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Bennett: Right-to-work impact too soon to tell

Published 4:42pm Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Two issues larger than our area will have impact in Leaderland: the “right-to-work” law for Michigan that Gov. Rick Snyder signed on Tuesday and the fiscal cliff.

I don’t know about you, but I really don’t like the taste of Kool-Aid, and I won’t drink any whether the Democrats or Republicans serve it up.

While there are some good guys in the group, too many seem to have one interest when governing and that is to get elected. This was evident during the past election cycle, when many of the talking heads abruptly changed positions after Election Day.

“Right-to-work” seems to be a noble phrase on the surface. But what is the true definition? I suppose it depends on which side you listen. For many union workers, it is government’s way of busting their organizations. With the new law, workers are not forced to pay dues. I did hear one quote from one worker who was in the minority. He believed the law would give him more power within the union to be able to get his point across as he can now pull his individual funding from the union.

The governor and his supporters see this law as one that will entice new business and industry, creating many new jobs. Detractors say this may be true although they would be low-paying jobs. In today’s world, I would think there are many people desperate for any work they may be able to find.

Typically, I don’t use my space to write about politics. Does anyone really know the true outcome of this law? I doubt it. Only time will tell. My sense is it will not devastate unions nor will it attract that many jobs. I have worked in other right-to- work states and wages were typically dictated by supply and demand. If there are few jobs and many available potential employees, the wages tend to drop while more jobs and fewer-qualified workers will drive wages up.

As far as the fiscal cliff, too many politicians from both parties will lose jobs if they don’t figure this out and taxes jump next year. Our economy is a mess, and most politicians are not feeling the financial pain like us little guys. But they know their own pain will come at the next election cycle if they don’t get the budget straightened out now.

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