Mitch Daniels Urges Indiana GOP To Drop Right To Work Bill, And He’s Right

Mitch Daniels says that now isn’t the time to deal with a right-to-work bill in Indiana:

Gov. Mitch Daniels signaled this afternoon that Republicans should drop the right-to-work bill that has brought the Indiana House to a standstill for two days and imperiled other measures.

Daniels told reporters this afternoon that he expected House Democrats will return to work if the bill dies. It would be unfortunate if other bills are caught up in the turmoil, he said.

He will not send out state police to corral the Democrats, the Republican governor said.

The Democrat minority has right to express its views, he added.

The governor clung to his view that this is not the year to tackle right to work.

Some on the right are already excoriating Daniels for this decision, but as Tim Carney notes, there is a valid free-market argument against right to work laws:

Advocates describe Right to Work laws as preserving workers’ freedom not to join a union, which is a noble goal — but it’s not what Right to Work laws do. In fact, these laws interfere with the right of contract and they bar certain consensual economic arrangements — specifically, they bar employers from agreeing to hire only union workers.

Let me put it this way: Imagine a liberal talking about a law imposing maximum hours rules. He might say, “nobody should be forced to work 50 hours a week.” That’s true — nobody should be forced to work 50 hours a week — but it’s also a bit besides the point. Bosses don’t force employees to do anything: they place conditions on those who want the boss’s money. If you want to work for me and get paid by me, you will do A, B, and C. Some of these demands are more reasonable or more compassionate than others, but barring extreme circumstances, the conservative position is that people should be able to place whatever conditions they like on those who want their property.

Right to Work laws bar employers from imposing a different sort of condition: the requirement that all employees join a union. Thus they take away property rights and infringe on the right of contract.

There are plenty of stupid labor laws that restrict employer freedom, but none of these laws force employers to have a closed shop. Preventing employers from agreeing to a closed shop is no free-market solution.

I tend to agree, but I’m pretty sure this decision, along with Daniels call for a truce on social issues, will come up if he decides to run for President.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, Quick Takes, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. legion says:

    Despite what every major media outlet keeps saying, this country is looking less and less “center-right” all the time. Especially as elected officials keep moving “extreme-right”.

  2. I tend to agree, but I’m pretty sure this decision, along with Daniels call for a truce on social issues, will come up if he decides to run for President.

    I hope it does. I’d sure put it as a point in his favour.

  3. @legion

    As I stated somewhere else today, they’re moving extreme-right because that’s what they have to do just to make it to a general election. If you’re not extreme right, or even extreme left at this point, you won’t make it out of the primary.

  4. Gulliver says:

    “Gov. Mitch Daniels signaled this afternoon that Republicans should drop the right-to-work bill that has brought the Indiana House to a standstill for two days and imperiled other measures.”

    The bill hasn’t brought the House to a standstill, Democrats abandoning the democratic process because the numbers are against them is the reason the House is at a standstill. This is pure misdirection and straw man diversion. Cowardice and childishness don’t even begin to describe the tactics engaged in by democrats.

    “Hey I know, if we don’t like the bill and can’t keep it from passing, let’s just bail!” The only thing positive about this is it shows the voters across this country how liberals roll when they know they aren’t going to get their way – they just take their marbles and go home so that no one can do anything. Real leadership in action…

  5. It’s already come up. I saw people complaining on Facebook at least a week ago and portraying Daniels as a tool of the unions.

  6. Jack says:

    So, let’s see, no one can “force” someone to work 50 or more hours a week, but employers can say, or imply strongly, “anyone who doesn’t work 50 or more hours a week will be first on the layoff list”.

    Coercion takes many forms, which are not recognized by those who have never really had to deal with that type of work for a living, or those who do not have friends who have to deal with this type of crap.

    Where did unions come from? From people being abused by the powerful.

    Those who have never had to deal with the abuse will never truly understand, just as those who have never had to deal with racism first hand will never understand.

    Which is why they lack compassion about these issues, to their loss. This is why I truly hope there is an afterlife, even though I am an agnostic, because I want those who lack this compassion to experience first hand what they dismiss so callously.

  7. sam says:

    “Bosses don’t force employees to do anything: they place conditions on those who want the boss’s money. If you want to work for me and get paid by me, you will do A, B, and C…[T]he conservative position is that people should be able to place whatever conditions they like on those who want their property”

    That’s an interesting and enlightening way of putting the matter. Surely my labor is my property. So, if one of the conditions I put on those who want my labor (my property) is that they hire me and my unionist confreres, what could be the conservative argument against this? After all, as Carney would say, the employer doesn’t have to hire me at all. But if he or she wants me, he or she will have to accept the conditions I put on his or her appropriation of my property.

  8. An Interested Party says:

    "I’d sure put it as a point in his favour. "
    Yes, but I would bet that would be a minority opinion among the GOP electorate…
     
    "Where did unions come from? From people being abused by the powerful.
    Those who have never had to deal with the abuse will never truly understand, just as those who have never had to deal with racism first hand will never understand. """"'''"
    Exactly right…I wonder how many of these rugged individualists who bitch and moan about the "evil" unions have things like paid vacations, paid sick days, etc. incorporated into their jobs?  Surely they don't think such things simply appeared magically out of the air…

  9. legion says:

    Sam,
    You are entirely correct. This isn't about some sort of honest disagreement within the conservative sphere, it's about resetting the rules to favor only the rich at the expense of everyone else. It's the wholesale re-making of America to resemble the monarchial empire we rebelled from over two centuries ago.

  10. Bob in Zion says:

    Unions provided a needed service, up until the 1970's when federal and state labor laws got some teeth and enforcement. Since then they've driven the steel industry all but out of America, nearly killed GM and Chysler and made public sector employment a charity shop for early retirement and great benefits on someone elses dime.
    I've already removed myself from one job to avoid being forced into a union. The two jobs since have started me at $5,000 a year higher than people with a number of years of seniority on me based on my skill set, not my hire date.
    Unions are great, for people who'd rather trust someone else to decide what they are worth, instead of proving it, and reaping the rewards.

  11. tom p says:

    Unions are great, for people who'd rather trust someone else to decide what they are worth, instead of proving it, and reaping the rewards.
     

    And you Bob, are such an astute observer of worth.

  12. Have A Nice G.A. says:

    Those who have never had to deal with the abuse will never truly understand, just as those who have never had to deal with racism first hand will never understand. 
    So then those of us who have had to deal with the  rights of the people who have been indoctrinated into the unapproachable mindset of a special class of citizenry do understand?
    Donkeywash!