Yesterday, the legislature in my native home of Indiana voted to become the first state in the industrial Midwest to adopt right-to-work laws. Hopefully this short-sighted action will see the same fate (though more quickly) as a similar law that was passed back in 1957, which was later repealed in 1965.
In Hoosierland’s hell-fire attempt to become the overtly business-friendly version of the Grand Cayman Islands of the United States, conservative legislators and the governor are selling the citizens of the state on a vanishing mirage. Right to work laws do little, if anything to help lift the working classes up by their bootstraps. Instead they make employment and payroll a buyers (business) market by pulling down wages. Is that what the hard-working residents of Indiana really want? I doubt it. According to the Economic Policy Institute, right-to-work laws have the following impact:
“The Economic Policy Institute has a great primer on the actual effect of right-to-work laws on workers, wages, and employment. On the whole, RTW laws ‘reduce wages by $1,500 a year, for both union and nonunion workers’; ‘lower the likelihood that employees get healthcare or pensions through their jobs … for both union and nonunion employees’; and ‘have no impact whatsoever on job growth.” SOURCE: http://prospect.org/article/problem-right-work
In the long run, business and industry are going to learn the hard way, that flat-lining wages and income for false profits only leads to economic uncertainty, less consumer spending, and lower sales/profits. You can only squeeze so much from a turnip before it withers and dies.
Unfortunately, far too many of us in this country seem unable to learn from history, This nation (and many states) seem oblivious to repeating the same mistakes over and over and over and over again, infinitum. Sadly, constantly repeating the same mistake without ever learning from it is a sign of insanity – perhaps the state of Indiana should be renamed to Indisanity, for some there have certainly gone and lost it..