Supporters of a constitutional amendment to make union membership voluntary in Minnesota say a new report backs up the need to make the change.
The conservative think tank Center of the American Experiment study released a report today that suggests a switch to right-to-work status could improve the state economy, employee incomes and standard of living. But Richard Vedder, an economics professor at Ohio University and the study's author, stressed that the improvements would not come overnight.
"If you put in a right to work law in Minnesota tomorrow, it's impact on say per capita income in this state in the year 2012 would be negligible, or be relatively small. It takes time for institutions and people to adjust to new legal environments."
Representatives of several labor unions disputed the study and its conclusions. They claim the switch would undermine unions and lower wages for the middle class. In a news release, AFSCME Council 5 director Eliot Seide said the study was "bogus."
"Right to work for less is wrong for Minnesota," Seide said. "Minnesotans desperately need good jobs, not the right to work for $5,500 less. We must stop this attack on everyday people who deserve a decent job, health care, and a secure retirement. Until we do that, big money bullies will never get enough."
MPR, like most other mainstream media outlets, is again adopting Republican marketing language in their news reporting.
You should never use the term "right-to-work" without (on the air) preceding it with "so-called" or "what Republicans refer to as." And if it's in writing, it should either be preceded as above, and/or have quotation marks around it (as well as hyphens when used as an adjective). Otherwise, you're contributing to Republican propaganda. You're doing their marketing for them.
There are other ways to describe this Republican effort to destroy unions. It may take more words, but that's not a reason for you to favor one side of the argument when doing straight reporting.
"Republican lawmakers propose a constitutional amendment that would let voters make Minnesota a right-to-work state."
I'd like to know why MPR is writing this story in this way (the quote above is just one of many Republican propaganda messages in MPR's report).
MPR also gives more air time and website space to the Republican point of view, including sound-bytes on the air of Republicans doing their spin, and then nothing from the other side of the issue.
And why didn't this blog entry mention (and provide a link to) the Notre Dame study that shows the opposite of the CAE study (which appears to be based on little but speculation)? This blog AND the story elsewhere on MPR's site have hyperlinks to the Republican speculation, but not to the Notre Dame study.
So it's not just the use of the Republican propaganda terminology, but MPR's reporting in general that supports the Republican point of view.
Or the reporter could've done a little research and found reports that totally debunk the so-called "right to work" movement, like this one: http://www.epi.org/publication/right-to-work-means-indiana-workers-pay-cut/. It would be good to see someone in the media questioning the validity of the RTW claims.
Or the reporter could've done a little research and found reports that totally debunk the so-called "right to work" movement, like this one from the Economic Policy Institute: www.epi.org/publication/right-to-work-means-indiana-workers-pay-cut/. It would be good to see someone in the media questioning the validity of the RTW claims.
As a traditional Republican of the civil libertarian sort, and as a person who respects the "invisible hand" of the free market, I'm a little bit puzzled why modern Republicans ("neoconservatives") don't see unions and collective bargaining as a function of the free market. Policy makers who wish to make law prohibiting an employer and employee -- both private parties -- from negotiating and entering into a collective bargaining agreement that makes a private workplace a "closed shop" is nothing more than big government meddling in the free market. The so-called "right to work" laws amount to tipping the scale in favor of one of two competing ends. Modern Republicans are more than willing to interfere in the market if it means assisting a few at the expense of the many. This is hypocritical and contrary to the principles of traditional conservatism.