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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