Ron Paul: “Right to Work” Is Good for Business, Labor and Liberty




by Ron Paul

Many observers were surprised when Michigan, historically a stronghold of union power, became the nation’s 24th “Right to Work” state. The backlash from November’s unsuccessful attempt to pass a referendum forbidding the state from adopting a right to work law was a major factor in Michigan’s rejection of compulsory unionism. The need for drastic action to improve Michigan’s economy, which is suffering from years of big government policies, also influenced many Michigan legislators to support right to work.

Let us be clear: right to work laws simply prohibit coercion. They prevent states from forcing employers to operate as closed union shops, and thus they prevent unions from forcing individuals to join. In many cases right to work laws are the only remedy to federal laws which empower union bosses to impose union dues as a condition of employment.

Right to work laws do not prevent unions from bargaining collectively with employers, and they do not prevent individuals from forming or joining unions if they believe it will benefit them. Despite all the hype, right to work laws merely enforce the fundamental right to control one’s own labor.

States with right to work laws enjoy greater economic growth and a higher standard of living than states without such laws. According to the National Institute for Labor Relations Research, from 2001-2011 employment in right to work states grew by 2.4%, while employment in union states fell by 3.4%! During the same period wages rose by 12.5% in right to work states, while rising by a mere 3.1% in union states. Clearly, “Right to Work” is good for business and labor.

Workers are best served when union leaders have to earn their membership and dues by demonstrating the benefits they provide. Instead, unions use government influence and political patronage. The result is bad laws that force workers to subsidize unions and well-paid union bosses.

Of course government should not regulate internal union affairs, or interfere in labor disputes for the benefit of employers. Government should never forbid private-sector workers from striking. Employees should be free to join unions or not, and employers should be able to bargain with unions or not. Labor, like all goods and services, is best allocated by market forces rather than the heavy, restrictive hand of government. Voluntarism works.

Federal laws forcing employees to pay union dues as a condition of getting or keeping a job are blatantly unconstitutional. Furthermore, Congress does not have the moral authority to grant a private third party the right to interfere in private employment arrangements. No wonder polls report that 80 percent of the American people believe compulsory union laws need to be changed.

Unions’ dirty little secret is that real wages cannot rise unless productivity rises. American workers cannot improve their standard of living simply by bullying employers with union tactics. Instead, employers, employees, and unions must recognize that only market mechanisms can signal employment needs and wage levels in any industry. Profits or losses from capital investment are not illusions that can be overcome by laws or regulations; they are real-world signals that directly affect wages and employment opportunities. Union advocates can choose to ignore reality, but they cannot overcome the basic laws of economics.

As always, the principle of liberty will provide the most prosperous society possible. Right to work laws are a positive step toward economic liberty.

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184 Comments:

  1. You're ignorant, and have absolutely no idea what liberty is.

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  2. everyone ignore ju88ff and other tories scums

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  3. When the money stops flowing down to the man on the streets - then the blood will start flowing in the streets.

    Its that simple !

    Boycott corporations - work for small business - and Coops - employee owned company's.

    Right to work is a right to work for anyone - if they dont pay - move on !

    Too much at the top and not enough at the bottom thats the problem with the US.

    I made 10 dollars an hour in 1980 and gas was 85 cents a gallon - :)

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  4. the brainwashed calling the brainwashed brainwashed. Ironic isn't it.

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  5. Soviet UNION, Does that ring a bell?

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  6. FUCK THE UNIONS. YOU ALL SUCK, FUCKING FAT DO NOTHINGS. TE VEO!!! DONT YOU FUCK IT UP FOR ALL OF US, YOU SELFISH DO NOHTINGS. DOES EVERYONE NOT KNOW THAT THOSE GUYS GET PAID $50 an hr and all the many benefits? AND HALF THE CREW NEVER WORKS. JUST SIT THERE, AND DRAG OUT THIS JOB, ITS A GOV CONTRACT! HEARD THAT BEFORE! FORCING PEOPLE TO PAY DUES IS A JOKE.

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  7. Sorry, dont agree with Ron Paul on this and this is the difference between Libertarianism and Progressivism. People need to be protected or I say lets just make the rich just do everything on their own which they will not do.

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  8. We, THE GOVERNMENT will bring you down!!

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  9. STFU RON PAUL GOD DAMN!!! I bet you would still support guns after that school shooting, you piece of shit!! You even support succession, well bring it on you terrorist scum!!!

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  10. When you put it that way, I can support Right to Work laws -- I always have.
    However, management will take advantage of labor every chance it gets. The owners see every dollar they pay to employees as coming from their pockets.
    The problem is that Pension Plans were raided in the 80s and 90s and now they cannot deliver the pensions planned. So they blame the Unions which helped employees manage their own retirement.
    Sadly, I have to disagree with the results or Right to Work

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  11. ha wow, when you call propaganda the truth you know you are brain washed

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  12. your forgetting that liberal propaganda is actually the truth

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  13. Ron paul is crook like me. :-)

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  14. I have a UNIOn of children to program so they can get married,to have little one like them selves, so they can become me and HOPE for a gain from they investment. why don`t somebody like anybody? why anybody don`t like somebody? i am proud to be a dunce.

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  15. President Paul 2016!

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  16. u aren't very bright are you? no education? And Cenk gets lots of shit from criticizing Obama. smh

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  17. Ron Paul would be president if the American people would pull their heads out of their asses and wake up to the BS.

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  18. I makes me want to cry thinking this wonderful man is not our president. God Bless Ron Paul!

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  19. I makes me want to cry thinking this wonderful man is not our president. God Bless Ron Paul!

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  20. RIGHT TO WORK FOR LESS!

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