Right to Work Laws Could Save Detroit

By: May 12, 2011

I would like to see a Voices of the Tea Party e-book  on the benefits of adopting of Right to Work laws in longstanding “pro-labor” or “pro-union” states. I believe enacting such laws could help turnaround moribund state economies like Michigan’s. As an observer of politics and economics at the state and local levels for about 20 years , I can say that “as Detroit goes, so goes Michigan” .

Detroit politics, pro-labor policies, and related labor union power have had a major impact on the the legislation and policies of State Government in Michigan  for many decades. This has been the case regardless of which political party controlled the Governor’s chair or the State Legislature. The consequences of these pro-labor policies have been financial hardship for the City of Detroit and other Michigan local governments. For these entities, labor costs are out of control, and there is no way to reduce them.

Union funding of local and state  political campaigns for both Democratic and Republican candidates  in Michigan has directly led to the continuation of longstanding state laws that prevent private and public sector workers from being free to work in non-management jobs without being forced to join a union. That in turn has caused both the Big 3 automotive manufacturers and the Non-U.S. based automotive manufacturing “transplants” to place newer manufacturing facilities in other “right-to-work” states in the U.S.

I have for many years wondered : what could both the private and public sectors of Detroit and the larger Detroit-related metropolitan region do if it could “break free” from organized labor-controlled policies and politics ? I believe that Detroit could easily rebound if Michigan is able to have  the kind of right-to-work laws that “sun-belt” states in the U.S. have enjoyed for many years.

I do not think that a Voices of the Tea Party e-book has to take a position against constructive collective bargaining. Instead, such an e-book could present a fair and balanced study of how modifications of longstanding laws that were originally adopted to facilitate a balance between management and labor rights could restore a more practical balance to reflect today’s realities and market forces. Such an e-book could examine how right-to-work states & their economies are faring better than states such as Michigan who are not right to work states and how fundamental changes in related state laws could lead to improved state and regional economies such as Detroit’s .

Quincy Williams is the pseudonym of a local government official who works in a blue state.



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