down for its level of unionization.  So in its ‘workforce’ section, the ranking is basically influenced with a state excelling at not being a union state.  So you wold expect right to work states to be boosted to the top.  How much weight they gave state’s levels of unionization vs. other factors, idk.  They don’t say.
    They also changed some other weightings too, like dropping overall cost of doing business.