Employees In Right-To-Work States Make 4% More

rtw-michigan

The unions and those opposed to right-to-work laws generally are fond of claiming that incomes in right-to-work states are lower. Thus, they claim that right to work laws make people poorer.

They’re right if you just look at the numbers superficially. Incomes tend to be lower in right to work states. The problem is that doesn’t tell us the whole story, because the cost of living is a lot lower in right-to-work states too:

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.”

This makes sense. Obviously in states where labor costs more, the price of goods and services produced by that labor are going to cost more as well.

Which is an indictment of all the government schemes to drive up wages up to and including the minimum wage. Inflating the cost of labor doesn’t help. It just makes the cost of living more expensive while simultaneously making business harder.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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  • SigFan

    Facts, logic and mathematics – the bane of the unions existence. One other factor that I’m not sure is included in these calculations is the percentage of the median income consumed by paying union dues. I would imagine that would move the needle a point or two as well.

  • Don Quixote

    Mackinac Center for Public Policy Fiscal has problems with objectivity. Consequently, if you believe their spiel, then you accept their bias (conservative). Nice try Rob but I’ll believe it when you use an unbiased source which comes up with the same conclusion.

  • borborygmi

    , avg wage 2004 Mn. 53000, Avg wage ND 2004, 51622. Avg Wage MN 2011 56954

    Avg wage ND 51704 in 2011 , I guess we might have to figure out the definition of MORE, wikipedia figures

    • Hal414

      Either you didn’t read the post or you are being dishonest. The numbers include the cost of living differrences of the compared states.

      Here is the info you ignored:

      From bestplaces.net

      Our cost of living indices are based on a US average of 100. An
      amount below 100 means North Dakota, ND is cheaper than the US average. A
      cost of living index above 100 means North Dakota, ND is more
      expensive.
      Overall, North Dakota, ND cost of living is 92.50.

      Our cost of living indices are based on a US average of 100. An
      amount below 100 means Minnesota, MN is cheaper than the US average. A
      cost of living index above 100 means Minnesota, MN is more expensive.
      Overall, Minnesota, MN cost of living is 103.60.

      • borborygmi

        Employees In Right-To-Work States Make 4% More: You are right I just read the head lines, It said nothing about living indices. They must have forgotten the western half of the state. You want cost of living indices rising at a rapid rate…funny thing” Which is an indictment of all the government schemes to drive up wages up to and including the minimum wage. Inflating the cost of labor doesn’t help. It just makes the cost of living more expensive while simultaneously making business harder. ” the gov’t really doesn’t have much to do with it. Capitalism and big oil do.

        • Hal414

          I believe the rising wages in western ND will eventually balance out with the rising cost of living. It all comes down to supply and demand. As supply catches up with demand, the prices will moderate.

          • borborygmi

            when they drop if they drop I wonder if the guy making $15 serving Happy Meals will be okay with making minimum wage again. Will milk, bread come down enough for him? Then again twenty years from now who cares.

          • slackwarerobert

            If he was smart and put the money away to use to start his own McD’s, then yes he would love to only pay his workers minimum wage.

          • borborygmi

            Hopefully he might be able to save money of course living costs have double in tripled. So he might just be able to bunk with a few people to make ends meet. Oh well at least capitalism works.

          • slackwarerobert

            Capitalism only works when government keeps tit’s greedy oppressive hands out of it. obama is all the proof you need of that. he is destroying the free market, killing jobs, and demonizing everyone for what he and his tax cheating friend do. Now it is offshore accounts, we can’t have them because of obamas dodd-frank, not because you need to be rich.

          • chris

            Modern capitalism only works when there is a government to place standards, base rules,and protections. If you don’t agree, I’d like you to point out one country where there is only capitalism with no government involved in the history of the world.

          • slackwarerobert

            antartica. and before you say gop there, I will point out that I need to perfect a nuke reactor and the government will not allow it. Not a lot of coal fields or trees to burn down there. government standards are not an issue, EQUAL application of those standards, when government gets to pick who has to follow them is the problem. it isn’t modern capitalism, it is CRONEY capitalism, and it is as corrupt as washington itself.

          • Onslaught1066

            Anybody getting $15/hr to serve happy meals is grossly overpaid!

            I’m looking at you, bobo.

          • borborygmi

            You don’t like a capitalist economy 1066? You have something against supply and demand , labor shortages? Why how progressive of you

          • Onslaught1066

            Boo Hoo, Bobo.

            Get an education and a real life.

          • borborygmi

            Snappy retort without answering the question. I am truly in awe of you.

          • Onslaught1066

            If you woke up more often that once every three days you might just manage to make something of yourself, slacker.

  • WOOF

    Right to work states are Red moocher states.
    They live on the tax dollars of blue maker states.

    • Hal513

      “Employees In Right-To-Work States Make 4% More”

      Obviously you don’t understand the words in the title of the post.

      Employee’s =WORK

      Make= EARN

      More= MORE than you.

      You dope!

      • WOOF

        Hal513 believes the less people are paid the more they have. Tell us about the three magic beans you got for the cow.

        • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

          “A man who hasn’t had much experience, and doesn’t think, is apt to measure a nation’s prosperity or lack of prosperity by the mere size of the prevailing wages; if the wages be high, the nation is prosperous; if low, it isn’t. Which is an error. It isn’t what sum you get, it’s how much you can buy with it, that’s the important thing; and it’s that that tells whether your wages are high in fact or only high in name.”

          –Mark Twain

          • slackwarerobert

            And that doesn’t even count the graft and corruption in those forced union states. 25 years waiting to get approval for a pool because he won’t pay the bribes. I rent a backhoe for $250, and dig it over the weekend. Fill with water, and go swimming. I want a bigger house, I go buy some lumber, or a sawmill to make my own lumber from trees, and build it, no permits, no inspections, no bribes. I pay for what I need, not for some crook in the capital to line his pocket. And that works all the way around, my lumber yard only pays for what they need, so the wood is cheaper. My junk yard allows me to pull my own parts, I don’t have to waste money paying someone to remove a tie rod, so it is cheap.

        • Hal513

          Woof believes his own stupidity. But it doesn’t change the facts.

          “Employee’s =WORK

          Make= EARN

          More= MORE than you.

          You dope!”

          • WOOF

            More >Less”
            The pudding.
            Roughly 45,800 hourly United Auto Workers members who work at
            Ford plants in the United States will receive record profit-sharing
            checks of $8,300 on average in March.”

          • Hal513

            WOW!!! Ford, who didn’t take any obama bail out money making enough profit to share it with their employees.

            EMPLOYEE’S=WORK
            MAKING=EARNING
            MORE=MORE

            You dope.

          • WOOF

            Union employees.

          • Hal513

            Are you taking the position that only union members can participate in profit sharing with the companies they work for?

          • WOOF

            I’m taking the position that 45,800 hourly wage earners are each $8,300 better positioned cause they collectively bargained. How’d the hourly workers at WalMart do this year or last or any year?

          • Hal513

            You’d have more credibility if you compared workers that participate in profit sharing to other workers that participate in a profit sharing plan with their company.

          • slackwarerobert

            I got my sams club card, and didn’t have to pay for it. They just took the money out of my check……. I got a subway with 11″ foot longs by the front door. And I can’t buy bullets. Don’t know if they have “spice” for sale, but the auto workers have to smoke the real thing so… Life is peachy keen……. Ohh yea, we can make meth in the bathroom.

        • slackwarerobert

          It isn’t what you are paid, it is what you get to keep. If you make $100K and they take $75K in taxes, you are not better off than even someone down here making $50K and keeping it. I can even go to the gas station and buy a 32 oz coke and not go to jail. But the Biggest advantage, if I want to start a business I can, I don’t have to pay an idiot way overinflated wages before I even get to eat. Repeal the minimum wage laws and watch us all own pools and a third car in every garage. granted it won’t be a chevy volt, but that is why our garage won’t burn down also.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      Not that you’re after a rational exchange here, troll, but that disparity has a lot to do with a) Ag subsidies and b) road infrastructure which benefits the entire nation.

      I’d happily end the former, and don’t pretend like you don’t benefit from the latter.

      • WOOF

        You’re a paid lackey, which is way below my status.
        You drive in ND, your roads minimally benefit me compared to you.
        Less is more is BS. The South , right to work states have more poverty , SNAP, worse schools and health care and housing.

        “private-sector employees in right-to-work states earned an average of
        $738.43 a week in the past 12 months, 9.8% less than workers in states
        without such laws, according to an analysis of Labor Department data
        that didn’t include health-care and other benefits” http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324296604578179603136860138.html

        • Dan

          If the terminally clueless actually understood economics.

          If the COST OF LIVING is LOWER in RTW states, residents can make less and enjoy a comparable standard of living as union states.

          Good grief…would you please buy a clue? They’re on special this week BOGO 50% off.

          • borborygmi

            Is the cost of living less or is the populace culturally conditioned to living with less.

          • slackwarerobert

            OK, lets figure this one out. My property tax is $58 a year, my no right to work relative with 250 square feet more than me pays $8500 a year. I wouldn’t be caught dead paying those taxes. I can beg or steal $60 a year to keep my house no matter what. Plus I am allowed to defend myself, shoot home intruders, and not “register” my guns. The only thing that a right to work state has that you don’t like is the ability to fire people. And that is a good thing, if we can get rid of the idiot civil rights laws so we can fire black people it will be even better.

          • borborygmi

            HOw come you claiming to beg or steal doesn’t come as a shock to me. You have something against black people? Like I wrote above you have chosen or are culturally conditioned to live with less. Good for you.

          • slackwarerobert

            Nothing against anyone, just don’t like that you can’t fire someone if they are black, that is stupid. I want more guns, it is you libs that want to limit me. I want a bigger garage, and I am building it. I just point out, that coming up with $60 a year can be done without much problem. How do you retire and relax and enjoy life if you loose your house when you can’t come up with the tax money. I am not conditioned to live with less, I have real toilets that suck down water, I have 100 watt bulbs, I have 64 oz bottles of coke, I have bullets of every caliber for guns of every size and type so I don’t worry what I can get hold of. I have something that will use it. I have a big block ford truck that sucks down 6 mpg on a good day. You don’t need money when you have the resources to do it yourself. Just having government off your back makes you rich beyond your wildest dreams. If fienstein gets her way I will be filthy rich selling information and materials for making your own assault weapons.

          • borborygmi

            Gee I fired a black guy for cause. You must be in the wrong position of power. How do you pay for your guns, 64 oz bottles of pop and the gas to fill 6 mpg big block ford (you would be better off with a Tundra) if you don’t need money. Surely you aren’t as independent as you think…….. I know of only one person who dropped off the grid but he had to go black market ( the only true free capitalist market) and barter. Eventually the strain became to much and he moved to Canada (he had dual citizenship) and happily lives off the Socialism that is Canada.

          • slackwarerobert

            Last gun was made from and old chevy axle, think I paid $10 for the entire thing. The electric beetle will run about $2000 because I have to buy the magnets for the motors. I don’t want to go off the grid except in the sense I don’t have to deal with the government if I choose not to. I use solar, and wind, and run a separate 12 volt DC system, much easier and way more efficient. I still need to learn how to make gasoline, it can’t be to hard, a couple bicycle repairman could do it in the 1900’s. I don’t want to do everything myself, I just have no idea what I will NEED to do for myself in the near future. I’m not giving up my lifestyle so his holiness can jet around on my dime. And the government in those nice forced work regimes don’t even allow you to do for yourself. If you can’t add on to your kitchen or dig a pool, there is no way you can build a blast bunker to make your primers, or your rifle range. Of course you can fire for cause, but even in a right to work state, you have holder, jackson, and sharpton to give you headaches if they are not an honest employee. All I want is the safety to be able to do it and not worry.
            I should be a poster on al gores wall, I recycle just about everything.

          • WOOF

            Did the Unibomber leave any furniture in the cabin ?

          • slackwarerobert

            A table to hold al gores book. And he didn’t need a goberment check to do it, he built his own bombs, he didn’t demand the taxpayers buy them for him.

        • Onslaught1066

          Detroit Michigan, nuf said.

  • devilschild

    I’ve read several articles on this subject since the ACS lockout started. I would say it’s about even as to how many agree with this article and how many don’t. It depends on who is putting out the information.

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