Sometimes you just have to wonder. Is there hope?
Michigan is now a right-to-work state, meaning labor unions can no longer coerce people into paying dues as a condition of taking a job. A Republican controlled state legislature quickly passed and a Republican governor signed legislation freeing employees from mandatory union dues payments.
Naturally the unions are up in arms. They just had their lifeblood of coerced dues payments cut off and there have already been statements (and actual acts) threatening violence. Nice guys, huh? Without the money the unions will not be able to control as many politicians, further weakening union power.
With Michigan generally and Detroit specifically being economic basket cases this change is long overdue. It will be positive for businesses to know they will not be run into the ground by union demands and union controlled politicians. The Michigan Republicans probably realize something obvious, that there is actually a viable auto industry in this country but that it is no longer in Michigan and instead has relocated to the southeast. Hazard a guess why? Amazingly the manufacturers in the southeast did not go bankrupt in the downturn, did not need taxpayer bailouts that will never be repaid and the employees still have jobs.
Of course the President is whining about how this hurts the middle class, but he never asks the more pertinent question, “How does union control of the labor force that ends up destroying businesses and jobs help the middle class?” Of course it doesn’t, but what the President is really saying is that this hurts the union/liberal/Democratic Party fund raising and money laundering machine. Bummer, Mr. President, but stop hiding behind your faux concern for the middle class while promoting a corrupt system to benefit your supporters. Let’s score this one for liberty.
All of this brings up a bigger point. We still have the remnants of a federal system of government and it is a base from which conservative and free market ideas can still be promoted. Michigan is just the latest example, but Wisconsin and Ohio also took on unions and numerous states are refusing to be sucked into the expansion of Medicaid and have refused to create state run health exchanges. And now it comes to light that numerous Democratic senators who voted for Obamacare and the tax on medical devices have realized that it will hurt jobs in their states. We already knew that, but if they realize it now, better late than never.
These are just little blades of grass growing through the cracks in the asphalt, but in the long run they will be more significant than the “green shoots” of Obama’s yet to appear economic recovery.
Kudos to the Michigan legislature and governor for taking one step in helping to prevent the United States from becoming Detroit Nation.
By the way, the Democrats are welcome to Charlie Crist. Good riddance.