Obama: This Michigan right-to-work nonsense has nothing to do with economics

posted at 4:21 pm on December 10, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

Campaigning — er, I mean, speaking? — at a diesel engine factory in Michigan on Monday to yet again make the case for raising taxes on families making more than 250k/year, President Obama of course had to weigh in on the Michigan legislature moving forward to become the 24th right-to-work state. I’m sure his many union-backers would have been most displeased if he hadn’t, you know. Via the Washington Examiner:

What we shouldn’t be doing is trying to take away your rights to bargain for better wages and working conditions. … These so-called right-to-work laws, they don’t have to do with economics; they have everything to do with politics. What they are really talking about is giving you the right to work for less money. … We don’t want a race to the bottom. We want a race to the top. America’s not gonna’ compete based on low-skill, low-wage, no workers’ rights — that’s not our competitive advantage. … It’s also what allows our workers to then by the products that we make, ’cause they’ve got enough money in their pockets.

Actually, the Michigan currently Republican-controlled legislature and executive’s perfectly democratic and legal decision to join the ranks of right-to-work states was nothing but an economic decision — states that don’t force employees to pay a portion of their income to union dues are more competitive in attracting jobs, and the net economic benefits mean that incomes effectually rise across the board.

But don’t let economic sanity and worker freedom stop you; there’s supposed to be a major protest planned for tomorrow, and teachers are already walking off of school:

School has been canceled in two Michigan school districts as dozens, perhaps hundreds, of teachers are expected to call in sick Tuesday to join right-to-work protests in Lansing.

Taylor Public Schools will be closed down because of the high number of staff that have already called in, apparently to attend the demonstrations. Superintendent Diane Allen told WDIV-TV there won’t be enough teachers to cover classrooms. She said she had heard from a principal about where the teachers were going.

And then… there’s this guy. I don’t even know what to say about this guy:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Monday weighed in on efforts by Republican legislators in Michigan to roll back collective-bargaining rights. …

“This is a blatant attempt by Michigan Republicans to assault the collective bargaining process and undermine the standard of living it has helped foster,” Reid said in a statement on Monday. “This effort continues a dangerous trend set by Republican-led state legislatures across the nation, and it is another instance of the Tea Party needlessly sowing division and setting Republicans’ economic agenda.

“Elected officials, labor leaders and business leaders can and should work towards the common goals of job creation, improving our economy and strengthening middle-class families. But this partisan power grab is a setback to prospects for compromise.”


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LegendHasIt on December 10, 2012 at 5:44 PM

Again – you are generalizing all Obama voters here. Some of them are truly not persuadable – but a small fraction is. If we can address their feelings of disenchantment with the *long* term performance of the American economy by giving quantifiable facts, they will come over. The bottom line is quantifiable facts though – just spouting ideological stances as though they are self-evident facts is not a convincing argument. At the least, this exercise will make it clear to the party what conservatism really means.

peter_griffin on December 10, 2012 at 5:51 PM

The kids will be safer at home and don’t learn at school anyway.

pat on December 10, 2012 at 5:52 PM

I’m not even typing about 0bama voters there, Peter Griffin..

Or is it Chris, using his father’s account?!?!?!?
Peter Griffin ‘gets’ snark pretty well. Chris, not so much.

LegendHasIt on December 10, 2012 at 6:00 PM

LegendHasIt on December 10, 2012 at 5:44 PM

You don’t think that Paul Ryan could do it?

onlineanalyst on December 10, 2012 at 6:13 PM

Want to go into urban black schools for this conservative economic message?

How about Herman Cain, J.C. Watts, Alan West for starters?

onlineanalyst on December 10, 2012 at 6:16 PM

Campaiger in Chief, Marxist in Chief, flogging the White House travel machinery all over the country at the rate of at least $20M/day, just to use America’s “workers” as backdrop props.

rayra on December 10, 2012 at 6:31 PM

rockmom on December 10, 2012 at 5:43 PM

I’d add (1) talk radio and other conservative expression and (2) gun dealers and owners. First and Second Amendments will be under assault big time, this time around.

petefrt on December 10, 2012 at 6:39 PM

We don’t need no stinkin right to work.
We need right to welfare, right to birth control, right to free health insurance, right to free obamaphones………

dentarthurdent on December 10, 2012 at 4:37 PM

BING. O.

The only rights you need are the ones our Lord and Savior tells us we need.

ghostwalker1 on December 10, 2012 at 6:52 PM

Every time Obama opens his pie hole he spews out LIES!!!

This bill just allows workers a CHOICE to be union members and whether or not to pay dues to keep or secure their job.

This bill does NOT address collective bargaining, at all. The governor has expressly said that the federal right to collective bargaining remains untouched for both private and public employees in union shops.

So if a union can not make membership attractive enough to get workers to freely CHOOSE to join them and pay dues at the local level, then it does not deserve to survive the attrition from the workers that will be freely choosing to drop their forced union membership.

End of Story!!!

karenhasfreedom on December 10, 2012 at 6:52 PM

Well, according to the somber-voiced man that I’ve been hearing in suburban Detroit radio ads, those evil republicans “want ya to work for nothin’,” among other things.

RTW is about disarming fat-cat union bosses with political agendas–often in conflict with many of their members–from using the members as tools in their coercion of private companies to get the ‘stuff’ they want–usually more money to buy more politicians.

I wish we had fewer stupid citizens in this country.

RedCrow on December 10, 2012 at 6:58 PM

karenhasfreedom on December 10, 2012 at 6:52 PM

Hey hey hey – we’ll have none of this factual stuff ruining a perfectly good fearmongering political lie…..

dentarthurdent on December 10, 2012 at 6:58 PM

Standard of living and Michigan seem to be an oxymoronic pair, no?

College Prof on December 10, 2012 at 6:59 PM

RedCrow on December 10, 2012 at 6:58 PM

While we’re at it, why not wish for fewer lazy citizens as well and perhaps even better informed ones, too. Nah, it’s easier to get our free stuff. /

I wonder what the Murican Moochers are going to do when the producers of their ‘free stuff’ quit producing it. hmm…

ghostwalker1 on December 10, 2012 at 7:08 PM

Related: Big Labor’s Stocking Stuffers

slickwillie2001 on December 10, 2012 at 7:18 PM

:)

petefrt on December 10, 2012 at 5:42 PM

lol

Resist We Much on December 10, 2012 at 7:24 PM

Remember Mr. President

“Elections do have consequences”

Goodale on December 10, 2012 at 7:37 PM

they don’t have to do with economics

Barry knows all about economics. He stayed at a Holiday Inn.

GarandFan on December 10, 2012 at 8:22 PM

If all the conservative pundits brought a few pertinent facts and figures to support supply side theories in media sponsored debates…

peter_griffin on December 10, 2012 at 5:17 PM

Surely you jest!

An actual debate, uncensored during or after and accurately presenting what any Conservative had to say – without “creative” editing?

Never happen.

Solaratov on December 10, 2012 at 8:30 PM

Pardon me if I don’t trust the definition of what is and what is not economics from a guy who doesn’t know how car insurance works.

Left Coast Right Mind on December 10, 2012 at 9:27 PM

Barry knows all about economics. He stayed at a Holiday Inn.

GarandFan on December 10, 2012 at 8:22 PM

…oh!…that’s what taxpayer’s would wish!

KOOLAID2 on December 10, 2012 at 9:42 PM

Surely you jest!

An actual debate, uncensored during or after and accurately presenting what any Conservative had to say – without “creative” editing?

Never happen.

Solaratov on December 10, 2012 at 8:30 PM

Point taken. But, here’s the deal – I have never seen even one person (save maybe some rare flashes of insight from Kudlow) argue from a quantitative view point. Even on Fox (whose interviews are hopefully not censored to skew left), the pundits are all about vapid sentimental fluff, without the facts and figures to make a convincing argument. The left will *always* outflank the right on sentiments, so quantitative analysis *has* to be the conservative’s forte.

peter_griffin on December 10, 2012 at 10:08 PM

Wait! Dear Leader does not believe (or understand) freedom of choice?

Shocked, shocked I tell you…

Oh wait, I forgot I can choose to have a job and pay dues, or not and stay on welfare.

Hey! It’s a Win/Win for dear leader!

ccrosby on December 10, 2012 at 10:35 PM

Taft-Hartley: Giving clueless liberals heartburn since 1947.

M. Scott Eiland on December 10, 2012 at 11:03 PM

What always amazes me about these union kerfuffles is how no one ever mentions the fact that whenever it’s proposed that people be given the opportunity TO CHOOSE whether they’ll join or not… the left always comes out in defense or removing that choice. So, basically their whole “right to choose” schtick is just for butchering unborn babies and never for any other exercise of free choice.

Murf76 on December 11, 2012 at 12:18 AM

Obama is like a broken record . . . he’s constantly going to those same rust belt states preaching the same sermon to the same left wing unions. Enough, go home and do some work for a change.

rplat on December 11, 2012 at 8:10 AM

I look at the economic situation in this country, and the long unemployment lines, and people struggling to make ends meet, and I cannot help but look at these idiots who are against right-to-work and wonder if they are either blind or ignorant or insane, or all three!

pilamaye on December 11, 2012 at 8:11 AM

Campaigning — er, I mean, speaking?

How about DEMAGOGUING…

Pest on December 11, 2012 at 8:49 AM

This guy’s not a president . . . he’s a perpetual film-flam man and snake oil salesman. He spends most of this time stoking and inciting his various left wing movements. The rest of the Democrat Party are nothing more than his obedient lap dogs.

rplat on December 11, 2012 at 9:25 AM

Why doesn’t SOMEONE tell the emperor that he won the election and that he should stop the campaigning and politics and start doing the job he was elected to do…LEAD? He has been campaigning non-stop since 2008…maybe he should start working for a change.

If he was truly a LEADER, he would cancel his vacations, and cancel his coronation party…have a simple swearing in, televised from the Oval office and save the country over $100 million in needless expense during our fiscal crisis.

He acts like his sole purpose in life is to party while dividing and disparaging this country. He is an absolute embarassment to humanity.

xmanvietnam on December 11, 2012 at 9:33 AM

The Michigan “Protect Our Jobs” Amendment was on the November 6, 2012 statewide ballot in Michigan as an initiated constitutional amendment where it was defeated. The initiative would have added the right to collective bargaining for public and private sector employees to the state constitution.[1] Bob King, president of the UAW, announced on March 1, 2012, that a coalition of unions would be supporting the amendment.

wikipedia…(the best thing I could find this morning)

Ballot question results: NO 57 -42 YES.

Fickle MI voters went to the polls to support right to work, and voted against Romney on the same ballot. Fickle…nutty…stupid…uneducated????confused?

Now Obama is up there campaigning, and there are union thugs out in the streets. They are going to lose the jobs they do have to states and countries that don’t have jacked up union rules and costs.

I don’t think Obama and his ilk really care about these people, the teachers and government workers are supporting the protests, because it is their way of life that is not being exported.

Fleuries on December 11, 2012 at 9:49 AM

End of Story!!!

Hardly. Right to work for less is right. Unions gave us the 40 hour work week and workplace safety legislation. If it were up to the benevolent “producers,” your kids would be at work and you’d be making so little you wouldn’t have the time or money to sit on your complacent tush and blither on about something you don’t know anything about.

When a union negotiates a contract, why should non union members get the benefits of the contract without paying dues to the organisation that’s fought to get those benefits? That’s called “free riding”–you know, that thing you profess to hate when it’s poor folk who want “free stuff.”

If you want your kids to end up with low wage and low skills jobs with no worker protections–Wal-Mart McJobs in other words–go ahead and tug your forelock at the feet of the plutocrat class.

It’s your funeral.

lostmotherland on December 11, 2012 at 9:58 AM

Unions gave us the 40 hour work week

Henry Ford created the 40 hour work week. He also paid higher than the going rate in order to attract quality workers in order to improve production. This was before the unions had any sort of voice. The unions didn’t gain any foothold until the Triangle Waste Shirt Factory fire, which was most likely started by one of the union representatives harassing the workers during the days leading up to the fire.

When a union negotiates a contract, why should non union members get the benefits of the contract without paying dues

If the union negotiates to shut down the plant, because they won’t take cuts, do the non-union workers get their money back? Non-union workers have to pay 80-90% of the due rate as a fee for not being in the union. In the streets of New York, they call that “protection money”.

If you want your kids to end up with low wage and low skills jobs with no worker protections

Then get the moronic unionized teachers that can’t be fired out of the business of educating children. If you can’t do more than push a button on an assembly line, then you don’t deserve $60k a year. Minimum wages and union jobs are part of the reason the cost of living goes up.

LoganSix on December 11, 2012 at 10:09 AM

If Michigan isn’t careful, they’ll end up having companies move in. Then, more people will have jobs. But hey, maybe they should try working – some people end up liking it, despite what unions would have you believe.

Unions used to protect workers. Now they defraud owners and drive companies out of business. When unions have it set up so that a person has to be paid, even if they’re doing nothing, they’ve gone to far. And unions clearly don’t care about their members. If they did, they wouldn’t keep driving members’ jobs out of existence.

For a business owner, moving jobs to China isn’t an easy decision. There are a lot of costs involved, it takes longer to get your products to market, and there are communications barriers. But unions make it so expensive to do business, and harass companies that try to build in right-to-work states, leaving firms no choice but to offshore their jobs.

hawksruleva on December 11, 2012 at 11:00 AM

Only 7% of eighth graders in Detroit can read proficiently. That’s all anybody needs to know. The unions have no leg to stand on.

Murf76 on December 11, 2012 at 12:01 PM

Fickle MI voters went to the polls to support right to work, and voted against Romney on the same ballot. Fickle…nutty…stupid…uneducated????confused??? Fleuries on December 11, 2012 at 9:49 AM

None of the above. Obama got the straight party ticket votes in MI from people who only went out to vote for him. I’d venture a large percentage voted solely to put him over the top in MI. They neither read, nor cared to read, the lengthy ballot proposals up this time. We had six of them. Anyone who voted for Romney voted on the proposals and independents who voted third party voted on the proposals. That’s my theory, anyway.

totherightofthem on December 11, 2012 at 12:16 PM

If you want your kids to end up with low wage and low skills jobs with no worker protections–Wal-Mart McJobs in other words–go ahead and tug your forelock at the feet of the plutocrat class.

It’s your funeral.

lostmotherland on December 11, 2012 at 9:58 AM

Hey, drama queen. Have you heard of OSHA and the myriad labor laws on the books to protect workers from the horrible, evil people that pay their wages? Unions have outlived their usefulness and have become a monopsony to compete with big business. Hell, they are big business. Like another said, it’s high time they paid their fair share in taxes on a corporate scale.

totherightofthem on December 11, 2012 at 12:19 PM

Right-to-work will end up at the Supreme Court.

Just like anything else liberals can’t get via the vote.

Moesart on December 11, 2012 at 1:03 PM

It’s also what allows our workers to then by the products that we make, ’cause they’ve got enough money in their pockets.

And of course those higher wages are funded by higher consumer prices (where else could the money come from?), meaning that the “money in their pockets” is equivalent to fewer consumer goods.

In other words, you cannot increase prosperity by simply demanding that businesses pay higher wages. The ONLY way in which you can raise prosperity is by increasing production. Because wealth means THINGS, not pieces of paper or figures in bank accounts.

But when has the left ever promoted an increase in production? Never. In fact they do the exact opposite: seizing capital from the productive class in order to redistribute it to the poor. If you increase consumer spending power while crippling production, all you’re doing is creating a situation in which more dollars are chasing fewer goods. Result (a la basic economics): higher prices.

Sharke on December 11, 2012 at 1:25 PM

What they are really talking about is giving you the right to work for less money…

Well, the Democrats have always stood against you having the right to work for less money. Which is why so many people don’t work at all.

Higher minimm wages always leads to fewer jobs. If the job market is good, then you don’t need minimum wage laws.

This was one of the biggest causes of high unemployment in the Depression — the government tried to force wages artificially high, and so people starved because they had no jobs at all.

tom on December 11, 2012 at 5:25 PM

Why is it that so many Union member seem overweight compared to the rest of the country proportionally….?

Yakko77 on December 11, 2012 at 6:27 PM

When a union negotiates a contract, why should non union members get the benefits of the contract…….
lostmotherland on December 11, 2012 at 9:58 AM

I agree completely.

So I say they throw out all the union contracts, and all the unions, and all the union workers, and hire or re-hire independent workers for whatever their skills and work habits are worth to the business.

LegendHasIt on December 11, 2012 at 6:48 PM

Why is the prezzy of all Americans stickin’ his nose into state business anyway. Well, we know why but still, he’s agitatin’ for taxes on the rich and throws in a punk line about union rights. We’d be better off if he took Mooch to Hawaii a few days early.

Kissmygrits on December 12, 2012 at 8:44 AM

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