President Obama, speaking before Big Labor bosses and lobbyists at the recent AFL-CIO conference, threw a political cheap shop at states that help their economies with “right-to-work” laws.
Not only was it desperate political pandering to his union boss base during an election year, but it was an example of a president dismissing the right of states to determine what’s best for their economy.
President Obama put on a show for one of Big Labor’s most eager audiences and blasted right-to-work laws while at it. Obama ignored economic statistics showing right-to-work states experiencing greater prosperity than their counterparts.
“I believe the economy is stronger when collective bargaining agreements are protected,” said Obama, calling the successful laws “… right-to-work-for-less.”
“That’s not about economics – that’s politics,” added Obama.
Really? Because we could have sworn he was giving a political speech at a union boss conference bragging about how good it was “to be among friends” and bashing a policy that actually works. Remember, these are billion dollar bosses who spent a combined five hundred million dollars to elect him in 2008, and are on track to spend that much again this year.
Of course, Big Labor hates to hear about laws that actually help workers and small businesses. The Bureau of Labor Statistics – from Obama’s own Department of Labor – found that right-to-work states experienced a net gain of nearly four million jobs over the past decade compared to a net loss of a million jobs in union-dominated states. And the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) reports that right-to-work states experienced 46% higher business growth than other states.
“Right-to-work-for-less,” says Obama? According to the BEA, real per capita income growth in right-to-work states grew 40% compared to 35% in forced unionization states.
It might be a good idea for the president to check with his Labor Department’s own analysts before going on a rant against good policy.