American Elephants

Where Are They Making American Cars? Not Where There Is Forced Unionism! by The Elephant's Child

Writers like to tuck a statistic into their work to prove whatever point they were trying to make. Gives “authority.” But we see so many statistics, we seldom pay attention, same thing for graphs. You have to study the way the graph is presenting information, and some are just unintelligible. Every one in a while you find one where the difference portrayed is so dramatic that it sticks with you. Here’s one from economist Mark J. Perry’s Carpe Diem column at AEI:


(From Stan Greer, National Institute for Labor Relations Research)

From 2003 to 2012, real automotive manufacturing GDP grew by 87% from 2002 t0 2012, but fell by 2% in forced-unionism states (excluding Indiana and Michigan who both passed laws prohibiting compulsory unionism in 2012). The Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis h as yet to issue its estimates for the manufacturing output of motor vehicles, bodies, trailers and parts for 2013, the ongoing trends show that more than 70% of the total U.S. production in dollar terms occurred in a Right to Work State.

Big Labor legislators in forced-unionism states like Kentucky, Missouri and Ohio claim it makes no difference to companies considering new plant construction or expansion whether unionism is voluntary or not. If such is the case, how can they explain why  automotive manufacturing is soaring in Right to Work states but completely stagnant in forced-unionism states as a group?

If you follow the link, the debate in the comments is interesting. The rationale for unionism is failing. There was a time of company towns and exploited workers when unions stepped in and forced fair wages. Now corporations know what people are paid in comparable jobs across industries, and because of competition can’t afford to be out of line if they want reliable employees. Enforced rules of the sort that limit the ability to change a lightbulb only to a certified electrician don’t really help anyone and merely create difficulties in production. And paying big dues to your union so they can support their political choices is not so popular any more. Times change. Unions haven’t.

2 Comments so far
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I can remember arguing back in the late ’60s that if unions were smart, they’d buy stocks in the companies they worked for. If they had, they would have owned all those companies inside of 30 years.


Comment by Alan Poirier

Brilliant. But of course it would never be enough. Have you seen some of the salaries that union leaders take out of workers’ dues?


Comment by The Elephant's Child

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