Michigan’s unemployment rate is over 9%. Detroit hovers somewhere above 30% unemployment. Unions can be a good thing. But in Michigan, Unions are no longer a good thing. They have instead become part of the problem, keeping wages and benefits higher than the market can take.
It is one thing for businesses to close down. But depression is becoming the norm in Michigan and something has to give.
Thankfully, Republicans have set out to fix some of the problems they were elected to fix. Following the failure of a recent Democrat ballot measure to enshrine collective bargaining rights in the state’s constitution, the Republican legislature passed a sensible law in the State of Michigan.
The law simply allows workers to opt-out of paying Union dues and membership if they wish. Essentially, it gives the worker a choice as to what he wants to do with his own money. The law still allows every single worker to continue with the status quo if they so choose.
Emotions are very high in Michigan because people WITH jobs don’t want to see their Unions with less dues money and membership. So, if you are a citizen WITH a job that wants to pay dues to your Union, you can view this as a loss. But for the rest of Michigan, this is a big win.
Obviously, workers not wanting to pay dues benefit greatly here because they may now opt out rather than having their money forcefully taken from them.
But, the more important win is for all of the would-be workers in Michigan WITHOUT a job. Loosening the Union grip on Michigan’s economy is the first step in bringing Michigan back. Until employers can hire the amount of workers it needs at the wages the market will bear, the bloated salaries of many workers that are already in the system will prevent newcomers from breaking in.
This is no way to run business. Why has the car capital of the world turned into a national joke? It is because Unions have overplayed their hand. What Michigan really need is more workers with wages and benefits being awarded off of the strength of one’s job performance – not the strength of one’s union.
Over 4 in 10 black males in Detroit are unemployed and looking for work. Republicans set out to change this today. Poor people need a voice in Michigan. They also need jobs. Democrats can stand up for the status quo, but it isn’t working in Michigan and steps like this are necessary to changing a depression-like atmosphere. As long as Michigan republicans allow the whole right-to-work legislation issue cool down, they will win in the long term and be rewarded for putting Michigan’s workers back into the driver’s seat of their own destiny.