Both the Wisconsin State Senate and Assembly have passed right-to-work legislation with the expectation Gov. Scott Walker will sign the bill into law today, making Wisconsin the 25th state in the country to allow more freedom in the workplace. While we have seen bold leadership from Walker, right-to-work has mainly come out of hard work from the Wisconsin Legislature.
The most fundamental and compelling argument for right-to-work legislation is also the simplest. Right-to-work provides workers in the private sector the freedom and choice to either support or not to support a union. No longer will employees be forced to have money taken out of their paycheck to fund a union. If a worker enjoys their union membership and chooses to support them financially, the option is still there. The difference is now they have the freedom to choose.
Right-to-work laws put individuals in control of their own representation. If they find unions beneficial, then they will pay union dues and maintain support. If individuals think the union is doing an ineffective job representing them, they don’t have to pay dues. Not only will the right-to-work legislation give more freedom to individual employees, it will force unions to be the most effective and efficient representative organizations of collective employees.
I could stop my column right here, but to humor the plethora of statistics the College Democrats will undoubtedly try to use to convince you less freedom in the workplace is best, I will discuss the economic benefits as well.
From 2003-13, states with right-to-work laws increased their employment by 9.5 percent, double that of non-right-to-work states, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In the same time period, personal incomes in those states grew at a 12 percent higher rate than non-right-to-work states, according to a study by the American Legislative Exchange Council in 2014.
One of the main arguments of Democrats in their shallow argument for less freedom in the workplace is their misleading claim that wages are higher where workers are forced to pay union dues. But, what the Democrats will fail to tell you is that once cost of living is accounted for, right-to-work states have individuals with per capita personal incomes that are 4.1 percent higher than non-right-to-work states.
The higher incomes and higher employment of right-to-work states logically leads to more overall economic development as well. From 2003-13, right-to-work states saw 10 percent more economic growth than non-right-to-work states.
Consider the question, won’t people travel to the states with better jobs? Why yes, they will. In fact, according to the ALEC study, right-to-work states saw their populations increase by nearly four times the national average while non-right-to-work states saw their populations decline from 2003-13!
College Democrats and Democrats in the Legislature will tell you right-to-work legislation is an attack on the middle class and a conservative political attack on unions. I argue that defending mandatory union membership is an attack on freedom.
If right-to-work legislation is an “attack” though, I will gladly stand by that “attack.”
I will stand by an “attack” that provides more freedom to individuals. I will stand by an “attack” that increases overall state economic growth. I will stand by an “attack” that allows for higher personal income of individuals. I will stand by an “attack” that draws more people to our state. And I will stand by an “attack” 62.1 percent of Wisconsin residents support.
Right-to-work will strengthen the economy of Wisconsin and will force unions to become better representative organizations of workers.
Right-to-work will also strengthen what our country has always stood for and strove for: more freedom.
Right-to-work is undeniably right for Wisconsin.
Anthony Birch ([email protected]) is a junior majoring in political science and strategic communication and is the media director for the College Republicans.
Click below to read the counterpoint from the College Democrats:
Point counterpoint: Right-to-work promotes unfairness, allows free-riders — College DemocratsJust over a month after announcing his decimating budget plans to cut 13 percent from the University of Wisconsin System’s Read…