The answer depends on who’s asking the question
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder was on Bloomberg News this week to deliver an upbeat, cheerleading assessment of our state that had him reversing his opinion on the economic benefits of Right to Work. Where last we he said, “Over 90 percent of the jobs that you’re looking at aren’t going to be in a situation where right to work is even relevant…Let’s keep in mind what the economy is really about”, on Bloomberg, he changed his mind. Again.
From a policy point of view, it’s fairly straight forward. This is standing up for workers and their relationship with unions and if unions are delivering the value proposition that’s a great value, workers should be happy to join and it should all work out fine. And it will bring jobs to our state if you look at the Indiana experience.
First of all, “the Indiana experience” has been roundly debunked. But more importantly, saying that people are more likely to pay to join unions if the services are better is like saying that people are more likely to pay for free food at a restaurant if the service is better. In other words, it’s a bullshit argument and he and all his corporatist friends know it.
Second of all, it would be nice if the “former venture capitalist” governor of our state would pick a side and stay with it on whether or not Right to Work is going to bring in more jobs. His answer to that question appears to depend on the answer.
Snyder was also asked about the election rigging scheme being considered by Michigan Republicans that would distribute Michigan’s electoral votes based on wildly gerrymandered Congressional Districts rather than the traditional “winner take all”. Snyder said he thinks it’s “the wrong time”, not that it’s the “wrong idea”, which it is:
I’m very skeptical of the idea and the time frame that would be done because I really view it as a question of you don’t want to change the playing field so that it’s an unfair advantage to someone. In a lot of ways, we want to make sure we’re reflecting the vote of the people and this could challenge that. So, in many respects, the right time to do it and what many people are looking at is we should do it before Census is taken and before redistricting takes place and it should be a bipartisan effort…I don’t think this is the appropriate time.
Governor Snyder, hear this: it is NEVER the “appropriate time” to rig the system to benefit the political party who historically is in the minority in Michigan. Period.
Finally, I’ll give Snyder credit for not taking credit for the improvement in our state’s unemployment numbers. If you look at the data, you’ll see that our unemployment rate was coming down well before he took office and well before anything he and his administration did had any impact on our economy: