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I Know, We’re Shocked. Unions Lying in Right-to-Work Critique

Great pick up from the guys across the lake at the Mack­inac Cen­ter for Pub­lic Pol­icy (Dis­claimer: I have friends there.).  Seems that the union talk­ing point that “states with right-to-work laws earn less” is done by fudg­ing the numbers.

Over the years, Big Labor has inten­tion­ally done them while whole­heart­edly ignor­ing one fac­tor: The cost of liv­ing between dif­fer­ent places in the coun­try.  (H/T Red­State)

Scores of right-to-work crit­ics rang­ing from politi­cians to econ­o­mists have cited lower per-capita incomes in right-to-work states as why the new law is not good for Michigan.

How­ever, not fac­tor­ing in cost-of-living exposes a flaw in that analy­sis, said Mack­inac Cen­ter for Pub­lic Pol­icy Fis­cal Ana­lyst James Hohman. Once that is con­sid­ered, Hohman said the per-capita income is higher in right-to-work states than non-right-to-work states.

For exam­ple, Texas per-capita income was $37,098 but would have a pur­chas­ing power of $49,700 in the state of New York in 2007, accord­ing to Hohman’s analy­sis. New York’s per-capita income was $47,852.

Hohman found that in terms of Michi­gan dol­lars in 2000, right-to-work states had 4.1 per­cent higher per-capita per­sonal incomes than non-right-to-work states when fac­tor­ing in cost of liv­ing. Michi­gan was con­sid­ered a non-right-to-work state because the law was passed in late Decem­ber 2012. Hohman said the right-work-states didn’t sur­pass non-right-to-work states until 2003.

One of the most basic argu­ments repeated time and time again by right-to-work oppo­si­tion is that Michi­gan is going to lose income by pass­ing this law,” Hohman said. “That just isn’t the case. When you adjust for what a dol­lar can get you, the dif­fer­ence reverses itself.”

Hohman used the cost of liv­ing index done by polit­i­cal sci­en­tists William Berry, Richard Ford­ing and Rus­sell Han­son. They adjusted for cost-of-living in every state from 1960 to 2007.

A dol­lar buys dif­fer­ently in dif­fer­ent loca­tions.  Gas prices vary from place to place, as do any other com­mod­ity; even groceries.

Any econ­o­mist knows this, and for unions to not just hide this infor­ma­tion, but out­right lie about it is a dis­ser­vice to both them­selves and their members.

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  • john­po­lit­i­calwi
  • kev­in­bin­ver­sie

    Media Mat­ters, get a fuck­ing clue.

  • http://twitter.com/JeffSimpson7 Jeff Simp­son

    every­one knows the ONLY place to get real infor­ma­tion is Maciver or mediatrackkkers

  • green­car­man

    Just gotta love when a conservative/liberal links to a conservative/liberal based source to prove a conservative/liberal posi­tion. Con­fir­ma­tion bias, anyone?