Who are the NERD fund donors Mr Snyder?
Freedom to Work Means Prosperity for All
Failure to heed basic economic logic unfolded in an physically violent way last week following Governor Rick Snyder signing a bill that does nothing more than provide workers with the freedom to decide whether or not to spend their hard-earned money on joining a union.
The perils of co-opting government to interfere with economic liberty were on full, ugly display in Lansing this past week.
More than 50 years ago economist Milton Friedman warned against the dangers of government expanding outside the scope of preserving law and order, enforcing private contracts and fostering competitive markets.
Failure to heed the such basic economic logic unfolded in an physically violent way following Governor Rick Snyder signing a bill that does nothing more than provide workers with the freedom to decide whether or not to spend their hard-earned money on joining a union.
Big Labor responded by assaulting and ridiculing supporters of the freedom to work legislation, heckling and preventing the movement of state troopers trying to preserve order and sabotaging equipment used by advocates of employee freedom.
Unions should serve as an advocate for the American worker, representing labor negotiations with management and resolving grievances among employees.
Instead we have seen the corruption of a once-proud institution in employer-employee relations that requires workers to pay compulsory dues that fund political campaigns to elect pro-union Democrats who in turn protect often outrageous pay and benefits.
This wasn't a fight that Snyder or the Michigan Legislature wanted. They didn't want to confront unions when they needed to work on fixing Michigan's tax code and balance the budget, a problem former Governor Jennifer Granholm failed to do after eight years in office. (Trying to say the same problem was left to President Obama after eight years of President Bush won't work because Snyder isn't trying to blame all of his problems on his predecessor without doing anything about it.)
Government unions fought Snyder's emergency manager laws to save bankrupt cities and school districts, and the city of Detroit is remains at risk of bankruptcy because employee unions refuse to cooperate while the city burns through cash. Their alternative: Tell the Obama Administration that they deserve a federal kick-back for helping to elect him.
Big Labor exposed its weakness by getting a measure on the November ballot that would have enshrined coerced public sector bargaining leverage in the Michigan Constitution. Voters overwhelmingly rejected it 58-42.
Co-opting government to bend the laws of economics does not work. As the price of labor skyrockets there are necessarily fewer jobs to go around. The free market demands that as the cost of labor and products increases, demand goes down and the producers in society go out of business.
Michigan is now the 24th right-to-work state. It needs private sector investment more than ever with one of the nation's worst unemployment rates at 9.1 percent. Providing employers with the opportunity to choose who they employ and workers with the freedom to choose where they want to work at the wages they command will help to increase job opportunities all around. It will also help to stem the flight of young talented workers from the state because the will be judged on merit, not connections.
The battle isn't over yet. The issue almost certain to head to the courts, but it sends a powerful message that interfering with how private individuals spend their resources can and should be prevented in a free society.
It's about time that Big Labor woke up to one of the basic rules of economic liberty and let the people and the free market work their will.
David Yonkman is the President and CEO of Washington-based David Yonkman Strategies.
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