Unions and the Democrats’ Attack on Free Enterprise
by Matthew Hurt | Virginia Tech
Boeing landed itself in the middle of a federal lawsuit after it announced that it will be locating a manufacturing plant in South Carolina. The new plant will create approximately 2,000 new jobs, and one would think that everybody would be celebrating job creation, especially with the current state of the economy. The Democrats, unfortunately, who consistently put their own self-interests before the interests of the American people, are up in arms over Boeing’s decision.
You see, most of Boeing’s employees are employed in Washington state, where unions run amuck. South Carolina, however, is a “right-to-work” state, meaning unions won’t be a problem for the company. Since 1975, Boeing has endured five strikes in Washington. These strikes affect the company’s efficiency, and they cost the company a lot of money. (And suddenly it all makes sense as to why Democrats are so in love with unions: they don’t like economic prosperity unless it is their own. Down with profitable businesses!)
Boeing argues that locating the new plant in South Carolina is simply a move that will save the company money. It is a very strategic and financially sound decision for a company that continues to operate during the current economic downturn. Democrats against this decision argue that the company is trying to punish its union workers in Washington. Leave it to the Democratic Party to make an accusation with nothing to back it up on. Boeing has never fired any of its unionized employees in Washington, so punishment is not, and has never been, on their agenda. Better yet, no jobs are being moved from Washington. Boeing might be in violation of federal law if they were taking jobs from Washington, but that isn’t the case. The jobs in South Carolina are completely new, and the Democrats are whining about those 2,000 new jobs even when unemployment is at 9.1%.
Just what is so wrong with a “right-to-work” state anyway? What is it about labor unions that make Democrats all warm and fuzzy inside? Clearly unionized employees aren’t worried about honesty and integrity, as many unionized teachers in Wisconsin were seen a few months ago, taking fake sick notes from doctors so they could continue to protest in front of the state capitol. Public image isn’t a forte for unions. They also aren’t worried about helping businesses perform well. While auto unions in Detroit were demanding so much money for their members that auto line workers were making over $81 an hour in 2006, auto companies were struggling to stay afloat. Hence, auto unions were a major player in the collapse of the auto industry.
For Democrats, this issue boils down to campaign contributions. Democratic candidates get most of their campaign contributions from big labor unions. The math is simple. 2,000 additional workers in Washington, that will be unionized, means more money for Democratic candidates. On the other hand, 2,000 jobs in South Carolina means the only thing the Democrats will get out of those employees is hard work. The fact that so many Democrats have been outspoken with their opposition to the South Carolina plant is mind-boggling. We don’t need to see yet another example of how Democrats are hindering economic growth, we just want politicians on both sides of the aisle to create a business-friendly environment.
Matthew Hurt is a NGJ Voices Contributor and a sophomore at Virginia Tech majoring in political science. Matthew is very active in Virginia politics, and is a regular opinions columnist for the Collegiate Times, Virginia Tech's student-run newspaper.