Labor union activists often push back against right-to-work laws with the quip, “Right-to-work for less.” Their claim that right-to-work lowers wages has made many state legislators hesitant to vote for the anti-union laws. But new research from the conservative Heritage Foundation counters the claim that right-to-work decreases wages.
Right-to-work laws prohibit an employer from forcing employees to join a union or pay union dues.
“When living costs are fully taken into account, private-sector workers in RTW states enjoy real wages equivalent to those in non-RTW states,” Heritage Research Fellow James Sherk writes in an issue brief published Tuesday. “Policymakers considering RTW legislation may do so confident that it will have no negative impact on private-sector wages.”
A surface-level analysis may make it seem as if right-to-work leads to lower wages. States with right-to-work laws do have lower wages than non-right-to-work states, but right-to-work states also have lower costs of living. Virginia is the only right-to-work state with a higher cost of living than the national average.
After adjusting for differences in costs of living, private sector wages in right-to-work states and non-right-to-work states are virtually equal, according to Sherk’s analysis.
Here’s the map of right-to-work states:
I don’t really mind unions if they stay out of politics. My problem is when they get into politics and line themselves up with Democrats on issues like abortion and same-sex marriage. If the labor unions get involved in pushing for abortion and gay marriage, then it makes sense to pass these right to work laws. Every time a worker chooses not to join a union, it means that unions get less money to donate to Democrats at election time. Every little bit helps, and the workers can use the money better than any union executive can.
This article from the radically leftist Washington Post unapologetically praises public school teachers for pushing their vision of sex and marriage onto children as young as four years old.
As young children develop their understanding of the world, they tend to rely heavily on binaries. If we understand the binaries a child is working within, we can encourage that child to think of counterexamples or introduce counterexamples ourselves into the conversation. These provide useful stumbling blocks that encourage them to expand their thinking.
[…]As the year unfolded, my students continued to play at themes of love and marriage. The conversations expanded and both kids and I were able to introduce new and different stumbling blocks: One can be in love and not get married, not all married people are moms or dads, and not all moms and dads are married. The conversations shifted based on what information the kids had internalized.
The author relays an example conversation about same-sex marriage and incest marriage, which she participates in, trying to undermine the traditional views expressed by the children.
As this deeply layered conversation moved on, many points of view were stated, more questions were posed, and the children were able to articulate what they thought. I made a mental note to myself about topics to revisit, including finding a way to talk about inherited traits and Jane’s ideas about the dangers of incest. There’s always a new challenge!
[…]It’s easy to feel vulnerable or overwhelmed when children ask questions about identity, but when we don’t engage the issues involved, we are sending a message that the subjects are taboo. In terms of gender and sexuality, avoidance and silence can be particularly harmful for students who are or will later identify as LGBTQ (Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender/Queer) or who come from families with LGBTQ family members. Silence is not a neutral response.
Is this a conversation that you want a secular public school teacher having with your kids?
Regardless of what you do with your own kids, your tax dollars are going to be paying for these kinds of conversations. They are, in fact, undermining the natural desire of most parents under the parents’ noses. Although leftist educators tend to have fewer children than conservatives, or even no children, they can push their ideas into the next generation by running the public schools.
Public schools tend to do a woeful job of teaching the useful skills that parents really want, but they do a great job of pushing leftist values onto children, and the earlier the better. In fact, they are not being paid on the basis of whether your child learns math and science and engineering and is able to get a job. Public school teachers are paid regardless of student performance, because public schools are a monopoly. This is not a free market which service providers compete to give customers more quality for less money. Public schools are totally insulated from the demands of consumers, that’s why public school teachers are free to push whatever values they want on kids.
If you want to see how far the gay left intends to go with this, take a look at the province of Ontario, Canada, where the sex education curriculum was designed by an education minister who was convicted for child pornography. The Ontario premier is a lesbian, and she is a strong defender of that sex education curriculum, over and against the protests of traditional-minded parents. But somehow, she got elected, and somehow, the child-pornographer became the minister of education. Somebody decided that he was the right person for the job, and somebody decided that public school teachers have a right to push his curriculum on children. And the taxpayers are paying for this indoctrination of young, impressionable kids.
In rural, small-town Iowa, a group of parents and community leaders is seeking to prevent students from the local taxpayer-funded middle school and high school from attending future versions of an anti–bullying conference for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender teens.
The last one — in April — left many of the denizens of Humboldt, Iowa up in arms, reports Des Moines NBC affiliate WHO-TV.
Iowa Safe Schools, an activist group out of Des Moines, hosted the conference.
[…]Among the nearly two dozen speakers, “only two” addressed bullying, one attendee estimated, according to EAGnews.org.
The rest of the sessions involved issues such as “how to pleasure their gay partners.”
Middle school girls from Humboldt (pop.: 4,690) had the opportunity to learn “how to sew fake testicles into their underwear in order to pass themselves off as boys.”
One speaker wore a dress made out of condoms to which could be “used as needed.” . . .
Nate Monson, executive director of Iowa Safe Schools, said parents who worry about middle school kids hearing about anal sex with strap-ons and analingus are “disgusting.”
“It’s incredibly frustrating that adults are being the problem and being the bully,” Monson told the Des Moines NBC affiliate. “
The mission statement of “Iowa Safe Schools” makes it clear that this is about pushing early sexual activity and the broader gay agenda onto children in the public schools:
The mission of Iowa Safe Schools is to: a) improve school climate in order to increase the personal safety, mental health, and student learning of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and allied (LGBTA) and all other students; b) increase awareness and understanding among current and future educators, school administrators, and key community agents of inequities regarding the safety of LGBTA students and their family member(s) in schools and communities throughout Iowa. Iowa Safe Schools also seeks to empower these key actors with effective, research-based tools and strategies to combat intolerance and safety inequities.
That’s what’s happening in public schools. Should we be voting to send more money to these public schools? Will more money result in kids having better math, science and engineering skills? It seems to me that public schools have nothing to do with teaching math, science and engineering, and everything to do with normalizing the gay lifestyle, against the wishes of most traditional parents. Make sure that when you are voting, you vote for school choice, not a government-run public school monopoly. Let parents get the money, and let the parents decide where to send their kids based on what the kids need to learn valuable skills and get real jobs.
Schools should be forced to promote gay relationships in sex education lessons, union leaders say.
The National Union of Teachers has called for a ‘positive portrayal of same sex relationships’ in lessons to be made ‘compulsory’ under the next government.
It said MPs had a duty to tackle ‘homophobia, biphobia and transphobia’ in schools and create a ‘positive climate of understanding about sexuality’.
[…]Simon Calvert of the Christian Institute said: ‘This motion is itself an act of intolerance towards mainstream Christians and their beliefs. It would force Christian teachers to have to choose between their faith and their job.
‘I wonder whether Christian members of the NUT who have paid their dues can expect any help from the NUT when their jobs are on the line.’
He added that Church schools already teach ‘love and tolerance’ of others without having to explicitly approve of same sex relationships.
The proposal was contained in a motion on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights passed by the NUT at its annual conference in Harrogate yesterday.
It stated: ‘Conference instructs the executive to call upon the present and future government to … make it compulsory that all schools’ sex education policies include a positive portrayal of same sex relationships.’
That reminded me of this story from a few weeks ago about the Catholic teacher who was forced to take down pro-traditional marriage postings from her Facebook page.
The article says:
A Catholic high school teacher was forced to remove her Facebook page Wednesday after a petition surfaced online calling attention to her “homophobic” posts.
The petition was posted on change.org Tuesday and has 441 signatures as of Wednesday evening. It points directly to posts allegedly made by Patricia Jannuzzi, a theology teacher at Immaculata High School in Somerville, and has caught the eye of actress Susan Sarandon and former “Real Housewives of New Jersey” cast member Greg Bennett.
“Mrs Jannuzzi’s facebook is a religious curtain covering hateful message,” the petition reads. “The homophobic and short-sighted posts are disturbing and degrading.”
In a statement provided to NJ Advance Media, the school said it took “immediate action” and “mandated that the teacher involved permanently de-active her Facebook page.”
“The opinions reflected in these posts do not in any way represent the philosophy, mission or student experience of this high school,” the statement said. “… Through our investigation, we have determined that the information posted on this social media page has not been reflected in the curriculum content of the classes she teaches.”
[…]Another alumnus, Scott Lyons, who is gay and had Januzzi as a teacher, shared a letter on Facebook he sent to her after reading one of her posts. He said in the letter that he remembers Januzzi’s classes to be “focused on love and acceptance” but that he is “offended and disappointed” by her recent posts.
“While I respect the fact that people have different opinions on the matter what I can tell you from my heart is that I urge you to be careful with your words and the messaging you are putting out there,” he wrote.
Lyons is the nephew of Sarandon, who shared the post to her 3,000 followers.
“So proud of my nephew Scott and the dialogue he started,” Sarandon writes. “…High school is a tough time anyway… students don’t need teachers making it even more difficult.”
Immaculata said in its statement that the school is reviewing its social media policy with faculty and staff members.
“It is the policy of the school that all faculty and staff demonstrate respect and sensitivity to all people at all times and to avoid offending any individuals or groups,” the statement said.
The Catholic teacher linked to an article from Young Conservatives. A mainstream conservative site. And that’s what her employer did to her. Apparently, the employer is a Catholic school.
He has a diary up at Red State, the grassroots conservative web site, where he explains why he did it.
When I took office as governor of Wisconsin in 2011, I called together our new Republican majority in the legislature and told them it was time to “put up or shut up.” As the elected leaders of our state, we owed it to our fellow Wisconsinites to follow through with our promises and to tackle the big issues head on.
Our first order of business was reclaiming power for the people of our state. For too long, the big government union bosses had called the shots in our state capital.
At the time, Wisconsin faced a $3.6 billion budget shortfall. We needed to reduce spending, yet collective bargaining by public employees had limited the ability of taxpayers and local governments to control that spending. Taxpayers picked up the tab for all pension contributions and most health insurance contribution. The unions even had a virtual monopoly on schools’ health insurance business by having negotiated requirements to use a union-owned insurance company. Unions didn’t even have to collect their own dues—taxpayers footed the bill for that too.
To change all this, we enacted legislation that became known as Act 10.This is the bill that prompted all the protests in our capitol building and even in front of my personal home. But for all the attention, it was really pretty commonsense legislation.
With Act 10, we reformed the collective bargaining laws so that public employees now make modest contributions to their healthcare and pensions—much like private sector employees. Public employees can now decide for themselves whether to join a union. And while unions can still collectively bargain for wages, they can’t bargain over things like the size of bulletin boards or getting paid time off for union business.
Act 10 also allowed local governments and districts to pay employees based on merit and not just seniority. Teachers can get raises and promotions for a doing a good job—not just being there the longest. Taxpayers get a better deal because local governments can shop around for the most affordable employee insurance plans.
Because Act 10 freed up funds for school districts, fewer have had to lay off teachers. In fact, the three districts with the most teacher layoffs following Act 10 were ones that did not adopt the reforms.
In short, Act 10 ensured that the state government treated taxpayers fairly and spent tax dollars more effectively. While the D.C.-based special interests have attacked us for it, the people of Wisconsin like what they see. We have been re-elected three times in four years.
Now we are once again presented with another chance at big and bold reform—taking on the special interests a second time. Yesterday, the Wisconsin state Senate passed Freedom to Work legislation, which will mean no Wisconsin worker can be forced to join a union as a condition of employment. I will sign the bill into law.
I’ve supported Freedom to Work for years, dating back to my time in the state legislature when I co-sponsored it. And now the people of Wisconsin have voiced their support through their state Senators and representatives. According to polling, 69 percent of Wisconsinites support the policy, and a majority of union households—51 percent—also support the law.
Here’s why I’m signing Freedom to Work in Wisconsin: it is good for economic growth. In the last decade, forced unionization states have had about half the rate of wage growth, job growth and manufacturing growth as Right to Work states. Adjusted for cost of living, employees in forced unionization states have almost $2,000 less disposable income. Bottom line, this reform is pro-freedom and pro-work for Wisconsin.
Here’s the right-to-work map now:
Please see below to learn more about Scott Walker. If you look over the stories below, you can see how he took an incremental approach to getting the support for this law. First, reformed collective bargaining, to prevent unions signing deals with health care providers they own, etc. Second, cut off automatic deduction of union dues, to force unions to spend their own money to collect the dues, further limiting their ability to interfere in politics. Third, pass this right-to-work law, to allow conservative blue-collar mid-Westerners to work a job without having to shell out money to the unions. The law passed with a majority of union households supporting it. They want their take-home pay! Walker is sitting in a blue state that has gone for Democrats in every presidential election since 1984. He knows how to get conservative reforms passed – by chipping away at his opponents and building consensus.
Get caught up!
The Weekly Standard has an excellent re-cap on Walker’s accomplishments as governor. If you don’t know Walker’s history in Wisconsin, please read it!
Which is that Scott Walker is a very bad man. And not merely because he opposes the progressive agenda and would like to roll back its successes. Hell, all kinds of right wing pols want to do that. Or say they do, anyway. You shake a Republican tree and half-a-dozen of them fall to the ground, talking about repealing this and defunding that. But Scott Walker is unusual, maybe even unique, and recalls the old joke about the graduate student out doing sociological research on religion in the rural South. He comes upon an old son of the soil and after a bit of conversation to soften him up, says delicately, “I’m wondering, sir, since you are a religious man, if you believe in Baptism by immersion.”
The old fellow squints and spits and says. “Believe in it? Hell, sonny, I seen it done.”
When it comes to rolling back the progressive agenda, you see, Walker has actually done it. That’s what the recall election was about. His enemies, many of whom still bear the tread marks of his tires on their backs, know that he is not another hapless Republican who makes it his business to raise taxes to pay for the excesses of the other party and calls that good government. Instead of enabling bloated government, he takes it on.
Walker’s appeal, one suspects, is based on a sense among the demoralized citizenry that government at all levels lives high, doesn’t deliver, and fears no man.
There is a reason that people like this guy. He talks moderate, and then mauls his opponents in horrible ways. I almost feel sorry for them, except not really. We have an $18.5 trillion dollar debt, and we need to have a grown-up at the helm in 2016.
[…][I]f you visit the drilling sites in Williston, N.D., you discover an amazing phenomenon: At night, this little energy town of fewer than 30,000 people lights up like Manhattan on New Year’s Eve. All these lights are flares burning off the natural gas that was drilled that day. Why on earth would the drillers do that? Because they want oil, which sells at $100 a barrel, as opposed to natural gas, which is now so abundant that it’s cheap.
But why don’t they sell the natural gas too? Because they don’t have the pipeline capacity to bring it to the markets where it’s needed. So they are burning off an energy source, without capturing the power. What a waste.
The pipelines aren’t getting built, simply because the government isn’t letting them get built. It has been an eye-opening experience to watch liberals block an infrastructure project — the Keystone XL pipeline — that two of three Americans (and even a plurality of Democrats) support. Pew had an amazing poll last month reporting that just about every demographic group in America supports the Keystone pipeline, except for Democrats with Ph.D.s and Democrats who earn more than $100,000.
But this problem goes well beyond the Keystone pipeline. We need to build in America a national network of pipelines from coast to coast, much as Eisenhower built the interstate highway system. Unlike the highways, the private sector will gladly build the pipelines; they just need the permits. And Uncle Sam won’t give them out.
We are talking about a lot of jobs here — and really high-paying, often union, jobs. Welders and pipe fitters and construction workers and truckers earn $70,000 or more — well above the median salary in America.
But the environmentalists hate pipelines because they encourage drilling, and drilling is bad because it kills windmills, er, the planet. The enviros have been running a campaign in Washington to keep the oil and gas in the ground. And if you can’t transport it, why drill it? These activists are the same sort of people who opposed the Great Alaska Pipeline back in the 1970s. Can you imagine how much we’d be in hock to the Saudis these days if we’d listened to their loopy advice back then?
And since they won’t allow pipelines, we use trains and trucks — which is much worse for the environment than building the pipelines. Remember the rail crash several weeks ago with massive explosions? Thank the Sierra Club.
Meanwhile, in Canada, where the Conservative Party is firmly opposed to global warming nonsense, the government has decided to build pipelines from Alberta to the West and East coasts.
Foreign Minister John Baird said Sunday he’s sure there will be a pipeline from Alberta’s oilsands to the Pacific coast.
Without mentioning the Northern Gateway specifically, Baird sounded confident when discussing pipelines on Fox News on Sunday morning.
Asked for his thoughts on recent comments from former U.S. energy secretary Spencer Abraham, who expressed doubt President Barack Obama will approve the Keystone XL pipeline, Baird said Canada’s energy resources are vast and that he expects a decision from the president within two months.
“Listen, we want to get this project approved,” he said on the U.S. network. “We want to work with our American friends, our partners in freedom and liberty.
“At the same time there will be pipelines going to the Pacific coast and even reverse pipelines going to the Atlantic so we can diversify our markets.”
I expect that Republicans will be making a big deal of the jobs that could be created if we the government were giving out the appropriate energy production permits and approving the Keystone Pipeline. I think people will be responsive to a message like that when Obamacare kicks in for employer-provided health care and employers start to cut jobs. I know the Democrats are happy right now keeping everyone on unemployment payments, but eventually, that money is going to run out. It might not be tomorrow, but it’s coming one day.