Carpe Diem

Since 2009, right to work states created 4x as many jobs as forced union states and may have helped Obama’s re-election

rtw

President Obama, speaking at an AFL-CIO conference in April this year, “I believe when folks try to take collective bargaining rights away by passing so-called right-to-work laws, which might also be called ‘right-to-work for less’ laws, that’s not about economics, that’s about politics.”  Well, President Obama, you might want to consider that it was the disproportionate job creation in those “right to work for less” states that may have helped you get re-elected, here’s why:

From Stan Greer writing on the National Institute for Labor Relations Research blog:

Exit polling conducted by the Associated Press indicates one important reason the President was able to win at all was that four in 10 voters believed the national economy was improving, while only three in 10 believed it was getting worse.

To convince voters things were getting better, the Obama campaign pointed to the millions of jobs that have been created since the recession officially ended in June 2009.  Household employment data for the 50 states and Washington, D.C., do show an overall net gain of 2.59 million jobs through this September.

Ironically, the bulk of the increase occurred in the 22 states that have had Right to Work laws on the books since June 2009.  Their aggregate household employment grew by 1.86 million, or 3.4%.  (Since Indiana did not adopt its Right to Work law until this February, the 19,000 jobs it added are not included.)  Because Right to Work laws protect employees from being fired for refusal to pay union dues or fees, Big Labor bosses hate them.  And the union hierarchy’s massive, forced dues-fueled campaign support is the single most important reason the President was reelected.

At the same time, Right to Work states (again excluding Indiana) were responsible for 72% of all net household job growth across the U.S. from June 2009 through September 2012 (see chart above).  If these states’ job increase had been no better than the 0.85% experienced by forced-unionism states as a group, the nationwide job increase would have been less than half as great. And the President wouldn’t have been able even to pretend the economy was in recovery.

During his first term, Barack Obama repeatedly expressed virulent opposition to Right to Work laws and enthusiastically supported “card-check” forced-unionism measures and other legislative and bureaucratic proposals designed to shove millions of additional workers under union control.  Fortunately, Right to Work proponents generally thwarted him.

Now a genuine national recovery depends on the President calling off his administration’s guerrilla attacks on Right to Work states for the next four years.  Will Obama, his congressional allies, and his political appointees at last step aside and allow the 23 Right to Work states to serve as the bulwark of U.S. economic recovery?  Or will they continue trying to deter employers and employees from setting up shop and expanding in Right to Work states?

MP: The chart above shows just how important the 22 Right to Work (RTW) states have been to job creation during the economic recovery.  Since the recession ended in June 2009, almost three out of every four jobs added to U.S. payrolls have been in Right to Work states (1.86 million out of 2.59 million), even though those 22 states represent only 38.8% of the U.S. population (120 million).  In contrast, only about one of every four new jobs were created in forced-unionism states (730,000), even though more than 61% of Americans live in those 28 states (189 million).  Relative to their population, the Right to Work states have been job-creating powerhouses during the recovery, and forced union states haven’t even come close to “carrying their weight” in terms of their share of the population.  Adjusting for differences in population, Right to Work states created four new jobs for every one job added in forced union states, because those 21 RTW states created 2.54 times more jobs even though forced union states have 1.6 times as many people.

Ironically, it may have been the strength of job growth in the “right to work for less” states that helped President Obama get re-elected, despite his animosity to the labor laws in those states and his favoritism towards forced unionism.  As we struggle to create jobs through another “jobless recovery,” maybe the president could be a little more open-minded in his second term towards the job-creating labor policies in the RTW states that have been creating jobs at four times the population-adjusted rate as the forced states.  Wishful thinking….

119 thoughts on “Since 2009, right to work states created 4x as many jobs as forced union states and may have helped Obama’s re-election

  1. “Ironically, it may have been the strength of job growth in the “right to work for less” states that helped President Obama get re-elected, despite his animosity to the labor laws in those states and his favoritism towards forced unionism.”

    does that mean that non-union workers ALSO voted for him?

    How about showing the right-to-work states and who they voted for on the 2012 electoral map?

    • It’s not an issue of non-union workers voting for Obama, it’s an issue of Obama taking credit for job creation throughout the U.S., even though most of those jobs were added in RTW states.

      • There is also the fact that Obama hired exactly 0 of any of these workers, so the fact that he deserves credit for them at all is incredibly stupid.

        • I had asked for a combination electoral map with winner with right to work.

          My suspect is that most southern states are right-to-work – and voted for Romney.

          no?

          • thanks.. looks like 4 of 22 states that are RTW voted for Obama and all of them were razor thin.

            Nevada, Florida, Iowa, Virginia….

          • So if the conservative states are creating the most jobs then what could we conclude?

            Who cares, because the only thing that matters in America, rhymes with “smushmorshin”

          • My suspect is that most southern states are right-to-work – and voted for Romney.

            no?“…

            Ever heard of Google larry g?

          • re: GOOGLE.. yup.. we found that 4 out of 22 states were right to work and voted for Obama.

            so … looks like the RTW states voted overwhelmingly for Romney… so I guess the folks who live in RTW states like Romney better, eh?

          • No surprise that RTW states lean Republican. The same people who are pro-union tend to be pro-democrat; the unions and democrats have a symbiosis like the religious-right and the republicans. It is interesting that RTW states create more jobs; however, that also is to be expected–low cost labor states (or foreign countries) should also be expected to produce more jobs. The more interesting question is which put more money in the hands of labor. If it is still RTW and that effect holds up over a long period, then unions may have to reconsider their position (given that they will never pull peasants of the developing world into their bargaining agreement).

      • I don’t care how many Jobs you create, If they don’t pay a living Wage it’s all for not! Good God man have you no shame? Whats the average Wage for Right to work States VS. Non Slave states? Thank you, That’s what I thought…If your going to sit here and tell people about Jobs in Right to work states, Then at the very LEAST be fair and balanced, I garuntee you those working in those Slave Wage States would MUCH rather get Paid like someone who matters…Instead of working two or three jobs in those Slaves States…

        • “Whats the average Wage for Right to work States VS. Non Slave states? Thank you, That’s what I thought …” — Jim Hunter

          Join A Union, Make Less Money:

          “On the issue of wages, Gettelfinger argues that union paychecks are comparable to those of the competition when bonuses are figured into the equation. Workers at a Toyota facility in Georgetown, KY earned $30 an hour in 2007, an amount $2 above the hourly salary of a veteran Detroit 3 worker.”CarSeek

          Ooops, because of bonuses, the workers (I’m sorry, slaves ) at the non-unionized Toyota factories actually make more than the unionized “freemen” at the Big 3. And their employers did not need to be bailed out by the taxpayer to the tune of tens of billions of dollars, they’re profitable. Go figure.

          Let’s see, how many unionized autoworkers are there, compared to say a decade ago? Unionized steelworkers, etc? And how much do all those former union members who are now working at MacDonalds make now?

          Moron.

          • The unionized workers make a great wage – until they bankrupt the compnay and then nobody earns anything. Exactly how many auto companies outside of Michigan recieved a bailout?

          • All of the automakers with facilities in the U.S. have received billions of dollars in city, county, state, or federal subsidies. If an automaker wants to open or add on to an automotive factory, taxpayer provided incentives will be one of the deciding factors of where it locates. Retaining or extending a tax base is not a bad thing to do for taxpayers.

          • ” All of the automakers with facilities in the U.S. have received billions of dollars in city, county, state, or federal subsidies.”

            Indeed, in many of the right-to-work states they have forked over millions in citizens taxes to use subsidies to attract those companies…

          • Way to take things out of context.

            That quote is from a union president talking about why wage cuts for workers shouldn’t be part of a deal to bring American automaker labor costs more into line with the costs borne by their Asian counterparts.

            In other words, he was saying, “There’s no need to cut salaries, since we actually don’t pay our people more than Toyota does. Let’s focus the cuts other places.”

            That means the extra labor costs probably came in the form of little things like health care benefits and retiree benefits. But I guess those aren’t important if you’re not rich.

        • Jim Hunter, Here are some examples of median hourly wages for all jobs from BLS May 2011 data (the top three are right-to-work states and the bottom three are union states). A lot of the right-to-work states have a lower cost of living.

          The wage spreads are narrowing, and the main benefits to being unionized are no longer from the hourly wage disparity.

          Source: See State Cross-Industry Table

          South Carolina 14.45
          Tennessee 14.56
          Kentucky 14.62
          Ohio 15.67
          Wisconsin 16.04
          Michigan 16.47

        • Question Jim:

          If unions are such better deals, why do they need to compel membership? All right-to-work legislation does is prevent union membership as a condition for employment. If unions do, in fact, benefit the worker more than non-union, then they shouldn’t need to worry about right-to-work laws. People would join the union voluntarily.

          Ok, I lie. I do have another question:

          You say it doesn’t matter how many jobs are created, if the wage isn’t “livable.” Well, let’s pose a hypothetical: you have two societies, both with 100 people in it. Each of these 100 people are identical in every way. In society A, 10 people work and they make a living wage. In Society B, everyone works and they make less than B. Are you honestly going to sit here and tell me Society A is better than B?

          • Damn right, Society A is better than Society B. if everyone is working, who are politicians going to redistribute wealth to? You cannot prove your charity to your fellow man without government guns in your face. Come on, Jon! Get with the program!

          • Unions compel membership to prevent “free riders”. The benefits of membership in a union will naturally accrue to everyone in a particular shop, since they come in the form of management concessions on pay, benefits, working conditions, etc. The idea is that if everyone is going to enjoy the benefits, everyone should contribute to the costs of union endeavors.

            And the people in Society B are hardly much better off if they can’t afford to pay rent or buy food.

        • Would you happen to pay union dues by chance?

          How’s your living wage? I’ve always wondered what those were like. What’s it like to live? Must be awesome

          Get real with these liberal terms. Seriously. Dumbass’s will literally believe these phrases. You shouldn’t manipulate them, it’s “unfair”

        • jim-

          well you should care. what you describe is utterly fascist.

          if i own a company, i should get to choose who i hire. for my employees to vote by a 51% majority to take away my right to do so is unconscionable and counter to basic notions of liberty and free association.

          if i am a worker, i should be free to work where i choose and for such compensation as i find attractive. to be forced to accept the contract others wanted and worse, to be forced to pay them fees for taking away my freedom is likewise unconscionable. it’s flat out extortion.

          i have no issue with worked organizing and negotiating as a group. if that’s what you want, then by all means do so.

          where it crosses the line is when that group gets to wield coercive force on the employer and on other prospective employees.

          that is tyranny in its purest form.

          if we all vote and form a commenters union and demand that you not comment about unions, you’d feel outraged and stripped of liberty. and you would be right.

          but somehow, doing so around a job is OK?

          drop the silly “i am entitled to a living wage” rhetoric for a minute and think about this.

          entitled? by whom? what entitles you to force others to pay more than they thing things are worth for them? what, it’s the obligation of an employer to pay you more than they feel your skills are worth? by what system of logic, economics, and morals is that valid?

          by what system of such can you defend taking away the liberty of employers and employees through coercion because that is what YOU want?

          that is just tyranny.

  2. Maybe we should apply this model to other things. Costco requires you to become a member in order to shop their stores. Lots of people pay $50 to do so because they think it saves them money. Others don’t. Maybe we should force everyone to join Costco so everyone could have lower prices?

    • No one forces you to join Costco, but you have to pay their fee if you do join. Right-to-work (r-t-w) states allow employees to receive union representation with all the benefits without union paying dues. Why does Costco disallow free riders but r-t-w states don’t?

      • Actually Costco does produce “free riders”. In the 90s I did some research on retail pricing of goods (in categories we sold). Prices in non-Costco stores were lower in areas in where Costco had a presence than in areas where Costco wasn’t.

        • SeattleSam,

          Just like non-Costco stores, Toyota, Nissan, and Honda pay above market wages in their areas to keep the UAW out. Those employees probably do not even realize the option of a union in their workplace puts a lot of money and benefits in their pockets. Unions raise the bar just by being a worker option.

          • walt-

            that is a completely misframed issue. your “free rider” issue is largely false and based upon entirely unsupportable assumptions.

            consider:

            if i am not part of a union, i do not nesc get that contract. i may not even want it. how is it that you figure that i, a non union work applicant automatically get the benefit of the union contract?

            worse, why do they get to wield coercive force over me? big deal. they bargained collectively. i may not even want what they bargained for. so why do they get to force me to pay them for a service i never asked them to provide?

            if i were your neighbor and hired landscapers to make beautiful topiary swans on my lawn, why would i have any right to ask you to help pay, even if you derived enjoyment from them?

            would you allow me to send my landscapers into your yard, trim it and plant flowers as i thought fitting, and then demand that you pay for it even though you did not want such things and may well have preferred somehting different?

            that’s pretty much exactly what you are claiming unions ought to be able to do.

            the basic premise is very simple: if i do not consent to have you negotiate for me, then you cannot charge me for it EVEN IF i somehow manage to benefit from it.

            this is true of every other good or service in the country. if my beach umbrella casts shade that you benefit from, i do not get to charge you.

            you are starting from a bad premise: that somehow unions are entitled to charge anyone who benefits from them and that that would be a good thing.

            that is a false premise. nothing else works like that. it is antithetical to liberty and free association and commerce. lots of things provide benefits to people who did not pay for them. that is not a reason to exercise coercive force and there is no valid argument for making unions some special case.

            your whole argument is baseless because it is based upon a bad initial premise.

            whether or not there are free riders is debatable, but even if we grant that there are, the responding answer must be “so what?”

            if you do not ask for/agree to a service, the provider does not get to charge you, even if you benefit.

            i may own a snowplow and plow the road to my house. if that passes your house, then you benefit. you might agree to help bear the cost, but you are under no obligation to do so. i cannot just show up and present you with a bill.

            why should a union be allowed to do precisely that?

      • Walt

        If you are going to use that private property and freedom of contract argument, you must support an employer’s right to contract with whoever they wish and allow or disallow whoever they wish on their property, as Costco is doing. That means an employer could require employees to join a union, or not join a union, or allow them to chose for themselves.

        Is that your argument?

        Unions, of course, as private organizations, have no obligation to represent anyone who isn’t a member as far as I know.

        With union membership continuing to shrink in the private sector, that free rider problem may not be a problem much longer.

        • “Unions, of course, as private organizations, have no obligation to represent anyone who isn’t a member as far as I know. ”

          That’s not true, Ron, and that’s my problem with r-t-w states. If a union represents workers in a bargaining location, they have to do so whether they pay union dues or not. Also, anyone in any state can sign out of the union using their Beck rights to only pay the part of union dues that is spent on representation, so there is no such thing as forced-union only forced dues paying. Why should someone get something they do not pay for? That’s not accepted here for the 50% of people who do not pay federal income taxes.

          See here: What about Right to Work states?

          “More than 20 states have banned union-security agreements by passing so-called “right to work” laws. In these states, it is up to each employee at a workplace to decide whether or not to join the union and pay dues, even though all workers are protected by the collective bargaining agreement negotiated by the union. These states include Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming.”

          Unionization may be shrinking; however, President Obama still seems to think it has some clout. As long as the NLRA is legal, employers must consider that their employees will unionize if they don’t treat them well, so you can’t measure the effect by how many belong to unions but by how many could belong to unions. All workers lose if that option is taken away from them. Options are good.

          Personally, I don’t think unions will be relevant number wise in the 21st century unless they are seen as an asset by corporations and governments instead of a liability. They have a lot of work to do to get there.

          • Walt

            Thanks for the NLRB link. Reading through it I’m reminded of why I believe it’s such a bad idea to correct problems with old laws by applying new laws without ever repealing anything.

            That’s not true, Ron, and that’s my problem with r-t-w states. If a union represents workers in a bargaining location, they have to do so whether they pay union dues or not.

            And that is as bad as requiring union membership, although I can’t imagine many free riders working harmoniously alongside union members who knew they were being represented without paying for it.

            Isn’t a larger problem for unions in RTW states that workers reject union representation entirely?

            Also, anyone in any state can sign out of the union using their Beck rights to only pay the part of union dues that is spent on representation…

            How, exactly, is that “signing out” if a worker must still pay for representation?

            , so there is no such thing as forced-union only forced dues paying.

            Not a meaningful distinction. The solution would seem to be to remove those NLRA barriers to freedom of association so that those who wished to be represented by a union could do so and benefit accordingly, while those who wish to negotiate their own employment agreement could also do so.

            Why should someone get something they do not pay for?

            They shouldn’t, but neither should they be forced to pay for something they don’t want.

            That’s not accepted here for the 50% of people who do not pay federal income taxes.

            That’s correct. “User pays” is the most equitable method I can imagine.

            More than 20 states have banned union-security agreements by passing so-called “right to work” laws.

            Putting patches on problems with previous patches.

            Unionization may be shrinking; however, President Obama still seems to think it has some clout.

            Well of course! He wouldn’t likely have been elected without them. Unions have tremendous clout in politics, even as their influence with workers diminishes.

            As long as the NLRA is legal, employers must consider that their employees will unionize if they don’t treat them well, so you can’t measure the effect by how many belong to unions but by how many could belong to unions.

            That’s correct, but it’s not so much the NLRA that makes that possible as it is the individuals Constitutional right to assemble and form organizations as they please. If there were NO unions, the threat of unhappy workers forming one or just taking collective action would influence the behavior of employers.

            All workers lose if that option is taken away from them. Options are good.

            Options are absolutely good! The more choices an individual has, the better. I don’t see how workers are given more options by being forced to pay for union representation whether they want it or not. Are you suggesting that they don’t know what’s in their own best interest, and someone else does?

            Personally, I don’t think unions will be relevant number wise in the 21st century unless they are seen as an asset by corporations and governments instead of a liability. They have a lot of work to do to get there.

            Unions are certainly seen as assets by politicians due to their tremendous ability to elect their favorite candidate.

            The problem is the unions’ relevance to workers.

          • re: ” The problem is the unions’ relevance to workers.”

            are you in favor of workers rights to organize ?

          • “If there were NO unions, the threat of unhappy workers forming one or just taking collective action would influence the behavior of employers.”

            It’s a common misconception that unions are required to collectively bargain. One person can bargain for another or if they have even discussed working conditions with another person. Also, social media discussion about workplace conditions (Facebook, Twitter, blogs . . .) have went the workers’ way in recent unfair labor practice (ULP) court cases. You just have to make sure what you say about your employer is true and you can prove it. That’s power through technology and association even without a union!

            Not winning a union election in a RTW state is the union’s loss, but not having that option is a worker’s loss. Regardless, the best negotiating chip is to have something someone else wants to pay for. I don’t suggest people putting all their livelihood in someone else’s hand–union or non-union.

          • Walt

            It’s a common misconception that unions are required to collectively bargain. One person can bargain for another or if they have even discussed working conditions with another person. Also, social media discussion about workplace conditions (Facebook, Twitter, blogs . . .) have went the workers’ way in recent unfair labor practice (ULP) court cases. You just have to make sure what you say about your employer is true and you can prove it. That’s power through technology and association even without a union!

            Hmm. Interesting. Based on that, I see no need for unions at all. Groups of employees can take concerted action whenever the need arises. Of course it’s my view that they can do so in any case.

            Of course I’m also in favor of employer’s right to negotiate or not negotiate with whoever they choose.

            Not winning a union election in a RTW state is the union’s loss, but not having that option is a worker’s loss.

            What do you mean? Aren’t workers free to vote union = yes if they want one?

            Regardless, the best negotiating chip is to have something someone else wants to pay for

            Do you mean like withholding labor for ransom?

            I don’t suggest people putting all their livelihood in someone else’s hand–union or non-union.

            Do you mean everyone should negotiate their own employment agreement? I wholly agree.

          • What do you mean? Aren’t workers free to vote union = yes if they want one?

            Yes, as long as some people do not get their way and remove that option.

            Do you mean like withholding labor for ransom?

            Withholding labor (strikes) and lockouts by employers should be a last resort option. What I meant, though, was that $20 an hour labor should not expect $30 an hour unless they can add that $10 in value to the employer. That might mean education and/or training on the employee’s own time. I am training employees now who are making around $10 an hour who will have a chance to make $20-30 an hour when they are done with the training.

            Do you mean everyone should negotiate their own employment agreement? I wholly agree.

            Everyone should have the option to negotiate their own agreement or hire an agent/union. Agents are not just for professional athletes and CEOs, and yes, both usually have agents.

          • re: ” Everyone should have the option to negotiate their own agreement or hire an agent/union. Agents are not just for professional athletes and CEOs, and yes, both usually have agents.”

            yet another EXCELLENT POINT! The NFL has BOTH a union AND personal agents.

            why?

            wouldn’t it be better for each player to just have their own agent and not a union?

          • Agents and unions are best. Unions operate under what is best for the entire membership first, so often a single member or group of members get screwed. That’s how any organized group works, and probably the biggest complaint against unions.

          • are you in favor of workers rights to organize ?

            Of course, Larry, I’m in favor of anyone’s right to peacefully assemble, and to associate with whoever they wish, or to not associate with whoever they wish, and to form whatever organizations they wish, including unions, corporations, leagues, guilds, teams, political action committees, etc., etc., etc.

            The US Constitution prohibits federal government from interfering with that right, and I believe most state constitutions do also.

          • Everyone should have the option to negotiate their own agreement or hire an agent/union. Agents are not just for professional athletes and CEOs, and yes, both usually have agents.

            No disagreement here, everyone should be free to choose for themselves, and organize as a workers group for mutual benefit, or negotiate their own employment agreement.

            Of course I also support the rights of other groups of individuals such as corporations to freely associate with whoever they wish, and negotiate or not negotiate with a union.

          • Walt

            Agents and unions are best. Unions operate under what is best for the entire membership first, so often a single member or group of members get screwed. That’s how any organized group works, and probably the biggest complaint against unions.

            That’s a really strong argument for free choice by each individual worker.

          • Ron,

            We all want individualism until we are attacked by an army, and then we want an army. Sometimes you have to give something up to keep what you have. Personal sacrifice for the good of the group is the American way.

            I would not suggest putting all of your eggs in dependency on unions or eliminating unions. How people use options in their decision-making process often leads to how well they live their lives. Options are good.

          • larry, those are foolish comments even for you.

            you and walt are missing the key issue here.

            tie goes to the worker and to freedom.

            being forced to pay dues for representation that you did not ask for an may not want is coercive and tyrannical, pure and simple. there is nothing complex here.

            given a choice (which is frankly illusory and based on your misframing the issue, but let’s assume it does exist for the sake of discussion) between having free riders or allowing coercion of the unwilling, the former is clearly the better choice.

            nearly everything has a free rider problem. if we work at a non unoin shop at the same job and negotiate free coffee in the break room, you benefit too. but that gives me no basis to charge you. if i get higher wages for myself, that may give you pretext for the same or perhaps get you more hours if you want them as you are now cheaper than i am. those are benefits too. but it would be absurd for me to charge you.

            your whole premise is based on one flawed assumption: that anyone who benefits from your actions owes you somehting. they do not. if a tree falls on our road and i go cut it up with a chainsaw and clear it so i get to drive to work, you benefit as well. but i have no basis for sending you a bill.

            this is just special case entitled union thinking. you base premise is wrong and as a result all the arguments you have piled on top of it are wrong.

            you do not get to collect just because something you did benefited someone. that is not nor ever has been how the world works, nor is it a good idea nor compatible with liberty nor freedom of contract and association.

            it’s just an attempt to legalize coercive theft.

          • Likewise, morganovich, you have a choice not to hire into a unionized shop or leave if a union is voted in (or sign out). The NLRA has been a law since 1935 and will probably be around for some time further. Giving up some freedoms is the price of a civilized representative society. Yeah, it can be a bummer sometimes.

            You are starting to sound like my Michigan Militia buddies I will be deer hunting with in a couple of days. They all carry a U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence with them at all times and stand a chance of being shunned by fellow members or kicked out if caught without both of them. It seems to me they are giving up their freedom by deciding to belong to that group, but I guess all organized groups have rules or laws they have to follow.

          • Walt

            We all want individualism until we are attacked by an army, and then we want an army.

            That doesn’t make sense in this discussion. workers are not being attacked by an army.

            Sometimes you have to give something up to keep what you have. Personal sacrifice for the good of the group is the American way.

            No it isn’t, Walt, Fighting against government oppression is the American way.

            Options are good.

            Yes, options are good. Workers in forced union states have fewer options.

  3. I suspect, right-to-work states have less regulation, less government spending, and lower taxes, along with expectations they’ll remain low.

  4. Wishful thinking…. Try spurious correlation. Net jobs were created in the private sector with a national unionization rate of 6.9%. Net job losses were in the public sector with a national unionization rate of 37%.

    2011 BLS data

  5. Also, I suspect, low income states spend less on education and less education means less income.

    Low income states can better directly compete with poorer countries, e.g. through “reshoring.”

    • It would be interesting to compare education levels, median incomes, other metrics between right-to-work states and union states.

      In theory the right-to-work states should be MORE prosperous, eh?

      • In theory the right-to-work states should be MORE prosperous, eh?

        That’s a softball. They are not. Lower per capita GDP, household income, life expectancy, health insurance coverage, high school SAT scores and graduation rates, college graduate rates. Higher poverty and worker fatality rates.

        • Can you provide references for those claims?

          Perhaps you can also address cost of living in forced union vs RTW states. Obviously household income is meaningless unless living expenses are also known.

          • Is your google broke?

            Obviously household income is meaningless unless living expenses are also known.

            Consumption is causally related to income; higher income = higher consumption. Compare and contrast Connecticut with Mississippi, roughly equal in population, along any metric, until the cows come home.

            It’s the old saw. The RTW theorists get bashed over the head so much about lower income they have to rise from the dead with the “cost of living” canard. Of course, a household in Greenwich is going to live in a larger, more appointed home, drive a more expensive vehicle and eat more fresh fruit and vegetables than a household in Tupelo. Because they have the income to do it.

          • marmico

            Is your google broke?

            Of course not, but if you are going to make specific claims, it’s your job to support them, not mine. Otherwise I can just respond “that’s bullshit”, and that’s the end of it.

            Consumption is causally related to income; higher income = higher consumption. Compare and contrast Connecticut with Mississippi, roughly equal in population, along any metric, until the cows come home.

            That’s bullshit.

            You need to support that assertion if you wish to be taken seriously.

            “<i.It’s the old saw. The RTW theorists get bashed over the head so much about lower income they have to rise from the dead with the “cost of living” canard. Of course, a household in Greenwich is going to live in a larger, more appointed home, drive a more expensive vehicle and eat more fresh fruit and vegetables than a household in Tupelo. Because they have the income to do it.”

            You’ve obviously missed my point. It costs more for a particular standard of living in Greenwich than it does for the same standard of living in Tupelo so higher income in Greenwich doesn’t necessarily mean someone is living larger.

            You previously made sweeping claims about per capita GDP, household income, life expectancy, health insurance coverage, high school SAT scores and graduation rates, and college graduation rates in RTW states, perhaps attempting to show that forcing all workers to join unions makes everyone better off, but you’ve failed to do so.

            A quick perusal with my good working Google shows me no obvious correlation, so rather than spending a lot of time trying to prove your point for you, I’m asking you to do it.

          • Your google may be working but you aren’t using it. Not a single link in reply.

            Okay let’s go to a link, and call it per capita personal income.

            The most populous free bargaining states are California and New York which rank 12th and 3rd. Now go to the two most populous right to work states being Texas and Florida which rank 26th and 27th.

            Now wasn`t that a softball.

            I`m reluctant to bring up CPI-U (since the wingnut wackos emerge from the “shadowstats”) but the Greenwich-Tupelo difference in “cost of living” is primarily housing and secondarily medical care, not food, transportation, recreation, education or other. You could look up the regional inflation deflators. Housing is more valuable in Greenwich. Duh!

            In any event, it’s not free bargaining or right to work that determines the “cost of living”.

          • Marmico,

            Please explain how regional inflation indexes show that costs for food, transportation, recreation, and education are not significantly different in California and Texas.

          • Ranked high school graduation rate by state. Free bargaining takes 7 of the top 10 positions. Right to work takes 8 of the bottom 10 positions.

            Nice work! That’s more like it. How about those other measurements you mentioned?

            Are you suggesting some causative connection?

        • Are all you libertarian pot heads arithmetically challenged?

          ………………..Dallas……………..LA
          Food…………..238……………….237
          Housing……….186……………….250
          Apparel………..120……………….116
          Transport……..228……………….216
          Medical………..376……………….408
          Recreation…….111……………….104
          Education……..138……………….142
          Other…………..376……………….372

          CPI-U 1982-1984 = 100

          • mamrmico

            Housing is more valuable in Greenwich. Duh!

            OK, now we’re getting somewhere. WHY is housing more valuable in Greenwich? And if housing IS more expensive can you understand that a worker with higher per capita income may not be living better than someone with lower per capita income and lower housing costs?

            Your claim, that by a great number of measures life is better in forced union states, remains unsupported.

          • Your google may be working but you aren’t using it.

            Actually I used my Google just briefly to check some stats on some of the things like SAT scores, life expectancy and household income – things you claimed were noticeably worse in RTW states – and became convinced that you didn’t know what you were talking about, as there’s no meaningful correlation.

            If you’re trying to make a point that people in forced union states live better than those in RTW states, you are falling short.

          • marmico-

            you are either completely innumerate or being willfully deceptive.

            initial prices matter. if the price of a home in greenwich is $3 million and the price of a home in tupelo is $300k, that is the key issue in affordability, not these inflation measures you are trotting out.

            even if housing inflation were the same, the nominal increase in greenwich would be 10x as much.

            this same thing applies to food and anyhting else.

            to accuse others of being arithmetically challenged while making such a basic mistake would seem to indicate that you really ought to take some of your own advice and get a basic understanding of what you are talking about before venting such spleen and trying to hide your ignorance or deliberate lies behind a cloud of bluster.

            you did not even understand john dewey’s question. he was not asking you for inflation data. he was asking you what that had to do with actual costs.

            you are ignoring the staggeringly simple fact that food and housing costs more in some places that others.

            inflation rates do not show anyhting about that.

            if a $300k house goes up 3% and a $3 million house goes up 2% in price, the actual price increase of the more expensive house still exceeds that of the cheaper one with higher inflation.

            save your spleen and bluster. you are just embarrassing yourself.

          • you are either completely innumerate or being willfully deceptive

            Oh, the boy who could not afford to live in the Bay Area. It’s called the law of one price, dickhead. That’s why Dewey can’t battle. How can anyone with a modicum of intelligence argue that the “cost of living” was so low in Dallas in the reference year (1982-1984) that the CPI-U 30 years later in LA is different. Loser!

          • It’s called the law of one price, dickhead.

            Oh boy! You’re really off the rails with that one. Where do you see an efficient market? And the same house is not an identical good in tupelo and Greenwich. What are you even talking about?

            That’s why Dewey can’t battle. How can anyone with a modicum of intelligence argue that the “cost of living” was so low in Dallas in the reference year (1982-1984) that the CPI-U 30 years later in LA is different. Loser!

            This is meaningless drivel.

  6. Larry, a friend started a firm about 20 years ago and has over 100 employees now. He doesn’t make a profit, because revenues equal expenses.

    He pays the highest possible wages for his workers, who all earn $30,000 to $60,000 a year, and buys equipment to make the work easier for them. He pays himself $150,000 a year. He could pay himself much more, if he wanted to, but limits his pay.

    That’s always been his business philosophy, to pay his workers as much as possible and make their jobs easier.

    However, a few years ago, I guess, someone, a group, or a union wanted to unionize his firm. He was against it and had people talk to his workers about it, who rejected it.

    • Actually if you look at history, if more employers had taken the attitude expressed above unions would not have made the inroads. It was things like if there is an economic downturn cut the workers wages first, tyrannical supervisors and the like that lead to the unions coming in, first in the Craft Unions and the Railroads and moving to all industry. (It started in the Railroads with the operating folks i.e. engineers, firemen, conductors and brakemen). They had the management where it had to give in and this became clear when Woodrow Wilson said national rail strikes were unacceptable, so the managments had to give in. (Interestingly only the engineers are left all other groups are fading away)
      Anyway first line supervisors were arbitrary so the workers felt a union would protect them. Recall that a union is also a short term focused organization because every couple of years the leadership has to be re-elected, and the question becomes what have you done for me lately at the election. The unions are only doing the job they were hired to do handle the short term rewards (in particular when only the current workers vote on the contracts)

  7. OK — lets try to simplify things a bit & jump right to the “heart of the matter”.

    It doesn’t matter whether you think unions are good or bad,
    it doesn’t matter whether you think unions are necessary or not,
    it doesn’t matter whether you think unions “help” workers or not, and,
    it doesn’t matter whether you think unions causes higher prices or not.

    What does matter is that Unions — as they stand today — are unconstitutional, illegal, and immoral — period. People, it’s time to quit paying attention to the irrelevant & stop gawking at things like “cause & effect” — these are mere distractions that prevent the possibility of real solutions to real problems. Stop promoting false band-aid like solutions like “Right to Work” laws, as these DO NOT address the real problems. The crux of the matter is this: unions derive their power through government force, and to dis-empower them you must overturn the law(s) that gives them that power. And the law that did that was the “National Labor Relations Act of 1935″, aka the Wagner Act. The repeal of this disastrous law is, in fact, essential, and is the only “real” solution to a real man-made problem. For those still interested, I suggest you follow this link:

    http://www.cato.org/weekly/index.php?vid_id=158

    • re: “unions are illegal”. re: CATO…

      hmm… got a credible link from a non-partisan source?

      you boys live in a dream world. Who is going to repeal the Wagner act and when?

      the GOP did not do it when they had the Presidency and both houses of Congress… so when we the law be repealed?

      let me guess… :-)

      • “you boys live in a dream world. Who is going to repeal the Wagner act and when?”

        This is Larry’s standard trope. His peanut brain can’t form an intelligent defense, so he goes with the “ain’t never gonna happen,” as if that’s relevant to the argument. Over and over he comes here, gets his ass kicked, and then makes his final stand with an opinion that can neither be proved nor disproved.

        • re: peanuts… try pragmatic reality… I know it hurts but it’s good for you.. if you are really serious about changes.

          In an elected representative government – you know.. the kind our forefathers wanted.. you have to convince enough of them to do what you think is right –

          otherwise you just end up as a screaming meemie.

          • “In an elected representative government – you know.. the kind our forefathers wanted.. you have to convince enough of them to do what you think is right –”

            You have spent countless hours here proving you haven’t a clue what our forefather wanted. The Wagner Act could be struck down, or it could be legislated out of existence.

            Again, it’s so obvious you are out of ammo when you run to your go-to argument: the unfalsifiable hypothesis.

          • LarryG,

            Government workers are not covered under the Wagner Act, so repeal could more easily happen than some people realize. Federal employees are covered under federal statutes, and state, city, and county workers are covered under state statutes. I am pro-union, but I see a conflict problem with public unions that is not present with private unions.

            Twelve states do not have collective bargaining laws for public employees. They are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, North
            Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. In addition, Texas prohibits collective bargaining for most groups of public employees. However, firefighters and police may bargain in jurisdictions with approval from a majority of voters. Source: GAO-02-835

          • @Walt – re: repeal of the Wagner Act…

            it could happen.. but I suspect it would take the GOP owning the Presidency and both houses of Congress and the last time they had all 3 they didn’t repeal it so I’m doubtful…. unless there is a groundswell of voters who want it repealed and the Dems agree also.

          • lyle-

            if you look at history, absent the power to wield state sanctioned coercive force to take away the liberty and freedom of association of others and force them to pay fees, unions would have made far fewer inroads as well.

            licenses to steal can make any group successful.

          • re: “license to steal” = representative govt of the kind the forefathers stipulated.

            so what I get out of this is:

            1. – the forefathers were wrong

            2. – we should have a benevolent but free market dictator to make sure no one can vote themselves a license to steal.

            3. – libertarians can’t deal with the realities of a Democratically-elected governance but they can’t say it in those words.. it has to be converted to “license to steal”.

          • no larry, it’s just the endless repetition of the logical fallacy of “appeal to practice” which appear to be the only mode of thought of which you are capable. that fact that you cannot separate it from pragmatism in your mind is precisely why you are unable to think logically or clearly.

            do not waste you time paul. larry is literally totally incapable of thinking in basic logic. there is no cure for it.

            as hitchens said: (and i paraphrase)

            “if someone doe snot believe in logic, then there is no point in attempting to make increasingly logical arguments to convince them. you are just wasting everyone’s time.”

          • no, you don’t. that is completely wrong. perhaps you noticed a part of the constitution that dealt with inalienable rights?

            those are, by design and with great specificity, not subject to democracy. that is the basis for liberty.

            this has been explained to you 100 times larry. is it that you cannot remember or that you do not understand or just that you prefer to mislead to try and make your points?

            surely you admit that there exists a bill of rights, yes?

            what was it you thought that was for?

          • re: ” inalienable rights?”

            not specifically enumerated in totality and very obvious infringements passed into law and approved Constitutionally by the SCOTUS.

            Either you abide by the governance set up by our Constitution or not and the governance set up by the Constitution allowed for laws and allowed for the SCOTUS to determine their Constitutionality.

            what more do you want – a Dictator who will guarantee that Congress and SCOTUS will not wrongly “interpret”?

          • not specifically enumerated in totality and very obvious infringements passed into law and approved Constitutionally by the SCOTUS.

            From a careful reading of the Constitution it should be quite clear that the Bill of Rights was not intended as an exhaustive list of individual rights, but merely a listing of a few of the more important, so as to allow no misunderstanding.

            The Constitution isn’t a permissive document, it is a restrictive one. It limits government power, not the rights of individuals or states.

            As James Madison wrote in Federalist Paper #45:

            “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.”

          • You should also understand that quite often the SCOTUS is wrong.

            Although not mentioned much since Lincoln’s forced subjugation of the Confederacy in a war that cost the lives of 650,000 Americans, there are still state nullification, jury nullification, and an individual’s responsibility to disobay laws that are unjust. All are higher authorities than the SCOTUS.

            as MLK said in his famous Letter From the Birmingham Jail:

            “There are just laws and there are unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that an unjust law is no law at all… One who breaks an unjust law must do it openly, lovingly…I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and willingly accepts the penalty by staying in jail to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the very highest respect for law.”

          • 2. – we should have a benevolent but free market dictator to make sure no one can vote themselves a license to steal.

            Larry, why is it that in your world it’s always necessary that there be someone in charge?

          • re: ” Larry, why is it that in your world it’s always necessary that there be someone in charge?”

            it would be the only way to stop people from forming a government and passing regulations, right?

          • it would be the only way to stop people from forming a government and passing regulations, right?

            No, but if I understand you correctly you are saying that people would need to form a government to keep people from forming a government.

          • ” No, but if I understand you correctly you are saying that people would need to form a government to keep people from forming a government.”

            well no. we’re talking about people who do not want ANY govt … because they know that if a govt is formed and is elective that people will vote themselves others money.

            isn’t that your basic premise?

            all I’m saying is that Libertarians don’t want a govt but they need a strong man to make sure that no govt is formed and he remains in control and – the most important part – he’s a libertarian opposed to any/all govt that would allow the “parasites” to take other people’s money.

            isn’t that your basic premise?

          • ” “isn’t that your basic premise?”
            No.”

            it must be because you cannot have a Libertarian country if a majority of people are opposed to it and there is elected govt.

            how would you get to a Libertarian Economy if a majority are opposed to it and they can vote?

        • it must be because you cannot have a Libertarian country if a majority of people are opposed to it and there is elected govt.

          You can insist that you know what my basic premise is even after I tell you it’s not?

          I’m asking you to imagine a society in which no one is in charge.

          You don’t actually know what a majority of people want as a majority don’t vote. Less than 1 in 5 people voted for Obama for President, another less than 1 in 5 voted for some other candidate, and more than 3 in 5 – some of whom aren’t allowed to vote – didn’t vote for a president at all, which means that 4 in 5 didn’t choose Obama as President. That’s hardly a majority choice.

          You will find similar results for almost every elective office, so you can’t really say a majority wants or decides anything.

          how would you get to a Libertarian Economy society if a majority are opposed to it and they can vote?

          You don’t know that a majority are opposed.

          If the Larry party gathered 1,000,000 members and formed an elective government and then voted to force everyone – including the other 309 million people in the US who had chosen no government at all – to wear blue dresses on Saturday, would that be legitimate in your view?

          What about 100,000,000? Would 61,000,000 of those folks have a right to force *everyone* to wear blue dresses?

          What if, instead, 100,000,000 people decided to form an organization called the Devil With the Blue Dress Party, that required members to wear blue dresses on Saturday? A majority of members voted for this regulation, but of course membership is voluntary.

          The other 210 million Americans who were not members would not be affected by the ruling, and of course current members could give up their membership if they didn’t like the rules.

          Organizations that were actually of some benefit to people would grow, and those that few people liked would shrink. What could be better than that?

          Please don’t let the entertainment dilute the seriousness of the questions.

          • how many countries have no one in charge?

            how many countries do a majority of voters imposed hated rules on a majority of citizens?

            Can you name the best countries in the world where no one is in charge and Libertarianism reins?

            all in your head, right?

          • how many countries have no one in charge?

            That’s not important. I asked you to *imagine* one. Can you do that? And Your question is an argumentum ad populum falacy.

            how many countries do a majority of voters imposed hated rules on a majority of citizens?

            Same as above, but you don’t know a majority is imposing the hated rules?

            If you truly believe that a majority vote must represent the wishes of the people, consider that Saddam Hussein was elected by 98% or more of eligible Iraqi voters each time an election was held.

            Can you name the best countries in the world where no one is in charge and Libertarianism reins reigns?

            You have been given examples in the past and have found reasons to dismiss them. No reason to repeat that lengthy process now.

            This latest comment seems to be a common response from you when you don’t wish to consider what’s being discussed. I’ve asked you to consider some concepts and give your views, but instead you deflect the questions with fallacies.

            You did imagine a world in which a benevolent libertarian dictator could deny people the right to peaceably assemble and form organizations, even though “libertarian dictator” is an oxymoron.

            What about the fact that only 1 in 5 US citizens voted for Obama? Do you have any views on that? You frequently refer to majority rule, but in reality, that doesn’t exist.

            Perhaps the 3 in 5 who didn’t vote are libertarians who reject the legitimacy of a government that can vote to steal property from others – sort of like non members of the Devil With the Blue dress party, who wouldn’t accept thievery by members. Is it still OK to steal from them in your view?

          • re: the Constitution and the forefathers vision of an elected representative government

            do you not understand this or just reject it or what?

            re: Libertarian Dictatorship

            If there is no country in the world with elected governance, is it true that the majority who voted in each of those countries did not truly represent the sentiment of all voters?

            re: can you imagine?

            I can. But can you deal with reality?

            the reality is that there is not a single country in the world with elected governance that has chosen to have no government and operate on a Libertarian basis.

            Now I do not believe necessarily that because there is not a single example in over 200 countries on the face of the planet that it’s impossible but there are some very strong indications that such a society is highly unlikely especially when you consider that at one point in the planets past – there were no real countries with elected governance.. ideal conditions for Libertarianism to start and get a foothold and compete against other forms of governance.

            So you’re basically advocating theory with no practical examples of it – none.

            and yet you blather on ….about the majority not being the majority and all the rest of your virulent anti-govt rants.

            If the entire population supported Libertarianism -believe it that they would make their druthers known…. and it just has not happened anywhere on the face of the planet…

          • re: the Constitution and the forefathers vision of an elected representative government

            do you not understand this or just reject it or what?

            The government we have today is so far away from the the Constitution and original intent as to be unrecognizable. The framers of the Constitution might have left well enough alone if they could have known what their creation would morph into.

            A government operating within the confines of the original Constitution and intent of the Founders, while not perfect, as people are not perfect, would cause few complaints from me.

            re: Libertarian Dictatorship

            If there is no country in the world with elected governance, is it true that the majority who voted in each of those countries did not truly represent the sentiment of all voters?

            Perhaps you could reword that question so it makes sense. It’s not clear how a majority can vote in a country without anything to vote on. And a majority can’t possibly represent the wishes of all voters or they would be called a unanimity, it’s even clearer that a majority can’t possible represent the wishes of every person within an arbitrary political boundary who may or may not vote. Maybe rewording will make your meaning clearer.

            What did you really mean to ask?

            re: can you imagine?

            I can. But can you deal with reality?

            Well then, if you can imagine, why won’t you respond to the questions?

            the reality is that there is not a single country in the world with elected governance that has chosen to have no government and operate on a Libertarian basis.

            There you go again with that fallacy. Incidentally, “no government” is the default state of things. Government must be created. “No government” can only be “chosen” in the sense that nothing else is created to replace it.

            By the way, a libertarian isn’t an exact clone of every other libertarian. There is no one exact description that describes every libertarian. Libertarian political views range from no government, to substantial but limited government.

            Now I do not believe necessarily that because there is not a single example in over 200 countries on the face of the planet that it’s impossible but there are some very strong indications that such a society is highly unlikely especially when you consider that at one point in the planets planet’s past – there were no real countries with elected governance. ideal conditions for Libertarianism to start and get a foothold and compete against other forms of governance.

            What in the world are you talking about? Forms of governance don’t “compete”.

            So you’re basically advocating theory with no practical examples of it – none.

            Immaterial. I was presenting concepts and asking how you justify tyranny of the majority in those scenarios, especially when an actual minority seems to be the tyrant.

            and yet you blather on ….about the majority not being the majority and all the rest of your virulent anti-govt rants.

            No blathering here, Larry, just asking simple questions about your views on some important concepts.

            If the entire population supported Libertarianism -believe it that they would make their druthers known…. and it just has not happened anywhere on the face of the planet…

            You are still invoking the concept of a majority, and presenting a fallacy. I’ve asked you to set that aside for a moment and consider other possibilities.

          • re: ” how a majority can vote in a country without anything to vote on.”

            sure they do . if you have a bunch of people living someone and they want to agree on a set of rules (governance) then what’s to keep them from agreeing to do that?

            re: “no government” – that’s an option with any group of people living somewhere…

            they can agree to NOT join forces on ANYTHING.

            re: “pure libertarian” whatever.. are you suggesting that some libertarians would want some level of governance as opposed to everyone agreeing on NONE or are you just saying they all don’t want governance of any kind but have different views of what it is or is not?

            re: governance competing

            sure they do. people who don’t have governance that is electable compete against those that do in terms of what they want.. if the one that does not have electable governance knows of other countries that do and they want it then there has been a competition.

            re: majority rule fallacy…

            really? I’m not sure you understand what elected governance means.

            If you are opposed to it and don’t show up to vote then you lose just as much as if you showed up and voted no and got out voted.

            do you see a difference?

            do you have a thought on how boundaries of a country are formed and how the folks inside those boundaries then are subject to rules written by those who claim the boundaries and enforce that claim?

          • re: ” how a majority can vote in a country without anything to vote on.”

            sure they do . if you have a bunch of people living someone and they want to agree on a set of rules (governance) then what’s to keep them from agreeing to do that?

            Oh, of course. Nothing should prevent any group of people from agreeing to any set of rules they like. What you’re describing could be a bowling league, a commune, a corporation, a homeowner’s association, or any of thousands of other types of groups of people who have decided to join together for a common purpose. The problem comes when they decide that people who are not part of the group should be bound by those rules, even though they haven’t agreed to them.

            A good example would be the Louisiana purchase, an agreement between the government of the US and the government of France in which possibly millions of people already lived. People who had no voice in the matter were suddenly subject to a different government.

            re: “no government” – that’s an option with any group of people living somewhere…

            they can agree to NOT join forces on ANYTHING.

            This could become a word game. No one needs to agree to not join forces.

            re: “pure libertarian” whatever.. are you suggesting that some libertarians would want some level of governance as opposed to everyone agreeing on NONE or are you just saying they all don’t want governance of any kind but have different views of what it is or is not?

            Libertarians are no more uniform in their beliefs than any other group you can label. Some want various limited amounts of government, some want no government. you can look this up yourself, and I’m surprised you haven’t considering how often you refer to Libertarians. I thought you knew what the term meant.

            re: governance competing

            sure they do. people who don’t have governance that is electable compete against those that do in terms of what they want.. if the one that does not have electable governance knows of other countries that do and they want it then there has been a competition.

            A new definition of the word competition? Whatever.

            re: majority rule fallacy…

            really? I’m not sure you understand what elected governance means.

            It’s an argumentum ad populum fallacy. It has nothing to do with majority rule. It’s a fallacious argument supported by the idea that ” everybody does it that way”. Look it up.

            If you are opposed to it and don’t show up to vote then you lose just as much as if you showed up and voted no and got out voted.

            do you see a difference?”

            Yes. Voting implies at least tacit recognition of the legitimacy of the system that allows you to vote. Not voting doesn’t. And, as we saw in a recent post on this blog, anyone’s individual vote is of less consequence than the tiny risk of being injured in an accident on their way to the polls, so a perfectly rational decision would be to not vote at all. Four out of five people in the US didn’t vote for Obama in the last election. How can he be the majority’s choice?

            do you have a thought on how boundaries of a country are formed and how the folks inside those boundaries then are subject to rules written by those who claim the boundaries and enforce that claim?

            Yes, I have a lot of thoughts about that. What in particular are you interested in?

            Some boundaries are natural like rivers, oceans, mountains, and lakes, while others are invisible and arbitrary political boundaries that have no real meaning. How can anyone have the right to make rules for others just because they live within the same imaginary lines? How absurd.

            People within the Louisiana purchase were subject to rules written by those who claimed the territory within certain boundaries, first Spain, then France, then the US. What meaning do you suppose any of those claims had for the people living within the boundaries, who had no idea they were subject to new rules and masters they had no idea about?

            Was the US claim to “own” the territory legitimate in your view? Is so, by what authority?

          • re: “joining”

            you have joined when you live within the boundaries of a country – whether you like it or not.

            at that point, your destiny is not decided by you alone but by the folks who defend those borders.

          • re: “joining”

            you have joined when you live within the boundaries of a country – whether you like it or not.

            Just FYI The transitive verb “join”, as you are using it, requires positive action on the part of the object in your sentence. In this case a person called “you”.

            So are you claiming that the Larry Party, from my comment above, can vote to make everyone within arbitrary boundaries – boundaries that the Larry Party has defined – members of the Larry Party whether they want to be or not?

            Can the Larry Party Leadership now vote to make everyone, including new members – who haven’t agreed to such a thing – wear blue dresses on Saturday?

            Can the Larry Party steal from those previous non-members to pay for blue dresses for those who can’t afford them?

            Is it also your claim that it was legitimate for the US government in 1803 to declare that hundreds of thousands of Native Americans living in the Louisiana Territory were suddenly US subjects, and those subjects could be forced to pay tribute if that was what the US Congress voted to do?

            at that point, your destiny is not decided by you alone but by the folks who defend those borders.

            Again, you have someone deciding for me that I’m a member of a group I haven’t chosen to join. At best that is tyranny and at worst s it’s slavery.

            This is the very heart of the problem, Larry, how can someone else decide my fate for me, steal from me, and justify it somehow as in my best interest or the best interest of the collective? Why must there be that someone, or someones, in charge?

          • re: ” This is the very heart of the problem, Larry, how can someone else decide my fate for me, steal from me, and justify it somehow as in my best interest or the best interest of the collective? Why must there be that someone, or someones, in charge?”

            by drawing boundaries and proclaiming it a sovereign nation and you happen to inhabit it.

            tell me where in the world this has not happened.

            show me places in the world where this is not true.

            are you dealing with the realities when you form your views?

          • by drawing boundaries and proclaiming it a sovereign nation and you happen to inhabit it.

            I don’t think that answers the question, and you haven’t answered any of the serious and important questions I’ve asked.

            tell me where in the world this has not happened.

            show me places in the world where this is not true.

            That is immaterial to the question, and is a fallacy. You cannot use that to respond to questions.

            are you dealing with the realities when you form your views?

            Why yes, Larry, the reality is that someone who doesn’t even know me can decide to steal from me and tell me what I can and can’t do with the threat of force if I don’t comply. What can possibly justify that tyranny?

          • re: the question

            if you live on property on land that has national boundaries drawn and claimed by an entity – then you are then subject to the rules of the people who drew the boundaries and now control them.

            this is the condition of virtually every single person on the planet save for a few who own their own independent islands.

            You, as a person living on land contained within boundaries are likely subject to rules set by whoever established the boundaries – whether you like it or not.

            Consult with the American Indian if you need more study on this.

            Once you are on land within boundaries and you are lucky enough to be able to vote – you have some ability to join with others collectively affect things that affect people in common.

            If you are not lucky and have no vote, then you can stay and suck it up or leave.

            if you do have the vote but you choose not to vote, then you are still subject to the rules set by the majority.

            that’s the way it works Ron. Show me a counter-example if you think not.

            I’m talking about reality here and you are clinging to your theories.

            it’s NOT a false dichotomy to show you REAL examples guy.

            it’s a bit delusional to believe in something and claim that because there are no examples of it – that it’s a false dichotomy.

            it’s theory vs reality guy. How you can call others “stupid” and cling to these ideas of yours is a bit comical.

          • if you live on property on land that has national boundaries drawn and claimed by an entity – then you are then subject to the rules of the people who drew the boundaries and now control them.

            You haven’t answered the question, Larry, isn’t what you describe tyranny?

            this is the condition of virtually every single person on the planet save for a few who own their own independent islands.

            That has nothing to do with the question of whether such an arrangement is tyranny.

            You, as a person living on land contained within boundaries are likely subject to rules set by whoever established the boundaries – whether you like it or not.

            Those who established the boundaries are long dead. Now what?

            Consult with the American Indian if you need more study on this.

            That’s what I pointed out, Larry, is that just?

            Once you are on land within boundaries and you are lucky enough to be able to vote – you have some ability to join with others collectively affect things that affect people in common.

            Those who hold the monopoly on the use of force offer a vote on their own choice of candidates. Remember Saddam?

            that’s the way it works Ron. Show me a counter-example if you think not.

            I’m talking about reality here and you are clinging to your theories.

            But the question isn’t whether the system exists, but whether it is just.

            it’s NOT a false dichotomy to show you REAL examples guy.

            it’s a bit delusional to believe in something and claim that because there are no examples of it – that it’s a false dichotomy.

            What are you talking about? No one has mentioned false dichotomies.

            it’s theory vs reality guy. How you can call others “stupid” and cling to these ideas of yours is a bit comical.

            Concepts are worth discussing. Can’t you do that?

            Why do you believe there must be someone in charge? Notice I’m not asking whether there IS someone in charge, but whether there needs to be someone in charge.

          • re: ” You haven’t answered the question, Larry, isn’t what you describe tyranny?”

            It might depend on your view of it but it pretty much describes the entire world. They are few, if any, places, where you can live without someone having claimed the land and staked out the boundaries.

            When people talk about freedom and Democracy, they are not talking about not having a country – they are talking about being able to participate in decisions as to how to operate the country.

            re: ” Those who established the boundaries are long dead. Now what?”

            but not the people who have succeeded them. As long as there are people who maintain the boundaries, the situation is the same.

            re: ” That’s what I pointed out, Larry, is that just?”

            you’re funny. you would not be here even, much less talking about your property rights if the people in front of you had respected the Indian’s property rights.

            ironic eh?

            is it “just”. No. is that how the world works? yes.
            can you live with that? can you deal with the way the world really works in spite of the theories you subscribe to?

            re: ” Concepts are worth discussing. Can’t you do that?

            Why do you believe there must be someone in charge? Notice I’m not asking whether there IS someone in charge, but whether there needs to be someone in charge.”

            It’s not what I believe Ron. It’s my recognition of the realities and why Libertarianism as espoused by you and others simply is not a viable proposition given the way that countries were formed originally and continue to “work”.

            I do not rule out a country whose “owners” have decided that govt will truly be ultra-minimal and the country will operate as essentially a Libertarian enterprise.

            I even ask for examples of countries that do this best -that come closest to the ideal.

            but you have to recognize the essential reality of countries come to be and how everyone inside the border of a country no longer has “natural rights” as defined by theory or pure theology.

            Those rights are subject to what others believe also.

          • It might depend on your view of it but it pretty much describes the entire world. They are few, if any, places, where you can live without someone having claimed the land and staked out the boundaries.

            They are all doing it, Larry says, without answering the question.

            When people talk about freedom and Democracy, they are not talking about not having a country – they are talking about being able to participate in decisions as to how to operate the country.

            You are presuming someone must be in charge.

            What if competition were allowed? What if those who didn’t like how the country was operated could un-join, and form a new country? Anyone would be free to join whichever organization they preferred, thus truly reflecting actual individual preference.

            re: ” Those who established the boundaries are long dead. Now what?”

            but not the people who have succeeded them. As long as there are people who maintain the boundaries, the situation is the same.

            That is a small group of tyrants, Larry, do you really think you have been given much choice when you are allowed to vote for either a shit sandwich or a turd taco?

            Keep in mind that “country” is not the same thing as “government”. and “society” is not the same as “state”.

            re: ” That’s what I pointed out, Larry, is that just?”

            you’re funny. you would not be here even, much less talking about your property rights if the people in front of you had respected the Indian’s property rights.

            Larry deflects the question.

            is it “just”. No.

            very good!!

            is that how the world works? yes.

            They are all doing it sez Larry. Darn it, you were doing so well.

            can you live with that? can you deal with the way the world really works in spite of the theories you subscribe to?

            Obviously I am living with tyranny, but there is nothing theoretical about the idea of voluntary organizations. There are thousands of examples all around us. The question is, why should someone be in charge of it all?

            It’s not what I believe Ron. It’s my recognition of the realities and why Libertarianism as espoused by you and others simply is not a viable proposition given the way that countries were formed originally and continue to “work”.

            But, we’ve always done it that way, sez Larry. It can’t work any other way.

            If “the way we’ve always done it” were truly in people’s best interest don’t you think they would flock to it voluntarily? They wouldn’t need to be forced, would they?

            I do not rule out a country whose “owners” have decided that govt will truly be ultra-minimal and the country will operate as essentially a Libertarian enterprise.

            At this point it may be necessary to clarify what the term “country” means. Is it the physical land within artificial boundaries, or is it the people living within those artificial boundaries? Who are the “owners, and what do they own? Obviously they can’t legitimately own other people, and if all the land within the boundaries is privately owned by individuals, they can’t own any land either. Are you talking about voluntary associations here, or is someone in charge?

            but you have to recognize the essential reality of countries come to be and how everyone inside the border of a country no longer has “natural rights” as defined by theory or pure theology.

            Nonsense. Aren’t we all endowed by our creator or our nature as human beings with inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?

            Those rights are subject to what others believe also.

            No, Larry, they are “inalienable”. The only legitimate purpose of government, is to protect those rights.

          • ” “but you have to recognize the essential reality of countries come to be and how everyone inside the border of a country no longer has “natural rights” as defined by theory or pure theology.”

            Nonsense. Aren’t we all endowed by our creator or our nature as human beings with inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?

            “Those rights are subject to what others believe also.”

            No, Larry, they are “inalienable”. The only legitimate purpose of government, is to protect those rights.”

            nope. only in your mind citing obscure words written by white guys long ago.

            when you agree to have someone “defend” your borders, you’ve agreed to CONCEPT of people organizing and voting in their self interests.

            the only way you can escape this is to disavow the entire concept of others “protecting” you.

            this is the reason the world is the way it is and not what you want it to be.

            there is a reason why there are no countries that work the way you believe they should – it’s not a coincidence.

          • nope. only in your mind citing obscure words written by white guys long ago.

            OK, fair enough. If we don’t have inalienable natural rights, or something similar, then slavery, child rape, and female genital mutilation are all legitimate as the victims have no rights except what someone else decides they have. There is no right or wrong, only what each of us decides for ourselves is right and wrong.

            Do you understand that the word “inalienable” means inseparable? You cannot be separated from your natural rights?

            when you agree to have someone “defend” your borders, you’ve agreed to CONCEPT of people organizing and voting in their self interests.

            I haven’t agreed to have anyone defend my borders, Larry. No one has asked me, yet they take money from me for that purpose. Where’s my choice? I want to hire Blackwater to do that for me, but those tyrants in Washington won’t allow competition.

            the only way you can escape this is to disavow the entire concept of others “protecting” you.

            What are you talking about? I haven’t asked anyone to protect me. The have taken it upon themselves to provide me a service I didn’t ask for and then they steal money from me to pay for it. I have no choice.

            I don’t see why I need to disavow anything, can’t I hire a private protection service to protect me if I think it necessary?

            this is the reason the world is the way it is and not what you want it to be.

            You haven’t given a reason, you just say that’s the way we always do it. I’m REALLY interested in the reason, but you never answer the questions.

            there is a reason why there are no countries that work the way you believe they should – it’s not a coincidence.

            Please, Larry, what is that reason? By what authority? Might makes right?

          • re: ” Please, Larry, what is that reason? By what authority? Might makes right?”

            re: ” What are you talking about? I haven’t asked anyone to protect me.”

            re: ” No, Larry, they are “inalienable”. The only legitimate purpose of government, is to protect those rights.”

            where did you get that quaint idea from?

            if a govt is formed in response to people who want protection and to “protect” their rights – why do you think the very same people cannot also extend “protection” to other things”

            you may not have agreed at the beginning to govt but if the people around you did – then there is govt and if the people around perceive that your idea of “rights” impinges on their “rights” then they were “protect” themselves from you.

            You have this silly idea that only one concept of inalienably right can exist and it is the one you like.

          • where did you get that quaint idea from?

            From the same white guys long ago that you claim had a legitimate right to govern me without my consent.

            you may not have agreed at the beginning to govt but if the people around you did – then there is govt and if the people around perceive that your idea of “rights” impinges on their “rights” then they were “protect” themselves from you.

            That is tyranny. If you are OK with that, even though you have been unable to explain why it is legitimate, then we are done.

            You have this silly idea that only one concept of inalienably right can exist and it is the one you like.

            This is pointless, Larry. You still don’t know what the word inalienable means.

          • ” “where did you get that quaint idea from?”

            From the same white guys long ago that you claim had a legitimate right to govern me without my consent.”

            so from the beginning you subscribe to what those what guys said -not only about unspecified inalienable rights but elections by the people and laws, etc?

            surely you just didn’t cherry-pick just the “rights” thingy

            “you may not have agreed at the beginning to govt but if the people around you did

            That is tyranny. If you are OK with that, even though you have been unable to explain why it is legitimate, then we are done.”

            it’s what was in the same document that spoke to inalienable rights. Are you saying the Constitution enabled/fostered “tyranny”?

            “You have this silly idea that only one concept of inalienably right can exist and it is the one you like.”

            This is pointless, Larry. You still don’t know what the word inalienable means.”

            I surely do especially when such “rights” are vague and not articulated and at the same time in the same document that says people will vote, make laws, and regulate.

    • Stephen F.

      While the constitutionality of the Wagner Act is certainly debatable, surely you don’t object to individuals’ right to freely assemble, and to form organizations like unions. Where are you getting the idea that unions are unconstitutional?

      Your Cato link is a presentation about public sector unions, which aren’t covered by the Wagner act. While it’s a really bad idea to allow workers who have elected their own bosses to collectively bargain for their wages and work conditions, it’s not clear why you think it’s unconstitutional.

      • Unions have outlived their purpose.

        Public employee unions are unconstitutional. What revenues do public employee union members generate?

        My income?

        I cannot wait for my town to go BK and outsource everything with SLAs. I would get better service and 100% accountability.

  8. This post needs to go VIRAL.

    The decline of compulsory unionization will usher a new era of employment in spite of the increasingly powerful regulatory state. People need to be aware that they only benefit the union bosses in control.

    • Perhaps you should email it to everyone you know and urge them to do likewise. Then it will circle the internet until the end of time as so many other “send this to everyone you know” emails do.

      Then, every time there’s a major news story about unions, this very post will land in your inbox from several of your friends. What could be better?

      • To gmail I now go! This information should be a matter of common knowledge if people want to understand the costs involved with unionization – namely lower employment from unskilled or new workers who need a chance to gain experience.

        • Oh jeez, do I only have two choices?

          When I think I need to describe myself, which isn’t often, I call myself an anarchist – of the Rothbard and Spooner sort. If I must choose one of the two labels you offered me, I would choose Voluntaryist.

          • I like your thinking ;-)

            Sometimes I exchange notes with a guy named RJ Miller who is writing a book called “State Exempt” which seems to take some inspiration from what Lysander Spooner said on these matters.

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