Monday, November 21, 2011

The figures don't lie - an economic case for Right-To-Work in Ohio

In responding to a post on a local Internet forum, I came across some rather startling information regarding right-to-work (RTW) states and Ohio.

It's from the National Institute for Labor Relations Research and it contrasts economic performance of RTW states and Ohio from 1995-2005. It says:

There is overwhelming evidence that Right to Work laws are economically beneficial. Here’s how David Littmann, the former senior vice president and chief economist for the Detroit-based Comerica Bank and current senior economist for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, summed up the evidence this February in testimony before the Michigan House Tax Committee on Restructuring: “Economic growth in right-to-work states has so convincingly and consistently eclipsed the average growth for non-right-to-work states that it makes the whole argument for workplace flexibility a non-controversial subject.”

Between 1995 and 2005, U.S. Department of Labor data show private-sector job growth in Right to Work states exceeded private-sector job growth in non-Right to Work states as a group by 79% and in Ohio alone by nearly 500%. Over the same period, inflation-adjusted U.S. Commerce Department data show real personal income growth in Right to Work states exceeded overall personal income growth in non-Right to Work states by 39% and exceeded Ohio’s meager increase by 142%. Meanwhile, U.S. Census Bureau statistics show that, from 1994 to 2004, the number of citizens covered by private health insurance grew by 11.5% in Right to Work states, slightly more than double the aggregate growth in non-Right to Work states. In Ohio, over the same period, the ranks of the privately insured actually declined by 0.2%.

I'm certain some people will take exception to the source of the information - the NILRR - because of its mission:

NILRR's primary function is to act as a research facility for the general public, scholars and students. It provides the supplementary analysis and research necessary to expose the inequities of compulsory unionism.

It publishes monographs, brochures and briefing papers designed to stimulate research and discussion with easy-to-read summaries of current events. NILRR also conducts nonpartisan analysis and study for the benefit of the general public.

It will render aid gratuitously to individuals suffering from government over-regulation of labor relations and will provide educational assistance to those individuals who have proved themselves worthy thereof.

But those who do so would be making a grave error. The data isn't from them - just compiled by them. The data is from the government: Department of Labor, Commerce Department and U.S. Census.

The linked article also looks at two states that enacted RTW laws: Idaho and Oklahoma. It's worth your time to examine the article and have some of the information on hand as people begin to discuss the pending Ohio Workforce Freedom Amendment.

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