Let’s be honest: Right-to-work laws do weaken unions. And de-unionization can lead to lower wages.To this conservative, the middle class America of the post-World War II period was a lucky fluke:
But there is another factor at play: having a job in the first place. In right-to-work states, the average wage is about 10 percent lower. But in right-to-work states, unemployment also is about 10 percent lower.
Higher wages or lower unemployment? It is a wrenching choice. . . .
Today’s angry protesters demand a return to that norm. Except that it was not a norm but a historical anomaly. America, alone among the great industrial powers, emerged unscathed from World War II. Japan was a cinder, Germany rubble. . . For a generation, America had the run of the world. Then the others recovered.In a world of global competition, Krauthammer argues, we can have high employment or high wages, but not both.
And he may be right. But if he is, the "American dream" is fading, and we are looking at a return to the Robber Baron era. I think we should try everything we can think of to avoid that.