Skip to main content

Grover Norquist speaks at CPAC 2011.
Grover Norquist isn't just trying to throw his weight around keeping congressional Republicans opposed to anything but tax cuts for billionaires, he's also issuing marching orders to Republicans in the Michigan state legislature. And this time, his goal is not tax cuts but passage of an anti-union law during the lame duck session:
Norquist, founder of Americans for Tax Reform, sent all legislators a letter Nov. 30, adding to the growing chorus of conservative groups pressuring the Republican-controlled Legislature to jam through a right-to-work bill in the lame duck session this month.

"This is one of the most important steps you can take to jumpstart the state's economy, boost employment, and spur population growth," Norquist wrote in a letter to legislators obtained by The Detroit News.

A "right to work" law doesn't actually get anyone work or give them any right other than free representation at the expense of their coworkers; in no state is anyone required to join a union to have a job, but in free bargaining states, people in union workplaces pay a fee to cover the direct costs of representing them. As Dean Baker has argued, this amounts to a tax on union membership. By creating such free-riders, the law weakens unions and gives employers more power. That's one big reason a 2011 briefing paper from the Economic Policy Institute found that:
Wages in right-to-work states are 3.2% lower than those in non-RTW states, after controlling for a full complement of individual demographic and socioeconomic variables as well as state macroeconomic indicators. Using the average wage in non-RTW states as the base ($22.11), the average full-time, full-year worker in an RTW state makes about $1,500 less annually than a similar worker in a non-RTW state.
Employer-provided health coverage and pensions are also less common in these states. And of course low pay and disappearing benefits, not any new rights or new jobs, are why people like Grover Norquist—and groups like the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, and Americans for Prosperity—really support "right to work."

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 01:27 PM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions and Daily Kos.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site