Obama Claim Spurious; Labor Unions Furious; New Ranking Curious

Coauthored with Alex Bolt.

President Barack Obama spuriously claimed, "These so-called right-to-work [RTW] laws, they don't have anything to do with economics," when he futilely attempted to thwart Michigan’s enactment of a right-to-work law.

A new study by the Competitive Enterprise Institute demolishes Obama’s spurious claim by showing how RTW laws, which free workers from a mandate to join a union in order to be employed, benefit states.  RTW laws produce better income, population, and job growth than in forced-unionism states.

Labor unions are historically furious at the likes of the Competitive Enterprise Institute study’s three key findings:

  1. Wages-The income loss per person from forced unionism is a median of $3,278, or over $13,100 for a family of four. Total annual estimated income loss nationally was $647.8 billion in 2012.
  2. Population-Forced unionism causes workers to migrate out of state. Over the last decade (2000-2009), 5 million people moved to right-to-work states from forced-unionism states.
  3. Jobs-Forced unionism contributes to a negative business climate which discourages investment in states without right-to-work laws. Over the study period, employment grew 71% nationwide, grew only 50% in non-RTW states, and grew fully 105% in RTW states.

The study ranks the negative effect that forced unionism has had on a state, based on analyzing data from 1977 – 2012.

Alaska, Connecticut, California, New Jersey, Illinois, Hawaii, Maryland, Wisconsin, New York, and Michigan (enacted RTW in December 2012) were the 10 hardest hit. 

For the curious, full ranking with results you might not expect, click here.

This picture shows which states have right-to-work laws:

For increased personal-income growth, population growth, and job growth, states should get rid of forced unionism and adopt right-to-work laws.