You remember that right-to-work law the General Assembly passed. It was going to create a paradise with full employment! It was going to create a hell of exploitation of the downtrodden!
Oh, not so much. Whatever effects there will be are likely to be small and difficult to measure. But don't let that get in the way of the heated rhetoric:
In a recent speech calling Tim Kaine a "friend of labor," President Barack Obama took a swipe at states — including Virginia — that have right-to-work laws. Not surprisingly, he misrepresented not only the laws but the facts.
The president says right-to-work laws are an attempt to "take collective bargaining rights away." No, they aren't. Unions can still bargain collectively in right-to-work states. What they can't do is make union membership a condition of employment.
The president also said he likes to call right-to-work "right-to-work-for-less laws." Good one. But studies about wages in right-to-work versus non-right-to-work states differ; some say they're higher, others say they're lower. And others note that both economic output and wages have risen faster in right-to-work states.
I hear that "right to work for less" a lot from RTW opponents -- it's become their standard line. Even if we accept that, is it better to have more jobs at lower wages or fewer jobs at higher wages? Kind of depends on whether you're looking or not, doesn't it?