In the governor’s current blitz to convince Michigan voters that his attack on unions are justified, he is trotting out a few union members who don’t like how the unions are run and want the option to get all the benefits of having a union job without contributing – or as Republicans would call it, allowing them to become part of the entitlement society.
Of course nugatory displays such as these really add nothing to what should be a rational debate, since nearly every organization or business where individuals don’t have 100% autonomy contain people who don’t like how that organization is run.
And while there may not be a direct cost to members of these organizations and businesses like union dues, corruption, greed and mismanagement certainly cost these individuals.
In 2000 Enron paid its top executives a total of $1.4 billion while reporting $3 billion in losses to the government for the previous three years. One year later the greed and fraud from top executives cost employees their jobs and countless investors their retirement savings.
Similar scenes have played out at WorldCom, Tyco, Lehman Brothers, Countrywide and Qwest. All resulting in big payouts to top officials who live high on the hog while doing everything in their power to protect their own interests, regardless of how it affects employees. In other words, exactly what Republicans accuse unions of doing. And the Republican response to these iniquitous organizations? Demand less government interference.
If the Republican meme behind “right to work” legislation is a protection for workers, their history suggests they have been complete failures.
The reality is that the governor’s decision was not based on “freedom,” “choice,” “retaliation,” what jobs Indiana has in the pipeline, or any of the anecdotal evidence that provides nothing more than casual associations between “right to work” and job creation. This legislation is an attempt to end unions in Michigan. Expecting voters to believe anything different is insulting.