Morning Examiner: Michigan is a right to work state

Politics,Beltway Confidential,Conn Carroll

After a chaotic day of threats of violence, violence, and arrests, Gov. Rick Snyder signed a pair of bills Tuesday night making Michigan the nation’s 24th right to work state.

The legislation does not go into effect until 90 days after the close of the state Legislature’s current session. And even then, no changes will be made to existing union contracts. Instead, the new law will be felt as new businesses move into the healthier business environment and existing labor contracts expire. For the United Auto Workers Union and the big three auto makers, that means no real changes until 2015.

Between now and then big labor will push hard to reverse Snyder’s progress. Despite a spending provision added to the bill to preclude reversing the laws by referendum, the AFL-CIO has promised both legal challenges to the law and renewed efforts to deny Snyder and other Republicans reelection in 2014.

But these pushes, whether or not they ultimately succeed, are really just the last gasps of a dying economic model. As recently as 2001, there were almost 947,000 union members in Michigan. Today that number is down to just 671,000. Ten years ago, 21.2 percent of the workforce belonged to unions in Michigan. Today, just 17.5 percent are. These declines have also showed up at the ballot box. In 2008, 34 percent of voters in Michigan came from union households. In 2012, that number was just 28 percent.

Some blue states have slipped into permanent Democratic control thanks to the explosive growth of government unions. Republicans have no hope of winning statewide elections in California or Illinois anytime soon. But those states are also basket cases of fiscal mismanagement and economic stagnation. They serve as a stark example for moderates and independents in swing states about what will happen if they return unions power.

If Snyder can continue to turn Michigan’s economy around, his leadership could serve as a model for a Republican resurgence in the Midwest.

From The Washington Examiner
Examiner Editorial: Union thugs use punches, not persuasion, in Michigan
Byron York: Democrats urge delay for ‘job-killing’ Obamacare tax
Tim Carney: With all eyes on the fiscal cliff, will Congress sneak through agri-corporate-welfare?

In Other News
The Wall Street Journal, Smaller Banks Sold at Loss: Behind the fanfare of the $7.6 billion sale of the government’s final stake in American International Group Inc., the U.S. Treasury Department is quietly selling out of dozens of smaller financial institutions, often at a loss.
The Washington Post, North Korea fires a long-range rocket: North Korea on Wednesday successfully fired into orbit a long-range rocket carrying a satellite, an outside aerospace monitoring organization said, a major advance in the authoritarian nation’s weapons program.
The New York Times, U.S. Will Grant Recognition to Syrian Rebels, Obama Says: President Obama said Tuesday that the United States would formally recognize a coalition of Syrian opposition groups as that country’s legitimate representative, in an attempt to intensify the pressure on President Bashar al-Assad to give up his nearly two-year bloody struggle to stay in power.
McClatchy Newspapers, Voters’ outlook falls to Earth: Forget the post-Election Day tradition of a more upbeat America in the weeks after voters go to the polls and make clear what they want from their leaders. A new McClatchy-Marist poll finds that people are gloomy about the economy and Washington’s ability to make it better anytime soon.

Righty Playbook
The Weekly Standard‘s Jay Cost says Washington’s ‘Permanent Gridlock’ won’t end until America picks which party they want to rule.
Reason‘s Peter Suderman on The Doc Fix Economy.
Ross Douthat on Poverty and Perverse Incentives.

Lefty Playbook
The Huffington Post reports that Obama is desperate to include new stimulus spending in any fiscal cliff deal.
Talking Points Memo reports that liberal groups are whipping Democratic Senators against cuts to entitlement benefits.
Think Progress plots How Michigan Voters Can Repeal The GOP’s Anti-Union Powergrab.

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