Real / Effective / Conservative

Right-to-Work

Forced Unionism Violates Freedom
The first amendment of the US Constitution supports among other things the freedom of association. While I support the right of every Missourian to join a private sector union if they choose to do so, forcing workers to pay union dues just to get and keep a job is wrong.

Passage of right-to-work is essential to improving the business climate and job market in Missouri. Missouri has had trouble competing for manufacturing jobs. In Springfield we recently saw Solo-cup move to Texas, which is one of a growing number of right-to-work states.

The best studies regarding the influence of right-to-work laws comes from a 1998 study authored by economist Thomas Holmes. The study researched the employment in border counties of neighboring states where one state had right-to-work protections and the other did not. Holmes found manufacturing employment as a percentage of county population increased by 33% in the counties within the right-to-work states compared to those in the non-right-to-work states.

In addition right-to-work-states grow faster in GDP and population than the non-right-to-work states according to the latest census which showed that 4.7 million people moved from right-to-work states to non-right-to-work states from 2000 to 2008.

A recent study by Michael Hicks, with the Mackinac Center wrote for the Ball State University Center for Business and Economic Research found that from 1929 t0 2005 the states that had right to work laws showed a significant influence on the income growth of jobs in the manufacturing sector. In other words, people who were employed in manufacturing made more money over time if they worked in a right-to-work state than if they worked in an non-right to work state.

That is why I sponsored HB1538 (Right-to-Work) in Missouri. It is a simple one-page bill that states that no person shall be required to join a union or pay union dues as a condition of employment.

Right to Earn a Living
In the 1950’s only 5% of the workforce needed government’s permission to work in their career of choice. Today 33% need license, or certification from the government to work. At a time when we have 9% unemployment it is time to remove as many unnecessary barriers to work as possible, especially barriers that do little to make us safer or better off. Professional licensure laws do two things first they ensure the profession maintain a level of quality and public safety, and they reduce competition. The problem is that both raise prices and reduce the number of people employed. I am for re-evaluating licensure laws in an effort to eliminate restrictions that do not protect public safety but serve to only restrict competition.