Think about this one thing in the right to work “debate” just hitting the fan; Republicans want you to believe the Koch brothers, Americans for Prosperity, its offshoot clone Wisconsin Right to Work, along with big business and their corporate lobbyists, are desperately trying to pass right-to-work laws so they can pay their employees higher wages. Really, seriously?
The right to work myth depends on wishful unsupported conclusions that claim to be thoroughly researched. Rep. Chris Kapenga, part of the disgruntled “accountant class” in our legislature, will be pushing his outdated flawed data to fellow in-the-tank RTW Republicans who are supposedly still sitting on the fence (give us a break). Here's what he said on WPR's morning show, along with Rep. Cory Mason (audio). Check out what Kapenga says at around 3:38:
Mackinacdotorg: “According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, nominal personal income grew by 209.3 percent in right-to-work states and by 148.5 percent in non-right-to-work states from 1990 to 2011.”
What’s this “nominal personal income” stuff?: According to the Business Dictionary, it’s Income unadjusted for the effects of inflation or deflation, part of a salary or wage paid out not including benefits such as subsidized meals or transportation.
But who would not apply the above factors into income averages for employees? Someone selling RTW.
Imagine adopting the RTW idea 35 years ago:
Income levels would be on the order of $3,000 per person higher today … For all states, the median income loss per capita is $3,278, or more than $13,000 for a family of four. Even if that conclusion seriously overstates the results of RTW laws, the true effect is still likely quite substantial.
There counting children too? Crazy stuff.
Right to work lowers wages and benefits, it's that simple. Big business doesn't want to pay people more money for gods sake:
EPI: Elise Gould and Heidi Shierholz, researchers at the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), studied what they called "the compensation penalty of 'right-to-work' laws" and concluded: "Right-to-work" laws are associated with significantly lower wages and reduced chances of receiving employer-sponsored health insurance and pensions -- are based on the most rigorous statistical analysis currently possible … workers in "right-to-work" states have lower compensation -- both union and nonunion workers alike.
McClatchy: workplace safety suffers in right-to-work states, where workers are less likely to secure job safety enhancements beyond federal and state regulations. McClatchy Newspapers, 2/16/12
Congressional Research Service: Workers In Right-To-Work States Make An Average Of $7,000 Less Than Those In Non-Right-To-Work States. Citing data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Congressional Research Service reported that the average wage in a right-to-work state was $42,465, compared with $49,495 in "labor security" states. Congressional Research Service, 6/20/12
Economic Policy Institute: Wages for Union And Non-Union Workers Are Lower by "An Average of $1,500 a year." For every $1 million in wage cuts to workers, $850,000 less is spent in the economy, which translates into a loss of six jobs. Economic Policy Institute,9/16/11
Hofstra University's Lonnie Stevans: Wages and personal income are both lower in right-to-work states, yet proprietors' income is higher. As a result, while right-to-work states may maintain a somewhat better business environment relative to non-right-to-work states, these benefits do not necessarily translate into increased economic verve for the right-to-work states as a whole -- there appears to be little 'trickle-down' to the largely non-unionized workforce in these states. Review of Law & Economics, Volume 5, Issue 1, 2009
Researchers Find That "Right-To-Work" Laws Have "No Significant Positive Impact Whatsoever On Employment." 2/2/12
EPI: The most recent and most methodologically rigorous studies conclude that the policy has no statistically significant impact whatsoever. Economic Policy Institute, 3/16/11
AP: "The reason we don't have clear views (on right-to-work laws) is because it's always being debated at its extremes," said Gary Chaison, a professor of labor relations at Clark University in Massachusetts, who assigns his students to analyze the issue each year. In the end, when it comes to jobs and the law, "we don't know causation," he said. Associated Press, 1/28/12
MYTH: Right-To-Work Laws Protect Workers From Supporting Political Spending
FACT: Workers Can Opt Out Of Full Union Membership And Prevent Fees From Supporting Political Spending … employees who object to full union membership may continue as 'core' members and pay only that share of dues used directly for representation, such as collective bargaining and contract administration. Known as objectors, they are no longer full members but are still protected by the union contract. Unions are obligated to tell all covered employees about this option, which was created by a Supreme Court ruling and is known as the Beck right. National Labor Relations Board, accessed 12/11/12
CWA v. Beck: Unions Cannot Force Non-Members To Pay Dues For Political Action. , 6/29/88
Locke v. Karass: Non-Union Workers At Organized Work Places Cannot Be Forced To Pay For "Political, Public Relations, Or Lobbying" Activities By Unions. 1/21/09