The Miracle That Isn’t

ACADEME BLOG

In my ongoing series “Right to Work, by the Numbers,” I have been trying to build the case that the “right to work” states are hardly the workers’ paradise that the Far Right portrays them to be. Instead, there is a none-too-subtle rhetorical sleight-of-hand at work here: the pro-labor states are derided as derided as having environments that favor a sub-set of privileged workers over the general business climate; so, simply by extension, or so the argument goes, the “right to work” states have a decidedly pro-business climate that benefits all workers. But it is an argument more often asserted than actually supported, and with good reason.

For, in terms of most economic measures and certainly in terms of quality of life measures, most “right to work” states clearly lag well behind the pro-labor states. The much ballyhooed economic shift to the Sun Belt at the expense of the Snow…

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