Assails Lt. Gov. Over Right to Work - The Missourian: Opinion

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Assails Lt. Gov. Over Right to Work

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Posted: Wednesday, January 8, 2014 8:32 am

To The Editor:

Lt. Governor Peter Kinder has been touring the state talking up the prospects of Right-to-Work (for less) in Missouri.

According to Mr. Kinder “passage is assured in the House, the votes are there in the Senate, and I believe we stand an excellent chance at making this progress for Missouri in 2014.”

He believes Right-to-Work (for less) is necessary because “When I was growing up in southeast Missouri, Tennessee was not ahead of Missouri in any economic indicator. They are today.”

Is that true? Is Tennessee a booming economy, a place of low unemployment and jobs that go begging due to their Right-to-Work law? Should Missouri follow their path and reduce wages for union and non-union residents throughout the state in the hopes of attracting more low-wage employers?

One way to check Mr. Kinder’s statement would be to look at the economic indicators, in particular the unemployment rate. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics figures for November, 2013 Tennessee had a unemployment rate of 8.1% and Missouri registered a unemployment rate of 6.1%. Missourians also have a per capita income that’s $1,300 more than residents of Tennessee.

Tennessee has an unemployment rate higher than the national average of seven percent and two points higher than Missouri! A look at the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that if the Missouri unemployment rate were as high as Tennessee there would be 60,244 more unemployed Missourians.

Of course, that would mean more pressure to lower wages with all those people looking for work allowing employers to use the hammer of job insecurity on Missourians that still have a job.

More unemployment, less job security, and lower wages may sound like progress to Peter Kinder. Missourians that are not counting on extremist groups to finance their campaign may have a different opinion.

/opinion