Right-To-Work laws

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Mixed in with Paul Gessing’s op-ed in Wednesday’s Los Alamos Monitor regarding whether it is good policy to offer $500 million to Tesla, a policy which people of all political persuasions may question, were statements about how “right-to-work” was not “anti-union” and that lowering “corporate taxes” to zero would be a great idea.
Let’s be clear about right-to-work laws. They sound reasonable, but they are definitely “ANTI-union,” because as federal labor law currently reads, all employees at a business receive the same benefits obtained under a union contract, whether they belong to the union or not. The result is that under right-to-work laws some employees will receive the benefits of a union contract without joining the union or paying dues.
With fewer workers in the union and fewer resources from dues, the union has less bargaining power, reducing the ability of the union to obtain the best contract, ultimately lowering employee wages and other benefits, and increasing the owners’ profits.
If enough employees, looking only at the cost of union dues, opt not to join the union, the union may lose its ability to act on behalf of the employees at that workplace, which of course makes it even easier for the owners to lower wages and benefits. Right-to-work makes sense only if the law is changed so that union contracts cover only union members.
On the corporate tax issue, I too would prefer lower taxes, but I’m not so sure that lowering corporate and gross receipts taxes is such a great goal, because you then have to either raise other taxes to compensate, or lower the services provided to the citizens by government.
Stephen Moore, the economist quoted by Gessing, founded the Club for Growth, was a fellow at the Cato Institute, and is the chief economist of the Heritage Foundation, all extremely right-wing conservative organizations.
According to Wikipedia, he also supports “supply-side economics,” which has failed time after time to produce the growth expected and instead fueled huge increases in the deficit. Just because a very conservative Republican economist supports these policies, doesn’t make them good policies. The fact that Gessing recommends these policies should make it clear to all that the Rio Grande Foundation is not “non-partisan” as claimed.
Ed Birnbaum
Los Alamos