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.


  • Are you a nancyboy? I’ll bet you’re wearing a pair of rosey pink panties right now,aren’t you? Does your father know what you do with your sissy boyfriends all night? Ron Paul is a jackass and you’re a fuckin’ weirdo!

  • lol at you to go to things you don’t like to troll. Like a religious guy that watches a evolution video to say it’s stupid.. Or like an atheist who goes to church to say religion is stupid. Go fuk urself, u attention needy biotch. Offer some argument if your trying to prove a point.

  • Didn’t obama hand over more than a thousand automatic guns to the drug cartel with operation fast and furious? If I were a bordering state, I would want the right to have guns. And the way the federal government ignores state laws and rights, I would want succession.

  • a response of a troll

  • wRONg Paul is the biggest asshole from the dumbfuck state of Tex-ass! FUCK RON PAUL AND FUCK YOU WEIRDO PAULTARDS TOO!

  • You’re a filthy donkey dick.

  • Ron Paul is the turd that missed the target and ended up on the toilet seat! Lol! 🙂

  • wRONg Paul is a goddam idiot. His lame brain ideas are ludicrous at best Ron Paul is a fuckin’ jackass!

  • Ernst J. Maeurer

    Hi Ron-
    just forget it – no matter how much you lick David Koch’s ass – you are not getting his financial support because Gingrich has it already.
    Maybe you try another video about right-to-gamble states. I am sure your staff will construct and misinterpret some numbers proving that they have a lower unemployment. Sheldon Adelson will love you; he has just as much money to spend for guys like you.
    There is one number you forgot to mention: union workers make 30% more money than unorganized workers – that’s a number which is significant.
    What about right-to-pay-tax states?
    What about right-to-have-nukes states?
    What about the right of psychos to buy war machinery?
    Until today I thought you were the only honest conservative I have ever seen – I was wrong.

  • Euro zone is going down. They have serious crisis over there. Before you start talking little twisted person you might want to get some facts.
    China is also in bubble as well. Their economic minister are panic over it. They would have to increase their gold to avoid a economic crisis.
    There goes your fallacy. It funny how you assume that all the other nations are doing well. This crisis is worldwide. One day all the economy will be in red and no pumping money will save it.

  • is that a joke, the eurozone is collapsing as we speak

  • funny how all these socialist countries in europe are beating the shit out of us and our “free market”

    they get education, healthcare and have a strong social safety net and not only is their standard of living higher, their economy is better and their crime rate is lower

    money is power, the more money you have the more you should be limited in how you use it, its pretty fuckin simple

  • I don’t understand. Are you blaming Walmart for getting subsidies in the form of food stamps and Medicaid for their employees? Surely it is the gov’t who deservers the blame/credit for that “subsidy”?

  • Walmart/imports hurt some, but (long term) they do more good than harm. Free trade benefits everyone long term.

    More importantly the “harm” done by Walmart/imports merely takes the form customers voluntarily choosing to buy the cheaper goods. The sellers of expensive goods (who are hurt) aren’t harmed by force or violence. They simply lose business.

    On the other hand, banning/restricting Walmart or imports harms both the sellers and buyers of cheap goods. And it does it by using violence.

  • es8163

    I see.
    The right to work means that everyone can supply the labor to the market despite of trade union’s tricks.
    In this case – that’s good.
    (sorry for my inglish)

  • Ron Paul is right on everything he says. He would have led this country back to prosperity and freedom. Unions and public school products (dumbed-down, drugged, demotivated) voted for the Marx liar instead. They dragged us all down. They should not be allowed to vote. The fraud was huge. Military votes were kept in a warehouse and never counted. But Ron Paul tried. His followers tried. Romney and GOP uncut them at every turn and cheated to win. Which is why they lost to Obama.

  • “Walmart is good for our economy because it offers goods for low prices.”

    When 95+% of the shit sold at WalMart comes in from China,no – it is not good for our economy.

  • Ed

    Sorry, Ron Paul, but you are DEAD WRONG on this issue!

    “In our glorious fight for civil rights, we must guard against being fooled by false slogans, such as ‘right to work.’ It is a law to rob us of our civil rights and job rights.

    Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining by which unions have improved wages and working conditions of everyone…Wherever these laws have been passed, wages are lower, job opportunities are fewer and there are no civil rights. We do not intend to let them do this to us. We demand this fraud be stopped. Our weapon is our vote.” —Martin Luther King, speaking about right-to-work laws in 1961

    I’ve been in a right to *fire* state, which is what rtw REALLY IS! One example: during her jobs busy X-mas time, she had to take time off, because her *mom died!* The next monthly review, she was let go, for being unable to meet minimum quota. She didn’t reach it, because her *mom died!* This is just one example of how lame rtw is.

    National average, rtw’s employment is higher, but by less than 1%! In non-rtw (often, but not always, with unions), the national average pay ins $5,000 more! IMO, $5,000/yr more sounds a lot better than *under* 1%!

  • Your ideology is that government is the answer. Let me get this straight you don’t want anybody making money. You want to share the wealth around and hope the economy is fine with that. Hope there jobs for everybody. You have to work hard to have a business. Not everyone that starts a business succeeds. I am for free market. Not the Corporations going and getting tax money for their green energy sources or any bailouts. My ideology last up to 19th century. So tell the ones in past it trash.

  • yes, god forbid the government prosecute you for running a monopoly

    jesus christ you’re so full of shit

    your ideology has turned you into a robot. you think the most shallow thoughts of “well they should just quit” or “well they HAVE to bribe people or they wouldn’t make as much money”

    you’re like a CEO minus the whole “i’m rich” thing

    so congradulations, you’re poor AND full of shit