My daughter, Kelly, who is interning in Beijing, saw this young man walking down the street recently and stopped him to take the photo at right. He was totally baffled why she thought his t-shirt was so funny, which points out one of two things: The name “Texas” globally evokes images of larger-than-life icons, bold flavors, unforgettable sights, and a sense of pride that only Texans understand; or, perhaps Chinese goods are not such high-quality products after all.
Texas, of course, has more than just wide open spaces, cowboys and Friday night football. It’s leading the United States in job growth, and its quality of life, as reflected in the ability to relocate to Texas and benefit from a relatively low cost of living, are significant reasons why companies are seeking locations in right to work states like Texas and moving operations here.
Ernie Goss, Ph.D. in Regional Economics at Creighton University, noted several months ago that the International Association of Machinists rought a complaint before the National Labor Relations Review Board against Boeing Aircraft contending the builder of the 787 Dreamliner engaged in unfair labor practices by announcing that, due to past work stoppages in Washington state, Boeing had decided to produce their newest plane in South Carolina, a right-to-work state.
By locating in a right-to-work state, Boeing’s South Carolina workers are not compelled to join a union and/or pay union dues as they are in Washington. The union petitioned the NLRB to close the $750 million South Carolina plant and force Boeing to manufacture the aircraft at their Washington facility.
From a societal point-of-view, how could a decision in favor of the union likely affect U.S. economic growth? According to Goss, comparing economic growth rates between the 22 right-to-work states and all other states would provide some insight into this matter.
The U.S. Bureau of Economic data shows that between 1990 and 2010, right-to-work states experienced much higher median economic performance with:
• Employment growth of 25.9 percent for right-to-work states vs. 7.9 percent for all other states
• Per capita income growth of 117.8 percent vs. 104.3 perecent
• Population growth of 29 percent vs. 23.6 perecent
• Manufacturing employment growth of 84.0 percent vs.19.4 percent
• Manufacturing wage per worker growth of 108.7 percent vs. 96.1 percent
Thus, on every economic dimension examined above, right-to-work states experienced significantly greater economic performance than non-right-to-work states. All is this bodes well for economic recovery for right to work states such as Texas, where we don’t take well to discouraging words.