Nothing projects ignorance and unfettered authoritarian control like yesterday’s attack on a UW professor over his report disputing the benefits of right-to-work.
Seriously, dissent will not be tolerated. This is just the latest frightening Republican reaction that should send up a few red flags for conservative voters.
It’s beyond words really. WPR Shawn Johnson:
A Republican state lawmaker and outspoken critic of the University of Wisconsin took aim at a UW economist on Monday for producing research that disputes the benefits of right-to-work laws.
State Sen. Steve Nass sent an email to reporters, legislators, UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank and UW System President Ray Cross calling a report by UW-Madison and UW-Extension economist Steven Deller "yet another example of wasted resources" at the university.
Want to know what Republicans really think of a college education?
Nass added that "hiding behind academic freedom to issue partisan, garbage research is what we have come to expect" at the UW.This is a manufactured dust up to justify Walker's proposed stiff cuts to the UW...again.
Deller's two-page report found that wages -- and manufacturing wages in particular -- are lower in states with right-to-work laws, saying they're more symbolic than an actual economic growth policy.
Deller called Nass' remarks another "my mind is made up, don't confuse me with the facts" reaction.
Here's a story that outraged Nass:
A UW-Extension paper estimates that workers in the manufacturing sector earn an average of $8,100 less in states that have right-to-work laws, and that right-to-work states have more poverty and fewer college graduates.
"Bottom line, right-to-work states tend to have lower manufacturing wages and overall income levels, higher poverty rartes and lower education levels," reads the UW-Extension right-to-work fact sheet (the PDF is attached) by Steven Deller, a professor of agricultural and applied economics.
"In the end, right-to-work politics are more symbolic than an actual growth and development policy," reads the short report. "In and of itself, right-to-work laws really do very little. It's really more of a signal about how people think about business climate."
In right-to-work states, Deller says, economic policies are geared toward lowering the cost of doing business — cutting taxes, driving down the cost of labor and limiting regulation. But such policies also are at odds with promoting high-growth and high-wage industries.
The study compared the 22 right-to-work states that existed prior to 2012 — when both Michigan and Indiana adopted right-to-work laws — with states that didn't have right-to-work laws.
The comparison found that in right-to-work states, manufacturing jobs paid an average of $52,900, while in non-right-to-work states, manufacturing workers earned $61,000. Per capita income in right-to-work states was $3,875 less in right-to-work states, $33,101 versus $36,976.
The individual poverty rate in right-to-work states was nearly 2 percent higher: 13.9 percent versus 12 percent. And the percentage of people with a college degree was nearly 4 percent lower in right-to-work states: 24.4 percent versus 28.2 percent.