Right-to-Work Limits Employer Freedom

Rick SnyderAll this madness about right-to-work in Michigan got me to thinking. About libertarians. I’m not sure about the intricacies of the Michigan situation, but what right-to-work normally means is that unions can’t have a contract with employers to have a union-only shop and that non-union (non-dues paying) workers still get all the advantages of the union’s negotiations. Libertarians should hate this kind of law.

This is very simple: the government is stepping in and telling employers what kind of contracts they can make with their workers. Libertarians and conservatives generally should be against this kind of limit to the personal freedom of business owners. But as we know very well (as I have discussed in detail), libertarians don’t give a rat’s ass about freedom.

Libertarians hate unions far more than they love freedom. These right-to-work laws are really just prettified anti-union laws—they remove a union’s greatest resource: worker solidarity. Thus, libertarians (almost to a man) are for these anti-liberty laws.

I don’t suppose it is news that libertarians are (almost to a man) a bunch of pretenders. But I think it is important that we continue to call them out. Conservatives justify their hateful economic policies on libertarian grounds. And in this fight in Michigan, conservatives (including governor Rick Scott) are saying that these laws increase worker freedom. So they’ve got it exactly backwards. These laws take freedom away. But they do make the rich richer, and that, apparently, is the only thing that conservatives (and libertarian pretenders) care about.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

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