This year, the Mackinac Center for Public Policy’s battles against the politico-labor camp’s entrenched disregard for taxpayer interests seeps into all policy departments: Labor, Fiscal and Education. And with the year winding to a close, it’s time to exhale, take stock and look at this year’s “labors.”
First, the Atlas Foundation has nominated the Mackinac Center for the Templeton Freedom Award, credited to our decades-long battle for right-to-work. Our surprise and gratitude was unparalleled – and our applause goes to the other finalists, who are accomplishing great feats in Mexico, India and Europe for ordinary individuals. Our Executive Vice President Michael Reitz goes into more detail in his letter to readers on Page 4.
An important facet of the battle for right-to-work was about allowing a worker the right to keep the money they earn, if they choose. This issue’s Overton Window (Page 9) tracks the development (and devolution) of this right since even before the Mackinac Center arrived on the scene, starting in 1965 with Michigan’s adoption of the Public Employees Relations Act. This gave public employees the right to bargain collectively with their employer. The impulse to punish workers for not joining the union cemented into law through the eighties, and the Mackinac Center came on the scene in 1988 (just in the nick of time) to help remedy this imbalance.
Now those in favor of forced unionism are required to be more creative than ever before – due to right-to-work’s passage, the law is not their first recourse. Labor Policy Director Vincent F. Vernuccio elaborates on the creative use of worker centers to enlist non-union members into unions on Page 10. Those who were up-to-date on the corporate campaigns in the news this summer will surely recognize some of the tactics employed to boost union enrollment and force businesses’ hands.
Of course, there’s more than one side to every story, as the Mackinac Center’s research points to time and again. In our “By the Numbers” feature at the back of the book (Page 15), we take a look at “government charity” to businesses and labor interests alike. The numbers may surprise you – and hopefully help provide transparency to keep government’s blessings neutral to each constituent, every one.
Those of us at the Mackinac Center feel very grateful to have readers like you who feel the same. Please, don’t hesitate to write in, Facebook, Tweet or Pin your questions, comments and concerns alike. We look forward to hearing from you, and have a very happy holiday season.