Here’s a special offer for our readers: we would like to give you an extra $1,500 a year for the rest of your working life.
It’s really easy.
You want to know how easy? Just live in a state where there are unions. You don’t even have to belong to a union. You don’t have to support unions. All you have to do is have union members as your neighbors. When you do, the median income in your state, which presumably means your income, will be $1,500 more a year, every year, than that of someone who lives in one of those go-ahead-and-rip-me-off states. They’re usually called right-to-work states, but that, like so many of our manufactured labels, is deliberately misleading.
To understand just how misleading it is, look no further than Indiana governor Mitch Daniels, who rammed through a so-called right-to-work bill this year in the Indiana legislature, claiming it was vital to attract jobs. But as recently as 2006, Daniels himself admitted such an argument was bogus, saying, “I’m a supporter of the labor laws we have in the state of Indiana and I’m not interested in changing any of them—not the prevailing wage law and certainly not a ‘right to work’ law. We can succeed in Indiana with the laws we have, respecting the rights of labor and fair and free competition for everyone.”
On another level, getting that extra $1,500 is hard.
It’s hard because you’re up against Wall Street. You’re up against the big banks, the pharmaceutical industry, the insurance companies, Fox News (and for that matter, most of the rest of the media) and now, apparently, the 2012 version of Mitch Daniels. You’re up against the millionaires and billionaires who rent the big-time lawyers and pay the lobbyists and buy our politicians. You’re up against the Republican Party and too many Democrats, too. You’re up against an organized campaign to stop all unions, and since private sector unions have been beaten down to their knees, that campaign is now aimed at public service unions.
But it can be done.
With the backing of her union, AFSCME, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, a woman who drives a school bus in Ohio, BJ Simmons-Talley, did it, and you can, too.
BJ didn’t do it alone. She had AFSCME. And AFSCME didn’t do it alone.
It was joined by the other public service unions, private sector unions, churches, community groups, small-business owners, and others who understand that a rising tide lifts all boats. And when people have a say and a share in the prosperity they helped produce, America thrives.