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convoy32 - US clears officer in Ferguson case, criticizes police force - Quincy, IL News - QuincyJournal.com
WTF! This is so stupid,mike brown deserves what he got period! I guess its OK to just disrespect the store owner,push him out of his way and TAKE what he wanted,he is right where he belongs,in the ground 6ft. under! Oh and his racist uncle says something don't add up well probably because he can't add since he didn't finish school ! DUMB BOY!
WmMunny - Holder: Ferguson police bias stoked distrust, hostility, \'toxic environment\' - Quincy, IL News - Q
As I've said before, people play stupid games and they win stupid prizes. Holder and his kind ...... race baiters and class envy whores.
lingard2 - New security measures at IL Department of Revenue will delay state tax refunds - Quincy, IL News - Q
Delaying the refunds, will give the State of Illinois that much more money to Rob Peter to pay Paul.. I just hope I get mky refund before everything explodesl. LOL
pjohnf - Obama to ban bullets by executive action, threatens top-selling AR-15 rifle - Quincy, IL News - Quin
Who do you think BATF takes its marching orders from, the tooth fairy?
pjohnf - Senate committee will propose taking $580 million from special accounts - Quincy, IL News - QuincyJo
Is this robbing Peter to pay Paul? Everybody knows government wastes billions of our tax dollars and cutting spending is the best solution but certainly spending our limited tax dollars wisely is a step in the right direction, $37 million for open space land purchases seems stupid with all the other things state government should be doing. The democrats will never give up control of spending because…

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Editorials & Opinion

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

9 months, 1 week 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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