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Expatriate - REBEL MEDIA: Everybody\'s doing it - Quincy, IL News - QuincyJournal.com
Absolutely. Imagine the number of highly qualified candidates who didn't want their current employers to know they were looking for a new opportunity. This is stupid. Don't worry Louisiana: next time you need to hire a president for LSU, you'll get a fraction of the the resumes. All from unemployed folks and internals. Because the President of some other school doesn't need you…
TheyRclueless - Schaefer prepares for 7th Ward aldermanic primary - Quincy, IL News - QuincyJournal.com
I don't have a dog in this fight, but it seemed like his answers were pretty much "no answer" answers.
quincymike - Illinois video gambling revenues doubled in 2014 - Quincy, IL News - QuincyJournal.com
Great idea! Gambling is the solution to the revenue issue. If the city could reduce taxes by an equal amount of gained revenue then go for it. What will happen though is that the city will just increase spending till the revenue levels off because because of over market saturation. Every town and county will be doing it. Then guess what will happen. Yep, taxes will go up to make up for some of that…
Bovada Poker - Quincy, IL News - QuincyJournal.com - Video poker machines turned on in Illinois
In my opinion, the government needs to wake up and smell where the money's at. Legalizing online gambling can be more beneficial, this video poke machines are great example on how this industry can help.
UrKidsWillPay - REBEL MEDIA: Everybody\'s doing it - Quincy, IL News - QuincyJournal.com
Why is it the public interest to know the names of people who weren't even deemed qualified candidates and dies that public interest exceed the interest of the citizens that applied for some level of privacy? A policy of exposing every name of every applicant does not serve the public interest especially given that it would likely have the result of limiting the pool of applicants due to concerns…

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Editorials & Opinion

REBEL MEDIA: Didn't you use to work at...

8 months ago by Scott Reeder, Illinois News Network

Thirty-one years ago, I gave a speech to my high school rhetoric class on how Illinois ought to become a right-to-work state. 

Back when I was in high school, my hometown of Galesburg was an industrial center that churned out lawnmowers, refrigerators, steel buildings and outboard motors.

Industrial unions were powerful in Galesburg just as they were in nearby Peoria, Moline and all across Illinois.

So my speech calling for ending compulsory unionism was not particularly well received.

After all, many of my classmates were the sons and daughters of union workers.  To them, I was preaching apostasy. 

A right-to-work law simply means that employees cannot be forced to join or otherwise pay union dues in order to keep their jobs.

Today, when I visit my hometown, I feel sadness.  Those union factory jobs have evaporated.

Many of my classmates have moved to other states to raise their families. 

  • The Maytag refrigerator plant has been shuttered. 
  • The Butler Manufacturing factory closed. 
  • And a plant making Lawn-Boy lawnmowers shut down.

Galesburg is hardly unique.

When I lived in Rock Island in the 1990s, I’d often ask folks what they did for a living.

And more often than not, they’d respond: “Well, I used to work at…”

Today, industrial unions are a shadow of their former selves. Factory jobs are migrating to right-to-work states – places where the marketplace, not union coercion, determine wages.

The last time I wrote on this topic, union leaders responded by saying things are much worse in right-to-work states.

Baloney.

Take a look at our neighbors in Iowa and Indiana. Both states are right-to-work states but the economies there are chugging along quite nicely.

Just consider these statistics compiled by the Illinois Policy Institute:

  • A net of roughly 5 million Americans moved from the non-Right-to-Work states to Right-to-Work states from 2000 to 2010. That’s an average of about one person every minute.
  • Right-to-Work states experienced population growth of 15.3 percent while population growth in non-right-to-work states was 5.9 percent between 2000 and 2010.
  • 28.5 percent of Americans lived in Right-to-Work states in 1970; by 2008, that percentage rose to nearly 40 percent (to over 121 million).

Even Michigan, once the cradle of organized labor, has adopted a right-to-work law.

By contrast. Illinois has clung to an outdated model of compulsory unionism.

The fact of the matter is that many people who belong to unions would rather not be members. They are given little choice but to keep seeing a portion of their paychecks going to union bosses.

Nowhere is that more evident than among government workers.

When workers in Wisconsin were given a choice about whether or not to join a union, many opted out.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council representing city and county workers in Milwaukee has experienced a 61 percent drop in membership during the first two years that a public employee right to work law has been in place. And the AFSCME council representing state workers saw its membership fall 35 percent, the MacIver Institute reports.

Labor unions like to talk about “empowering” workers. The reality is much different.

Shouldn’t workers be free to choose?

 

Scott Reeder is a veteran statehouse reporter and a  journalist with Illinois News Network, a project of the Illinois Policy Institute. He can be reached at sreeder@illinoispolicy.org. Readers can subscribe to his free political newsletter by going to ILNEWS.ORG or follow his work on Twitter @scottreeder


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