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.


  • Yeah, I know what libertarianism is. That’s a nice way of saying deregulation and rolling us back 100 years. You know, when there wasn’t any workers safety laws, no minimum wage, ect. How great the standard of living was with robber barons running the country wouldn’t you agree Mr. libertarian? No government to regulate anything! As a Marxist I am very much for the people for your information.

  • we need to FLOOD our local gov’ments with like minded public-servants… only then can we ever start rolling back the marxist-socialist-fascist gov’ment we all are enslaved by!

  • Yes, the guns killed. Not the psycho idiot wielding them. And besides, where in the Constitution does it say a state is permanently apart of the Union?

  • The BIGGEST Problems with Big Business these Days is Big Greed! I think the Problem is 90% of Business Owners these days ” inherited” DADDYS and Grand Daddy’s Businesses and Never had to EARN a Thing in there Life!! They think everyone Beneath them are Door Mats for them to walk on!!! They Have Lost touch with reality with their Far Right or Far Left Thinking.

  • Totally. I unsubscribed from his twitter feed, and Ana’s as well. i’m thinking about just subscribing to RT and RP and Ben Swann, the only 3 i listen too

  • Barney the Purple Dinosaur, Obama, or Joseph Stalin claimed, “Sharing is Caring”. But Socialist Governments are not Robin Hood’s, just the “Hood’s Robbing”.

    Communist Manifesto (Karl Marx-Father was a Rabbi):

    1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land
    to public purposes.

    2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.

    3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.

    “Democracy is the road to Socialism”-Karl Marx

    “Some call it Marxism, I call it Judaism”-Rabbi S Wise

  • If I am dumb that makes you stupid. Your a joke. Unions love big government. I believe your a troll though. Nothing backs up your claim. Profit is good. Greed is good. Profit makes new things possible. Greed helps bring more good things to the market. Your biggest free loader are big business are those who donate to democrats and republicans. I don’t believe that person should chip in for any collective bargaining. If the employee wants to much then the employer can fire them.

  • Yeah and than people take “right to work” as “right to a workplace/Job”

  • I really like ron paul but I disagree with this message. thank God for Unions over the years, we would be in a severe dictatorship from the evil. yes some union officials are corrupt but so are big businesses and political tools !!

  • Ron Paul would be president if people weren’t stupid.

    It’s my belief that liberty cannot win as long as tyranny controls education.

    and yes.. they control the net.

  • Sure we all have the right to work by creating our own business, not controlling others who have had the guts to do it.

  • I hear George Washington was also a revolutionary who used guns. And his revolution created one of the greatest countries in the WORLD up until the 21st century.

  • Exactly, which is why Ron Paul supports right to work.

  • Hahahahaahahaah……..the Republicans are promising “wealth from the treasury” while cutting taxes. Look up the double Santa Claus.

  • You wasted your vote dumb ass.

  • Every dictatorship was established in a society that had guns dumb ass. The leader who becomes the dictator is the one who has the fucking guns. Castro, Lenin, Mao, etc. They were leaders of a revolution.

  • Hahaahahaaha…….so right to work drives up labor expense and reduces profits? You are such a dumb fucking schmuck it’s laughable. Right to work means workers get the benefits of collective bargaining but do not have to chip in to pay for the administrative costs of collective bargaining. It means they get to free load. This typically kills the union and drives down wages and benefits while increasing corporate profits.

  • Ron Paul would only be president if the nation was full of idiots such as yourself.

  • Its’ good for destroying Unions and lowering wages. It’s a good way to fight inflation since it lowers wages. Ron Paul likes low wages.

  • Libertarians are better then conservatives and liberals. Libertarians support the constitution and limited government. We believe the power belongs to state and the people. The federal government role is very limited one. It does not have the right to kill it citizens! It role it to protect Americans from foreign and abroad enemies. If your not for Libertarians your for big government and for endless wars that never end!