Right to Work States are Winning the Future
by U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint
In President Obama’s State of the Union address he said, “We know what it takes to compete for the jobs and industries of our time. We need to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world. We have to make America the best place on Earth to do business.”
Global competition for business and jobs is more important than ever as our country struggles to recover from the lingering recession and cope with the massive debt burden imposed on the economy by increased government spending.
Unfortunately, recent actions by Obama’s handpicked political appointees at the National Labor Relations Board are making it more difficult for America to win the future. The NLRB, at the behest of Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon, has taken unprecedented legal action against The Boeing Company to prevent it from expanding productions into South Carolina, a state that assures workers the freedom not to join a union as a condition of employment.
This is a malicious attack on millions of workers in South Carolina and other right-to-work states, as well as a government-led act of intimidation against American companies that should have the freedom to build plants in the location of their own choosing.
The NLRB action is also vexing when one considers that President Obama’s own White House Chief of Staff, William Daley, was on the Boeing Company Board of Directors when the Board approved the decision to open the second assembly line in South Carolina. Or the fact that the CEO and President of The Boeing Company, Jim McNerney, also serves as the Chair of President Obama’s Export Council,which operates as an advisory committee on international trade
If the NLRB prevails in this unprecedented action, it will only encourage companies to make their investments in foreign nations, moving jobs and economic growth overseas. America will not win the future if Washington penalizes workers in states with winning economic strategies.
The facts are clear – by every economic measure right-to-work states are outperforming forced-unionism states.
Statistics show businesses prefer to operate in right-to-work states. Right-to-work states experienced a 46 percent higher increase in private sector businesses established from 1993-2009. In the 22 right-to-work states, 497,041 new businesses were added, while only 339,834 new businesses were established in the other 28 forced-unionism states. This is especially notable because right-to-work states only account for 40.3 percent of the total U.S. population, but nearly 60 percent of all the new private sector businesses are located in those states.
The logic is simple – more businesses means more jobs. From 1993-2009 private sector employment increased 37.9 percent in right-to-work states, compared to only 19.6 percent in forced-unionism states. The difference is 1.3 million in new private sector job creation.
All of the new economic opportunity has led to increased wages for workers living in right-to-work states. From 1993-2010 real per capita personal income grew 39.5 percent in right-to-work states compared to 35.7 percent in forced-unionism sates.
Bottom line, right-to-work states have faster job growth, faster income growth, and faster business growth than forced-unionism states.
This winning strategy should be duplicated nationwide. That’s why we have introduced a bill, along with Senator Lamar Alexander, to preserve the federal law’s existing protections for state right-to-work laws. American companies, like Boeing, must have the freedom to create and expand businesses where they have the best chance to succeed.
Our bill prevents Obama’s political appointees from trying to stamp out the healthy interstate competition that makes America the best place in the world to do business. Because if they keep it up, new jobs are much more likely to be created in China instead of places like South Carolina.