The Heartland Institute just published a Right-to-Work focus on the state of Kentucky, and our economic future, with its forced- unionization, does not look bright. In fact, according to the 2014 American Legislative Exchange Council’s annual economic competitiveness study, Rich States, Poor States, Kentucky ranks 28th in economic performance and 39th in economic outlook.
Since 1947, when the Taft-Hartley Act was passed, 24 states have enacted right-to-work legislation. These laws enable employees to choose (or not choose) to join a labor union and pay union dues as a condition for employment in a unionized company.
The financial benefits reaped in right-to-work states have been great. A study by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy found, “According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, right-to-work states showed a 42.6 percent gain in total employment from 1990 to 2011, while non-right-to-work states showed gains of only 18.8 percent.”
Kentucky’s neighbor Indiana passed right-to-work legislation in 2012, and Michigan did so in 2013. According to the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, 45 companies have communicated to the Indiana Economic Corporation that the state’s implementation of right-to-work will factor into decisions they make about where to locate current and future ventures.
When will Kentucky legislators decide to bring right-to-work to our state?
When will they remove barriers to economic growth, such as high capital and income taxes and other burdensome regulations? When will our state put an end to this environment that is so hostile to potential job-makers?
The experience of other states demonstrates that right-to-work is just what Kentucky needs for the kind of economic growth that will move us up all of lists of economic indicators.
Elaina Waters, BIPPS intern