Wednesday, October 12, 2005

When will Bob Taft & the GOP stop kissing the feet of Big Labor?

Here in the Dayton, Ohio, area, the big news is the bankruptcy of Delphi, a maker of auto parts: Delphi employs 5,700 people in the Dayton area, and the loss of those jobs is frightening.

But it is part of a long and dreary story: the slow decline of the economy of Ohio. And a major factor is the cowardice of the reigning GOP in facing the rampaging elephant in the room: Big Labor's outrageous coercive power.

Talk to people involved in recruiting industries to site in their states: they'll tell you that industry gravitates to Right to Work states. Why? Because a Right to Work law, which provides that workers can't be forced to pay union dues, facilitates a more cooperative work environment, instead of the class-warfare, hate-the-boss slash-and-burn tactics favored by the extremists who seem always to end up in control of union locals.

Meanwhile, the nation's 22 Right to Work states do better in every regard: they draw more industry, create more jobs, and their economies are growing faster. They weather inevitable downturns better; they are more diverse and more resilient.

By the way, Right to Work states do fine on wages, too -- contrary to what you may have heard. Adjusted for inflation and taxes, Right to Work states perform better on wages than forced-unionism states.

I hear the outrage: "you're bashing unions!"

No, I'm bashing coercion: and it's so revealing that those who go ballistic at any discussion of Right to Work conflate the terms "union" and "forced-union."

But I am bashing Governor Bob Taft and the Ohio GOP. The GOP has been running things for quite awhile -- both houses and the governor's mansion. Sixteen years of GOP governors and a GOP legislature almost as long. But when it comes to Big Labor, Taft and his crowd haven't got the courage God gave a mouse. As President Theodore Roosevelt said of a member of the Supreme Court: "I could carve a better backbone from a banana!"

3 comments:

David L Alexander said...

Like I always used to say about growing up in Ohio: "The north was always Democrat, the south was always Republican, and Jim Rhodes was always the Governor."

The more things change...

Ray from MN said...

The only reason that there is reasonable wages in "right to work" states is because unions exist. Those companies wouldn't dare pay what they really want to pay because the union would be voted in virtually immediately.

Do you really think that pensions, paid vacations, sick leave, the 8-hour day, and the five day week exist because the robber barons who had just got socked with the income tax suddenly felt all kinds of charitable impulses and a desire to share their wealth.

Think again.

Father Martin Fox said...

Ray:

With all due respect, wages rise because of supply and demand, and real wages rise because of real gains in productivity. This is basic economics.

If this weren't true, union tactics wouldn't work: they seekto reduce supply of labor, and thus force up wages. What do you suppose a strike is?

Therefore, while a union can raise wages -- and that's a selling point for unions -- that's not a justification for giving unions coercive power.

Meanwhile, there are other ways to raise wages and improve benefits: when the unemployment rate falls, wages and working conditions get better.

Notice what's happening in New Orleans right now: Burger King is paying huge bonuses, because they can't get enough workers.

Your "robber baron" comment indicates you believe in original sin for employers; what about employees? Or are union officials incapable of misusing their power?