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Thursday, February 04, 2016

I apologize for my generation's failure to fix the West Virginia economy, but thank you this generation for Right To Work

The West Virginia Legislature -- under Republican management for the first time in 82 years -- passed Right To Work legislation today, which the Democratic governor likely will veto and likely lead the Legislature to override his veto. If so, West Virginia will be the 26th state to have Right To Work -- a right to a job without having to pay a kickback to the union trolls. The unions say they offer protection. So does the mafia. And unlike every liberal lackey who defends unions as "labor," and credits them for every law ever passed, I actually worked in a factory where we were forced to join the union.

(By the way, the United Mine Workers opposed black lung, back when Tony Boyle had Jock Yablonski killed when he ran against Boyle for the union presidency. Only Jimmy Hoffa's Teamsters were more corrupt.)

How much damage did Democrats do? West Virginia pays unemployment benefits to striking workers. That is amazingly stupid.

Republican House Speaker Tim Armstead allowed a four-hour debate on the bill -- about three hours and 59 minutes more than Democrats have been known to allow on hotly contested bills.

From the Washington Post:
Proponents of the bill argued that with the state’s economy in terrible condition, posting some of the worst poverty and unemployment rates in the country, West Virginia ought to follow its neighbors in adopting a policy that large employers sometimes see as a virtue when shopping for new locations. They cited a study commissioned by the Republican legislature from an economist at West Virginia University that found adopting a right-to-work law could reduce union membership in the state by one-fifth, and boost the state’s employment by 0.4 percent.
"It’s not a silver bullet. It’s a piece of the puzzle, perhaps,” said Republican Del. Lynwood Ireland, who spoke sadly of the decline of the state’s chemical industry. “Quite frankly, as I try to figure out whether I’m going to punch red or green, I’m going to punch green, I come to that conclusion on the basis that doing nothing, the status quo, is unacceptable, even if we fail.
The bill had also been promoted by the national group Americans for Prosperity, funded by conservative mega-funders Charles and David Koch, which set up a West Virginia chapter in 2013 with right-to-work at the top of its agenda. The group aired TV ads, sent out paper mailers, knocked on doors, and coordinated phone calls to legislators in support of the bill.
Ah yes, you cannot be a Social Justice Warrior in reporter drag without mentioning the Koch Brothers, as if West Virginians are a bunch of meatheads who blindly follow outside agitators. (The reporter is an ex-New Republic staffer; I rest my case.)

The move comes too late to save the steel industry or the chemical industry in West Virginia. But it may keep the aluminum rolling in Ravenswood, and the engines and transmissions flowing at the Toyota plant down the road from Poca (OK, 20 miles down the road).

And it does give the state hope.

Baby boomers failed the state, just as their parents failed. But this new generation -- including my delegates, Scott Cadle and Michael Ihle, as well as my state senators, Chris Walters and Ed Gaunch (OK, Cadle and Gaunch are my age) -- got it done. And I thank them.

Oh, and I also thank Barack Obama for fundamentally transforming West Virginia into a Republican state again.


  1. No less meatheads than the rest of the country. The people consistently polled against this. But politicians and bloggers are easily bought.

    1. Not to mention, newspapers, Ain't that right, Don?


    "It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong." --- Richard P. Feynman.

  3. I was raised to hate the Jacobins by Russell Kirk and Edmund Burke. Now I find out that they passed the first right to work legislation ever when they abolished the guilds.

  4. So one thing good comes from Obama, besides the selling of more pistols, rifles, and shotguns.

  5. Right-to-Work legislation is nothing more than window dressing. It's going to take so much more than this new law to turn W.Va.'s economy around. Can anyone name one major employer that did not come to West Virginia - or left West Virginia! - based solely on W.Va. not being a Right-to-Work state? Don - can your local legislators name one company all set to come to West Virginia now that this law - providing it survives beyond its expected veto - has passed? Great, West Virginia is Right-to-Work. Now when is the legislature going to pass real education reform and enhance infrastructure to lure new companies and slow the youth brain drain from this state.

  6. Right to work is fine. Too bad there are no jobs. I belonged to a union once. The American Postal Workers union. It was worthless. And with the War On Coal ravaging West Virginia we are seeing lots of ancillary jobs go away. Boone County - 77 lay offs by the Board of Education. Walker Machinery laying off due to declining sales of mining equipment. Local coalfield businesses going under. And on and on. And don't forget the significant loss of tax revenue from the coal industry that will need to be made up somehow. I'm all for the right to work, and even more for the right NOT to belong to a union. But at this point as far as West Virginia is concerned, a right to work law is just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. - Elric

  7. So how did that UMW union thing work for them. As soon as the Dems found a more plentiful source of bribes, they kicked the coal miners under the bus so fast they didn't know what was happening. My brother and I come from a hard rock mining background (think United Steelworkers), and when I pointed out to him what happened to the UMW, his eyes were opened. The Greens rule now. The union guys (except for government employee unions) are last weeks news. The EPA's computers say a kid downwind from a coal plant might get asthma, so it's necessary to decimate coal country. Never mind the unemployment and social pathologies that brings to actual, real people. Union leadership did a piss poor job of representing their constituents' best interests but I doubt if they'll do much soul searching. Idiots.

  8. "The reporter is an ex-New Republic staffer; I rest my case."

    That sums up the value of all Progressive thought right there "ex-New Republic staffer."

    - Mikey NTH