TAMPA, December 10, 2012 – Lansing, Michigan is bracing for an onslaught of protestors following Republican Governor Rick Snyder’s indication that he would sign “Right to Work” legislation currently making its way through the state legislature. President Obama and Harry Reid have both joined Michigan Democrats in denouncing the bill.
As usual, both liberals and conservatives are already demonstrating their skewed perception of reality in weighing in on this debate. President Obama told workers at an engine plant outside Detroit that “what we shouldn’t be doing is trying to take away your rights to bargain for better wages,” as if the law would do any such thing.
However, Harry Reid surpassed all in obtuseness when he called the legislation a “blatant attempt by Michigan Republicans to assault the collective bargaining process and undermine the standard of living it has helped foster.”
Perhaps the senator should ask the residents of Detroit, an entire city laid waste by New Deal union legislation, how they are enjoying the standard of living it has produced.
Libertarians haven’t been able to say this in quite a while, but the conservatives are mostly right on this one, although perhaps for the wrong reasons.
The only troubling sentiment coming from grassroots conservatives is the animosity towards labor unions themselves. Many seem to believe that the mere existence of labor unions causes economic distortions. Nothing could be further from the truth. Labor unions themselves are not the problem.
Like virtually all human misery, labor market distortions are caused by the government. Specifically in this case, they are rooted in the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 (a.k.a. the Wagner Act).