Carpe Diem

If Obama is really serious about job creation, he should support Sen. Paul’s ‘National Right to Work Act’ tonight


In tonight’s State of the Union address, President Obama is expected to “make a case for measures and proposals that he says will boost job creation and put the economy on a more upward trajectory.” If he’s really serious about job creation, the president might want to consider supporting Senator Rand Paul’s “National Right to Work Act,” explained here on the National Institute for Labor Relations Research (NILRR) blog.

Sen Paul’s bill S. 204 would “restore an important personal freedom for millions of American employees,” by repealing “the current provisions in federal labor law that authorize compulsory union dues and fee payments as a condition of employment.” And what does that have to with boosting job creation? The NILRR explains:

Of all the economic reforms Congress may consider this year and in 2014, S.204 would surely have the strongest positive impact for incomes and jobs. The potential boost S.204 could give to the national employment market can be illustrated by the U.S. Department of Labor’s data for civilian employment in the 50 states from January 2009, the month Barack Obama took office as U.S. President, through December 2012.  This is the most comprehensive Labor Department gauge of job growth available.

In the 22 states that had Right to Work (RTW) laws on the books protecting employees from forced union dues throughout the past four years, civilian employment has grown by a net 1.51 million, or 2.7%, since January 2009 (see chart above).  Meanwhile, in the 27 states that lacked Right to Work laws prior to December 2012, civilian employment fell by nearly 240,000, or 0.3%.

All the eight states with the highest percentage job growth from January 2009 through December 2012 — Florida, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia — are Right to Work.  Meanwhile, seven of the nine states with the worst job losses are forced-unionism.

MP: The labor market data illustrated above suggest that RTW states are net job-creators while forced unionism states are net job-destroyers. By supporting national RTW legislation, President Obama would demonstrate that he’s really serious about helping the US economy to create more jobs and bring down the stubbornly high jobless rate.  But realistically, the President will likely present government solutions, not market-based solutions, to job creation. The New York Times is already reporting that President Obama will “propose government action in education, manufacturing, infrastructure and clean energy,” and Sen. Marco Rubio is predicting that the president will ask us “to embrace the principles of more government, more government spending, more government control of our economy.” So we realistically shouldn’t expect any mention tonight of S. 204, which means that the president isn’t really serious about any proposals to increase jobs, no matter how successful, if those solutions alienate his union supporters.

12 thoughts on “If Obama is really serious about job creation, he should support Sen. Paul’s ‘National Right to Work Act’ tonight

  1. Obama will channel his inner Khrushchev, and claim his ideas of planned economy will leave the old ideas of free enterprise behind.

    • Although there are a few exceptions, foreign automakers have been choosing right-to-work states for the past two decades. Honda did build in Ohio in the 80s and recently in Indiana. But it took big bribes to seal those deals.

      The presence of right-to-work laws may not be the number one criteria used in evaluating potential sites. Proximity to markets, to transportation infrastructure, and to suppliers has got to carry a lot of weight. But a favorable union climate is certainly a factor.

  2. I wonder if indeed there is anyone that believes that Obama wants jobs to be created by the private sector (OK, perhaps the 20 or 30% of those that voted for him and are indeed also convinced that the debt problem has been taken care of)


    1- Higher unemployment among entry-level, youth and the unskilled–those who can least afford it.

    2-An influx of even more illegals with all of its negative implications.

    The increase to $9.00 p/h comes when small businesses are being bombarded with costly regulations and inflation is at a benign 2%.


  4. He’s got other ideas for job creation. The same loser who gave us the green jobs fiasco is now proposing, “..we use some of our oil and gas revenues to fund an Energy Security Trust that will drive new research and technology to shift our cars and trucks off oil for good.”

    He fails every single time he tries this kind of garbage. He never learns when it blows up in his face, but we the taxpayers get the bill.

    • He fails only if you assume his objective has something to do with delivering an economic return on the expenditure. It’s not. It’s to give government more and more control over directing capital flow. And in that he is wildly succeeding.

  5. so, there are two pubs A and B across the street.
    Both used to sell a pint for $4. Now A sells same beer for $3.50.
    Their sales are 10% up, and B has sales down by 8%.
    If B starts to sell for $3.50, do we expect 10% grows in both A and B next year?

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