Fox News loves Wisconsin’s “right-to-work” bill so much, they were blind to some of the facts about it.
In introducing the subject, Fox host Brenda Buttner, “just asked,” about the bill, “Unions hate it but should workers everywhere really love it?”
Panelist John Layfield thought so. He said right-to-work states, have a “percentage point lower unemployment.” He also claimed that a 2012 editorial in the Wall Street Journal found that compensation in right-to-work states had gone up four times more than states that were not right-to-work.
Emily Tisch Sussman, of the Center for American Progress and the lone liberal on the five-person panel (plus Buttner), disagreed. “The decline in unions has led to a decline in wages,” she said.
Buttner jumped in to “ask” panelist Gary B. Smith, “The numbers really do tell a different story, don’t they?”
Smith, predictably, piled on the right-to-work love. “In almost every metric you look at, right to work states are outperforming non-right to work states,” Smith said. “If you’re looking at employment rates, they’re growing much faster than in states that don’t have right to work. Per capita income, once you adjust for cost of living, it’s much higher. …Across the board, incomes are up, employment is up, what more could you want from a law? This is benefitting workers across the board. I think eventually every state will have right to work because it makes economic sense.”
But according to the Economic Policy Institute, the quality of life is worse in right-to-work states. The EPI notes that in a Politico ranking of the states on that score, four of the best states to live in are non-right-to-work states (as of January 2014) and eight out of the 10 lowest are right-to-work states.
Not surprisingly, “fair and balanced” Buttner never mentioned it.
Watch it below, from the March 7 Bulls & Bears.
BUT, when you look at overall employment statistics, there’s not really a breakdown in “full-time” versus “part-time” nor anything about “one-job worker” versus “two-job workers.” And those “income” stats shown in the still shot, I strongly suspect the income in the right-to-work states requires both spouses working to achieve the income. Also, “per capita” is extremely misleading. The “income” of a multi-millionaire is offset by the minimum wage workers’ incomes. You get someone like Sheldon Adelson or the Koch Brothers………well, let’s just say Adelson’s annual “income” is “just” half-a-millon. To average his income down to make the “per capita” income just, let’s say, $40,000, and let’s say the annual income for a 40-hour-a-week minimum-wage earner (at $10/hour min wage) comes to about $20,000, so you need TWENTY-THREE of those minimum wage workers (at $20K) to offset Adelson’s half-a-million.
And how much you want to bet that a lot of those right-to-work states just happen to have a whole bunch of millionaires and billionaires who can skew those per-capita incomes?