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1950Brutus - Study finds reasons Springfield Diocese Catholics have left the Church - Quincy, IL News - QuincyJou
I share many of the experiences described here by others – for me though the crossroad was when the church changed the definition of a “mortal sin”. With a stroke of the pen all of a sudden it became OK to eat meat on Friday and attending mass on Sat night fulfilled one’s obligation for Sunday. This still doesn’t make sense to me. A MORTAL SIN isn’t something that is open to a definition change – not…
pjohnf - Mayor Moore discusses Newcomb proposal - Quincy, IL News - QuincyJournal.com
Duh exactly how much are we getting in property taxes now on the lot, zero, zip, nada and that will remain the same if Duesterhaus gets his parking lot. Wasn't Duesterhaus a big supporter of the debacle of hydro power? Unfortunately in this day and age city's have to put up money to get private enterprises to invest in projects. I say let's move forward because the hydro supporters didn't…
1950Brutus - REBEL MEDIA: Re-embracing the Royals - Quincy, IL News - QuincyJournal.com
AHHH how I envy you – to have such pleasant memories of a World Series. I, being a Cleveland fan, have no such memories although I hope to live long enough, and doing everything in my power to extend my life, to experience this. My efforts include precise instructions to my doctor to NOT pull the plug until Cleveland is victorious. Advances in science may be my best hope.
1950Brutus - Illinois governor leans on Obamas for support - Quincy, IL News - QuincyJournal.com
Why do the liberals continue to tout the Obama Doesn’t Care If It Is Affordable Act as a success. If memory serves me correctly – when this bill was being debated there were supposedly 40 million people without insurance. Now 8 million people have signed up it seems it is time to party. For us old people who have followed baseball for a long time this %age – 20 – is known as the MENDOZA line. Mario…
qfingers - Quincy Police Blotter for September 30, 2014 - Quincy, IL News - QuincyJournal.com
She was probably behind a car and started forward and ran into it. Ergo improper starting. Not one you see very often at all.

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Editorials & Opinion

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

4 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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