Political neophyte Eric Greitens will take over as Missouri’s governor in January. One of his first orders of kowtowing to Big Business: Get aboard the GOP train to pass an anti-union, anti-worker, right-to-work law.
Rather than be the “independent” person he claimed on the campaign trail, Greitens immediately will pay back his Republican supporters — including mega-donor and right-to-work lover David Humphreys of Joplin — by doing something outgoing Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon would never sign into law.
Missouri’s businesses are smacking their lips at this opportunity. Because, you know, corporations don’t have enough power in Missouri or the nation these days.
Dan Mehan, president and CEO of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told The Kansas City Star, “You’re going to see employers from around the world look at Missouri as a place that restored its business-friendly climate.”
And later, this summation in the article: “Supporters argue the law strengthens a state’s economy and encourages businesses to grow.”
Oh, is that right?
Fact: Missouri is kicking Kansas’ ass when it comes to job creation in recent months and years — even though Kansas is a right-to-work state.
Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics data for the past full 12 months through October show Missouri has the 20th best record of state employment growth, at 1.8 percent. The Show-Me State has gained 50,900 jobs.
Kansas has the country’s 4th worst state rate at minus 0.4 percent, with a loss of 5,300 jobs.
Oh, and there’s plenty more where that came from. The three other worst jobs-growth states in the last year besides Kansas are all right-to-work states: Wyoming (minus 3.5 percent), North Dakota (minus 1.8 percent) and Oklahoma (minus 0.7 percent.)
And there’s even more: Louisiana is 6th worst, Mississippi is 8th worst, West Virginia is 10th worst and Nebraska is 12th worst.
On the flip side, yes, some right-to-work states are percolating along. Florida has the 3rd best job-creation record over the last year, Utah is 4th best and South Dakota is 5th best.
The point is pretty simple: As much research has shown, the right-to-work status of a state has little if anything to do with making its economy more competitive.
But studies do show it is anti-worker, because it reduces compensation for them.
Keep that in mind when Greitens puts on that big grin of his and signs a right-to-work law sometime in 2017.