I disagree with Hightower.

What you will find here is: a centrist's view of current events;
a collection of thoughts, arguments, and observations
that I have found appealing and/or amusing over the years;
and, if you choose, your civil contributions which will make it into a conversation.

He not busy bein' born, is busy dyin'. - Bob Dylan

Please refer to participants only by their designated identities.

suggestion for US citizens: When a form asks for your race, write in: -- American

Sunday, March 20, 2011

unions and the census

While I am not enthused about public employee unions I do believe that a large part of the solution to the shrinking middle class is unions. In particular service workers unions. Yes, I know (and have for a long time) that if the Walmart people get a union and make more money, then Walmart stuff is going to cost me more. I find that an appropriate way to "transfer the wealth" from the "well paid" information workers to ill paid service workers. I do not think it will work nearly as well if we go that other route and tax the former and send a check to the latter. We should do something. What state are you living in if you have no middle class? A prerevolutionary state.

For those who do not know a "right to work" state is one which is less friendly to unions.

With all that in mind you can see why I was not happy when I compared the map of the right to work states with the chart of 2010 census and upcoming reapportionment of the House of Representatives.

The pertinant data point is 9. That is the net gain in members of house that will go to the right to work states from the more union friendly states.

I do not see any way to escape the conclusion that: people are going from union friendly states to right to work states. Add a bit of theory: People move from one state to another, primarily to get work. I find myself coming to the conclusion that right to work states are growing jobs and union friendly states are - what is the right verb here - jobs.

Can anybody offer me a more union friendly explanation?


  1. In 1957 I was 10 years old and we lived in a nice suburb in a home with approximately 500 sq ft, with a single space heater, and tile floors. We had no concept of wall to wall carpeting, or a 2 car family and we considered ourselves MIDDLE CLASS. By today yardstick we would be below the poverty line. Well, that is not really accurate, we would be WAY below the poverty line.

    My point here is that I do not believe that the middle class has evaporated; I believe they simply went somewhere else, by definition. Obviously, at this point, I have not accepted the premise that the middle class is in danger or in need of being rescued.

  2. In a right to work state an individual cannot be denied a job because that individual refuses to join a union (i.e. no closed shop). I can agree that this is “less friendly to unions” in that it does foster a union agenda, but I don’t think it is unfair to unions.

  3. If I understand it the "Right to Work" laws make it impossible for a union to negotiate a "closed shop". I see the "freedom" argument for that. But I also see a "freeloader" argument against it since it provides for some people to pay the bill for something from which all benefit.

  4. The unions call those “freeloaders” scabs and yes they benefit for union negotiated benefits. On the other hand how about the deserving union member that is passed over for promotion due to union seniority requirements.

  5. Scabs part 2 - Not only does the “freeloader” benefit from union negotiations, but he/she can walk into the bosses’ office and negotiate his/her own raise/promotion.