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Entries in Unions (45)


Obama's Big Michigan Right-To-Work Lie: Lower Wages

Posted 12/11/2012 06:00 PM ET


The president says right-to-work laws mean "the right to work for less money." So how does he explain the fact that incomes are up in RTW states while forced unionism is a proven job killer?

Campaigning Monday in Michigan as it stood poised to become the nation's 24th right-to-work state, President Obama spoke the exact opposite of the truth to union workers at a Daimler Detroit Diesel plant in the birthplace of organized labor.

"What we shouldn't be doing," he told the small crowd, "is trying to take away your rights to bargain for better wages. We don't want a race to the bottom. We want a race to the top."

Yet looking at the hard numbers, becoming a right-to-work state is a direct line to the top.

According to Michigan's Mackinac Center, using data taken from the Bureau of Economic Analysis and Bureau of Labor Statistics, private-sector, inflation-adjusted employee compensation in right-to-work states increased by 12% between 2001 and 2011 compared with just 3% over the same period in forced-unionization states.

These good wages came from good jobs. Employment in right-to-work states expanded 2.4% over the same stretch vs. a 3.4% decline in non-right-to-work states. Ironically, Obama is taking credit for jobs created in RTW states.

All Politics

According to the National Institute for Labor Relations Research, right-to-work states (excluding Indiana, which passed a RTW law in early 2012) "were responsible for 72% of all net household job growth across the U.S. from June 2009 through September 2012."

This is why people vote with their feet and move to these states. RTW states experienced large population gains of 15.3% from 2000 to 2010, compared to 5.9% in non-RTW states.

Obama did get one thing right, though, when he said the bills that passed both houses of the Michigan legislature "don't have to do with economics. They have everything to do with politics."

The president who fought Boeing's expansion in RTW South Carolina knows it's all about his keeping union dues flowing into Democratic coffers and maintaining the plush lifestyles of the union leaders who support him.


Michigan law will now bar requiring workers to pay money to a third party, namely unions, as a condition of employment. This has given rise to the big lie that workers who refuse to join a union and pay dues will get a "free ride" enjoying the benefits of union representation without contributing to that representation.

"No one is forced to join a union," said House Democratic Caucus Leader Tim Greimel, although workers in Michigan were forced to if they wanted a job at a union shop.

"They're asked to pay their fair share of the collective bargaining process. (RTW) gives them the chance to freeload and free-ride."

Yet in its most recent federal filings, the Michigan Education Association said "representational activities" (money spent on bargaining contracts for members) made up only 11% of total spending for the union.

Most of the rest went under the category "general overhead," which included union administration and, of course, the union political activities that include lobbying for more government spending. It's the unions that are getting a "free ride."

If unions satisfied workers, one would expect their membership to at least remain constant. But between 2000 and 2010, union membership declined by 9.5% in non-RTW states and 9.2% in RTW states. The only growth was in government unions.

Michigan's right-to-work law is a positive blow for worker freedom and economic growth and an example, as in Wisconsin and Indiana, of how conservatives can win and are winning in states led by GOP governors.


Unions and University Endowments Have Invested Billions With Bain Capital

Wait a minute.  This includes Harvard university and many more.

How does Elizabeth Warren, Carol Shea-Porter, and Annie Kuster feel now about ‘the corporate raider’ Bain Capital?  They very same company keeping very lucrative Union and University pensions safe and growing.  HMMMM…  how do these liberals sleep at night?

You're telling me that "CalSTRS," which invests the retirement assets of California's teachers and public school unions, has over a billion dollars invested in Bain -- right now -- and that no one else in the press as far as I can tell has jumped on the obvious hypocrisy of the unions going after Bain and the essence of Romney's business career?

Subject: Unions and University Endowments Have Invested Billions With Bain Capital; Press Virtually Ignores |


NH House Speaker Announces Members of Special Committee on Defined Contribution Retirement Plans for Public Employees 

CONCORD – House Speaker William O’Brien today announced the formation of the Special House Committee on Defined Contribution Retirement Plans for Public Employees, which will consist of 11 House members. The special committee will research and recommendations on the details and the procedures for the transition from the current defined benefit plan applicable to New Hampshire public employees to a defined public employee contribution plan for all new state employee hires, and for other New Hampshire local and county governments that may elect to participate. 

The Committee is further authorized to issue requests for proposals/information from potential vendors, study the proposals received, and recommend legislation to implement a defined public employee contribution plan based on one or more proposals.

The following House members are appointed to the Committee: Rep. Will Smith, Chairman; Rep. Neal Kurk; Rep. David Hess; Rep. Carol McGuire; Rep. Spec Bowers; Rep. Greg Hill; Rep. Tom Keane; Rep. Steve Winter; Rep. David Campbell; Rep. Robert Foose; and Rep. Steve Shurtleff

House Speaker William O’Brien

“The New Hampshire retirement system has an estimated unfunded pension liability of $3.7 billion and another $1.5 billion in other unfunded post-employment benefits. The current level of benefits for public employees is unsustainable and taxpayers just can’t foot the bill in this recessionary climate. I’m confident this Committee will work quickly and thoroughly to move toward a Defined Contribution Plan that will save taxpayers money while also bringing about long-term solvency to the system.”

Rep. Will Smith, Chairman of Special House Committee on Defined Contribution

“States’ retiree pensions and other benefits represent a nation-wide problem, with long-term cost estimated at $2.73 trillion, according to the Pew Charitable Trusts' Center on the States. Just as the private sector has done to remedy a broken retirement system, we need to move New Hampshire’s public sector toward replacing defined benefit pension plans with defined contribution plans to ensure the system is financially sound, while at the same time providing fair benefits to the employee. Uncertainties in future market returns, rapid increases in medical costs, increases in life expectancy, and slower growth in public sector employment require a more prudent long-term approach to assure financial viability. 

Defined contribution plans give an employee the ability to build family wealth in face of job mobility and inflationary pressures. The special committee will work hard to review, research and evaluate information to make recommendations to the House for this transition.”


Why can't Obama seal the deal in Dem primaries? 

In what is becoming a post-West Virginia trend, Barack Obama is having trouble winning decisive primary victories against nominal (or nonexistent) opponents, barely pulling out wins in Kentucky and Arkansas last night. The Obama campaign is now in the rather embarrassing position of having to spend time and money competing in primaries that are generally a formality for an incumbent president.

So what gives?  Why can't Obama seal the deal?  Below I've outlined one potential reason, Obama's war on coal that is driving up electricity prices and costing jobs, many of which belong to Blue Dog union workers who may be turning out to the polls to tell Obama that he has gone too far.


Electoral implications of the Obama Administration’s War on Coal.

Will this be the 2012 election map?

If the Obama administration keeps up their War on Coal (literally: they consider coal more dangerous than terrorism), quite possibly. And it may be at least partially because of coal. 

The basic framework for this argument is this map:

…which shows the top sixteen coal-producing states in the USA. There’s a total of 182 Electoral Votes at stake, there – and in 2008 there were 180. Obama actually won coal-producing states in 2008, 100 to 80; and if no states flip in November, he’ll win them, 96 to 86. Except that… states are going to flip. Indiana’s already gone; and of the remaining six Obama states only New Mexico and Illinois are not considered toss-ups. The administration’s relentless hostility towards coal production and use may have already contributed to Democratic electoral disaster: since Obama took office the state governments and legislatures of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia have all been taken over by Republicans; in Colorado we flipped the House of Representatives; and in New Mexico we captured the governorship. Heck, we even gained seats in the Illinois legislature, and came very close to winning the governorship.

The question is, is it fair to wonder whether coal will make things worse for the Democrats? I think so. In Virginia they’re worried about new EPA regulations on air quality. In Colorado people are noticing that President Obama and EPA chief Lisa Jackson are fighting the United Mine Workers. Pennsylvanian Republicans are already campaigning on the issue; so are Ohioan Republicans. All in all, this combination of stubborn refusal to budge from a radical Green agenda + an economy that can pretty specifically not support the inefficient luxury of a radical Green agenda = increased risk in a variety of Obama ’08 states.

Such a shame.


Last Night, Obama "Barely Ek[ed] Out Wins In Kentucky And Arkansas." "President Barack Obama continued to have trouble on Tuesday performing in Democratic primaries in traditionally conservative states, barely eking out wins in Kentucky and Arkansas." (Ginger Gibson, "Obama Struggles In Primaries,"Politico, 5/22/12)

Democrats In "Kentucky And Arkansas Are Taking A Swipe At President Barack Obama, Denying The Incumbent Nearly 4 Out Of Every 10 Votes Cast On The Democratic Side." "Some presidential primary voters in Kentucky and Arkansas are taking a swipe at President Barack Obama, denying the incumbent nearly 4 out of every 10 votes cast on the Democratic side." ("Primary Protest Votes Show Displeasure With Obama," The Associated Press, 5/22/12)

The Vote Was "A Bit Embarrassing For The Democratic Party And Highlights Obama's Political Weakness In Southern States." "The results in either state will not hamper Obama's effort to gain the party's nomination for a second term. Still, it's a bit embarrassing for the Democratic Party and highlights Obama's political weakness in Southern states." ("Primary Protest Votes Show Displeasure With Obama," The Associated Press, 5/22/12)

"In Kentucky's Closed Primary, About 42 Percent Of Registered Democrats Who Voted Selected 'Uncommitted.'" ("Primary Protest Votes Show Displeasure With Obama," The Associated Press, 5/22/12)

In Arkansas, "Where At Least He Was Running Against An Actual Human," Obama Lost 42 Percent Of The Vote To Lawyer And Occupy Wall Street Supporter John Wolfe. "Obama faced a similar threat in Arkansas, where at least he was running against an actual human. Lawyer and Occupy Wall Street supporter John Wolfe also came in around 42 percent, or right about where he was polling." (Dashiell Bennett, "'Uncommitted' Beats Obama In Half Of Kentucky," The Atlantic Wire, 5/23/12)

[via RNC Research]


Death By Fairy Tale: After Occupy, "The 99% Spring" Fizzle 

Dear Monetary Policy Observer

It seems somehow appropriate that this latest article is being sent out on Mayday, which it addresses in detail.  It goes over some planned "Occupy" protests for the day (and so far seems fairly prophetic in predicting their turnout...) as well as some of the harsh economic realities undermining arguments  by some elite leaders of the movement.  We hope you find this material of interest.


Nicholas Arnold
American Principles In Action


Ralph Benko, Contributor

4/30/2012 @ 3:25PM

Death By Fairy Tale: After Occupy, "The 99% Spring" Fizzle

occupy wall street

Occupy Wall Street (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

May 1, International Workers Day, has been designated by the left for the “first General Strike in American History:” A Day Without the 99%.  No Work—No School—No Housework–No Shopping.  Take the streets on Tuesday!  But … the call for the General Strike is not getting traction from us — the 99%.  We whose interests it purports to represent and from whom it seeks to draw legitimacy, are decisively spurning the call.

The Occupy May Day — General Strike Facebook page shows, as of this writing, 22,998 going, out of 186,059 invitees. Even if ten times as many show up that’s a terrible fizzle.  The uprising which the left is determinedly promoting is not catching on. By comparison, Lady Gaga has over 50 million Likes (including this columnist’s, himself a little monster, Hi Stefani! Edge of Glory!).

The problem the post-Occupiers are addressing is real.  The left leadership of what it styles The 99% Spring is whip smart, disciplined, capable and elegant.  So why is their attempted movement stillborn?  The left, however noble its intentions, is flailing.  Why?  Because its proposed solution — central planning — is discredited.   The leaders of the left are trapped inside a dead fairy tale.

International Workers Day is a toxic symbol in America … and worldwide. Remember the images of missiles and soldiers beamed from Red Square with the oppressive Soviet Gerontocracy on top of Lenin’s Tomb?  The May Day celebration was the High Holy Day of Communism.  How tone deaf of the left to have chosen it.

We, the workers of the world, remember International Workers Day as synonymous with economic impoverishment, political oppression, and the suppression of civil liberties, civil rights, and human dignity. Even the nominally communist Chinese leadership recently purged Bo Xilai for attempting to revive and exalt Maoism.  Choosing May Day implies that those who are aspiring to lead the 99% are badly out of touch with us.  The choice of date presents the left’s leadership as a would-be nomenklatura, or new ruling class, rather than as in sympathy and solidarity with the masses.

Read Full Article Here