Re: Right-To-Work States, More Reporting, Please

Right-to-work supporters, unions expect debate to reemerge”:

Bureau of Economic Analysis reports reveal imbalances in data between states with and without [tooltip content=”Right-to-work laws are statutes enforced in twenty-two U.S. states, mostly in the southern or western U.S., allowed under provisions of the Taft-Hartley Act, which prohibit agreements between labor unions and employers that make membership, payment of union dues, or fees a condition of employment, either before or after hiring, thus requiring the workplace to be an open shop.” url=”” ]right-to-work laws[/tooltip].States with right-to-work laws, of which there are 22, had gross domestic products averaging about $220.4 billion in 2010. States without the laws, including Indiana, had about a 30.5 percent higher average GDP at about $287.7 billion.

Personal income per capita, which is the average amount of money an individual person has, is also higher in non-right-to-work states.

The average person in a right-to-work state earned about $37,200 last year, while their counterparts in states without the laws earned about $42,300, which is about 14 percent more.

I completely understand the reasons behind right-to-work (RTW) states. It’s all about companies trying to compete by lowering their labor costs and productivity costs. These numbers, however, paint a picture that would confuse just about anyone who doesn’t have the exact data or is on the fence about right-to-work states.

Mitch Roob, who was Indiana’s secretary of commerce and head of the IEDC until he resigned last week, testified in July that right-to-work prevents some companies from considering expanding to Indiana. As many as one-third of all companies immediately throw out non-right-to-work states when considering expansion, Roob said.

“I cannot tell you that IEDC loses projects in which we compete because we are not a right-to-work state,” he testified. “But unquestionably, we lose opportunities to begin the competitive process.”

If right-to-work states attract more businesses, why does GDP average so much lower than in non-RTW states? Could it be that lower incomes in RTW states lead to lower overall sales to local businesses, or is it that RTW states tend to be naturally lower GDP states (I’m thinking rural states)? These numbers are all [tooltip content=”An unadjusted rate, value or change in value. This type of measure often reflects the current situation, such as the current price of a car, and doesn’t make adjustments to reflect factors such as seasonality or inflation, which provide a more accurate measure in real terms.” url=”” ]nominal[/tooltip], which leads me to believe the lower cost of living in those states would lead to higher real buying power. Then again, aren’t Walmart and other big box stores the big winners here? People with lower nominal incomes will likely shop at cheaper stores than at places those with higher incomes would.


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