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UrKidsWillPay - Lovelace indicted in wife\'s death - Quincy, IL News - QuincyJournal.com
"You don't get indicted on nothing." Tell that to Rick Perry or Tom Delay before him. Innocent people get indicted all the time...not that it applies in this situation or doesn't apply. We don't know the facts that were presented at the hearing and even if we knew what was presented, we don't have the benefit of those facts being challenged. The potential defendent and/or his…
HiDawnG - Abandoned baby calls to mind Safe Haven laws - Quincy, IL News - QuincyJournal.com
I can't help but believe that if the mother who abandoned this little baby had known about the law, she wouldn't now be being tracked down by the police. The Baby Safe Haven law offers a safe, legal, option for a desperate parent in crisis. The law says a parent hand their unharmed baby, 30 days old or younger, to staff at a hospital, fire or police department. No questions asked. Thanks…
1950Brutus - Durbin makes fund-raising stop in Quincy - Quincy, IL News - QuincyJournal.com
Dick "Pee Wee" Durbin apparently doesn't see taxes as a problem - no mention of it in his statement. Maybe the problem of "jobs that don't pay enough money" would decrease if the taxes that come out of this pay are decreased.
EgoReputo - Hiding public records in Illinois now a Class 4 felony - Quincy, IL News - QuincyJournal.com
"..... This law should be of special concern to public officials who are in charge of producing and maintaining public records. Clerks, recorders, finance workers, comptrollers and Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA officers are some of the primary caretakers of public records and public records requests." This new law should spell big trouble for the Quincy School District. Anybody know what's…
ONCEMORE1 - Rauner to make Quincy stop on Saturday - Quincy, IL News - QuincyJournal.com
Might as well stay home................

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Editorials & Opinion

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

3 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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