Since the early days of Henry Ford, Michigan was the proud symbol of America’s industrial might.
But then, starting in the 1970s, things went south — in part because of the might of the unions that ran the state’s political machine. That’s when Michigan transitioned into the sad symbol of closed factories: the American “Rust Belt.” Flint, Michigan, became a ghost town.
From the 1970s to the early 2000s, Detroit lost nearly half its population. Whole neighborhoods were bulldozed, and homes were selling for less than $10,000 as poor and minority residents fled the area’s crime, lousy schools, high unemployment and political corruption.
If you traveled to Florida or Arizona, you saw lots of Michigan license plates.
But then, Michigan began to reform itself with tax cuts and leaner and cleaner government. One big reform was Michigan became a “right to work” state. The state went through an amazing economic renaissance. According to the American Legislative Exchange Council’s “Rich States, Poor States” report (which I co-wrote), few states rose on economic competitiveness faster than the home of the Wolverines. Prosperity returned.
Now the shine is off the engine. The Democrats took back control of the politics in the state, and the first thing they did was repeal “right to work” — a big wet kiss to the union bosses for all those campaign contributions.
“Right to work” is the law of the land in 26 states. These laws do not prohibit unions. There are many unions in these states. “Right to work” simply means that workers cannot be compelled to join a union.
Democrats are falsely advertising this as a restoration of workers’ rights. That’s a bald-faced lie. Now, to keep your job in Michigan, you must join the union, and you must pay dues to the union bosses. The United Auto Workers union has been plagued with corruption, including massive pay packages to the union leaders.
This bill will not only take away the right to choose from Michigan workers, but it will also do great damage to the state’s economy. States that have “right to work” laws create jobs at almost twice the pace of states with forced union policies.
Many businesses won’t even consider locating a new factory or blue-collar operation in a forced union state. The auto jobs in America will now accelerate their move to the Southern states, which happen to be “right to work.”
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI), a stooge of the unions, will sign the bill into law. And Michigan is about to see a return to the Rust Belt era.
Here is what’s really telling. The Communist Party of America put out a press release celebrating the demise of “right to work” in Michigan. They note correctly that Michigan is now the first state in more than half a century to turn back the clock and force union chains on workers. Most states have been moving in the opposite direction.
What is sadly ironic about this endorsement is that throughout the 20th century, the unions in America were staunchly anti-communist. It was Lech Walesa, the Polish union organizer, who stood up to the evil communist government that tried to outlaw unions. He and President Ronald Reagan and the AFL-CIO helped defeat the evil empire.
Now the communists in America cheer on the unions as they sow the seeds of their own demise — as well as the demise of a once-mighty state.
Stephen Moore is a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation and a co-founder of the Committee to Unleash Prosperity. His latest book is “Govzilla: How the Relentless Growth of Government Is Devouring Our Economy.”
The Democrats there voted this on themselves. Like so many in other blue states the Republicans have to work to change the voters, move or live with it.
Thing is the voters who were smart left, BUT the dems just brought in MUDSLIMES to replace them…
“Detroit” -Whole neighborhoods were bulldozed, and homes were selling for less than $10,000 as poor and minority residents fled the area’s crime, lousy schools, high unemployment and political corruption.”,,,,,,,sounds more like a finger pointing rewrite of history than what really occurred. Unemployed poor blacks fled the Southern Democrat States to the North by the legions to get manufacturing high paid living wages. They were the cheap labor the auto manufacturer’s used to help undercut production costs, just like the fruit picking Latinos south of the border of today they brought the crimes, the uneducated, and socially undesirable community values of drugs and immediate gratification consumption along with them that drove the white productive communities of wealth creation and personal responsibilities into fits of white flight. The greedy democrat controlled auto unions demanded non-competitive unrealistically high bankrupting wages that when wedded to educationally union controlled schools just accelerated the demise of Detroit into RUST. First the prosperous productive fled the incoming poverty and crime to the point where both fled, with no place to go but other democrat run cites to begin the whole process over again. Those poor southern blacks were not the victims, they were the problems, just like the poor uneducated Latino border jumpers are today, now rusting the whole country.
SINCE leftists CAN NEVER accept blame, OF course they will try to ‘re-write history’ and point fingers..