Two Questions for Proponents of Right to Work?

Supporters of the onerous and misnamed Right to Work legislation being rushed through the legislature in extraordinary session…keep touting how this will convince businesses to move to Wisconsin. This has come from everyone from Senator Fitzgerald to Senator Nass to the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce. It’s been said so many times they hope we accept it as truth…but there is never any evidence presented. So question #1: Why would RTW laws influence a business to move?

And I tend to avoid places that I don’t like, situations that make me uneasy or people who make me uncomfortable. So why would a prospective employee even apply for a position with a union shop if he/she wasn’t a union supporter?


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15 thoughts on “Two Questions for Proponents of Right to Work?

  1. A union job pays better and has better benefits. The other difference is you have a voice in the workplace. It’s that simple!

  2. Tennessee has been a “Right To Work” state since the bill was first passed in 1947. As a result, in several decades only a few national manufacturers moved into the state despite it being in almost the exact population center of the United States. Neither the companies nor their unions were able to maintain a presence in the Memphis Metro area, nor really anywhere else in the State. RCA moved in itching to manufacture televisions in the 50s and had to shut down because of many problems with the underskilled and undermotivated labor in the area. Ford was there to utilized the abundant, low cost labor but could not train them to produce profitably and gave up a huge investment and moved away. Having been in the printing end of the advertising business most of my working life, I always had problems getting quality separations, proofs and film for color work, not to mention getting the jobs printed with enough quality that we could please discerning clients. It took me years to learn where the quality producers were, some right here in Wisconsin, to produce good color material that would sell products on a national scale. These quality producers were always union shops. But they weren’t in Tennessee.

  3. Let me add a personal perspective– I worked for GE for more than 30 years. I was in the professional/”exempt”/salaried ranks which is non-union, whereas the production/hourly ranks were represented by unions. Every improvement in benefits that I received (improved medical benefits, adding vision and dental benefits, increased vacation benefits), etc., was given to the salaried ranks AFTER the union negotiated for those benefits for their people. We all benefited from union representation .

    I am retired now, and effective 1/1/15 GE unilaterally terminated retirement benefits such as Medicare Supplemental Insurance coverage, the prescription drug plan, and dental care for all retirees like me. So we “professionals” lost our retirement benefits, BUT UNION REPRESENTED RETIREES STILL HAVE THEIR BENEFITS– because of UNION CONTRACT.

    I am sure Jack Welch (retired CEO) has retained all his extra benefits– use of GE executive jets, wine and even toilet paper allotments…. His union (board of directors) represented him well.

  4. Hi–an outsider here just seeking confirmation. I just read a comment someone posted elsewhere that claimed that the police and firefighters (anyone else) unions were exempt from this coming law. Is that true? Can that be confirmed? Or was that a mistake on the commenters part and they, too, are done?


    1. Yes, the police and firefighters unions are exempt from this bill and from Act10 that annihilated the public sector unions in 2011.

    2. Yes, since they gave to Walker’s campaign. Also because Walker didn’t want to risk them going on strike in protest (I would assume).

  5. I’ve considered R2W inevitable since the November election. Nonetheless I just want to register my distress to see decent Wisconsin families kicked yet again. That’s all.

    1. EmmaR, I have been watching this R2W debate quite closely. I also have felt all along that it was inevitable since the November election. As our fearless leader President Obama stated in 2009: “Elections have consequences, and at the end of the day, I won.”

      But EmmaR, what I havent seen through this entire debate is any “Decent Wisconsin Families kicked yet again.” Could you please, to quote you now, “be specific and include sources.” If your statement is worth defending, then let’s see a proper defense for once.

      Certainly if physical assaults are happening at the capital by our elected representatives that should not, NOT I SAY, be tolerated.

      1. OFF TOPIC:

        Harpie, there are two questions asked above. Neither one of them ask you to be harassing or stalking other commentators. Neither one of them asks you to pretend to not understand simple allegory to prove you are being a jerk.

        1. Irony: The biggest jerk bully on this blog calling someone else a jerk! I GOT IT!

          Answer to question #1… If this push for R2W is being pushed by corporations and evil “big business” I would presume that it is something they desire and therfore businesses might move to the state to take advantage of said policy. Unless it is in fact bad for business in which case why oh why would they be pushing for it.

          I will again say that coming from you nonquixote, the person that calls people drunks and trolls and idiots and any other vile thing you can think of, your inability to see the hpocrisy in your own musings is humorous.

          1. John, the folks paying you to comment here pushed right-to-freeload. How much do they pay you? Is it per comment, per word, …..?

      2. Nice try, but your “proper defense” included pretty dated old sources – did you take a look at the updated Forbes data? Revise your thesis with current data including wage levels and I’ll consider responding beyond pointing out the obvious that the affected workers in the JS, WSJ, and Cap Times photos look like decent Wisconsinites to me. Or do you take your Governor’s view of people that unless you personally meet each individual, you can’t say whether they’re decent?

  6. #1 It won’t convince any business to move here.
    #2 After R2W is passed, such an individual will be able to get the benefits of union organization without supporting the union organization.

  7. Good read from the IMF about right-to-freeload

    “The decline in unionization in recent decades has fed the rise in incomes at the top”

    One counter for the unions is to come out in support of a basic income guarantee. It’s not welfare. Every U.S. adult would get a check for (let’s say $1,000/month). Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, all the oligarchs get it too. That’s a way to re-distribute wealth down.

    It’s got some support on the right.

    “Rethinking the Idea of a Basic Income for All”

    In October, Swiss voters submitted sufficient signatures to put an initiative on the ballot that would pay every citizen of Switzerland $2,800 per month, no strings attached. Similar efforts are under way throughout Europe. And there is growing talk of establishing a basic income for Americans as well. Interestingly, support comes mainly from those on the political right, including libertarians.

    The recent debate was kicked off in an April 30, 2012, post, by Jessica M. Flanigan of the University of Richmond, who said all libertarians should support a universal basic income on the grounds of social justice. Professor Flanigan, a self-described anarchist, opposes a system of property rights “that causes innocent people to starve.”

    She cited a paper by the philosopher Matt Zwolinski of the University of San Diego in the December 2011 issue of the journal Basic Income Studies, which also contained other papers by libertarians supporting the basic income concept. While acknowledging that most libertarians would reject explicit redistribution of income, he pointed to several libertarians, including the economists F.A. Hayek and Milton Friedman, who favored the idea of a basic universal income.

    Friedman’s argument appeared in his 1962 book, “Capitalism and Freedom,” based on lectures given in 1956, and was called a negative income tax. His view was that the concept of progressivity ought to work in both directions and would be based on the existing tax code. Thus if the standard deduction and personal exemption exceeded one’s gross income, one would receive a subsidy equal to what would have been paid if one had comparable positive taxable income. …

    I don’t think we get it anytime soon, but it pushes a federal job guarantee to the political center.

    “…The government could serve as the “employer of last resort” under a job guarantee program modeled on the WPA (the Works Progress Administration, in existence from 1935 to 1943 after being renamed the Work Projects Administration in 1939) and the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps, 1933-1942). The program would offer a job to any American who was ready and willing to work at the federal minimum wage, plus legislated benefits. No time limits. No means testing. No minimum education or skill requirements….”

  8. “Carlyle’s 3 Founders Got $800 Million Haul in 2014”

    The three founders of the private equity giant Carlyle Group received more than $800 million combined in 2014, a regulatory filing on Thursday showed.

    The cash haul for David M. Rubenstein, Daniel A. D’Aniello and William E. Conway Jr., who founded Carlyle in 1987, included dividends, base salary and profits from their personal investments in and alongside Carlyle’s funds. It also included the return of the capital they had invested, although Carlyle does not separately disclose that figure.

    All told, the roughly $803.1 million that the three men received surpassed the $750 million they received in 2013. The bump showed how Carlyle continued to generate prodigious amounts of cash last year, even as energy-related investments weighed on its profitability in the fourth quarter.

    The soaring stock market has been a boon to the private equity business, allowing Carlyle and its rivals to reap large profits from selling stakes in companies they own. In 2014, Carlyle’s distributable earnings — a nonstandard profit measure reflecting the cash that can be given to investors — rose 16 percent, to $973 million, from the prior year.

    How long can those who sit around collecting rent, subsidy and interest pass themselves off as “wealth creators”? Asking for a friend.

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