Is there no effect from right-to-work laws?
A new Ball State University study shows right to work has no meaningful impact on job growth in the manufacturing sector. Economist Mike Hicks says the study examined the manufacturing sector in states where right to work became law.
Hicks says the study finds that manufacturing wages, employment and economic growth remained virtually unchanged in states after right-to-work laws took effect.
If the study is accurate, it undercuts the statistical claims used by each side -- that more jobs are created on the one hand, and that wages are lowered on the other -- to justify its position. That just makes it all the more obvious what has been apparent for some time: It is quite easy to pick and choose the numbers that favor your position and ignore the rest. Lies, damn lies and statistics.
Hicks says Indiana already has "a pretty good business climate" and that adding right-to-work on top of it wouldn't do all that much for the state. That's one way to look at it -- if a law isn't especially needed, don't clutter up the state code with it. But there are also the philosophical underpinnings of each side. Is it fair to make workers pay dues to a union they don't want to join? Is it right to pass a law that clearly weakens unions in their ability to deal with companies?