Sunday, March 01, 2009

Card check update: "A mortal threat to American freedom"

As Barack Obama continues to shove America to the left, the obscenely misnamed Employee Free Choice Act, which if passed, will do away with workers' right to secret ballot elections when deciding to join a union.

EFCA is better known as "card check."

In this week's Weekly Standard, editor Fred Barnes takes aim at card check:

Unions spur unemployment, and "there is no question" about it. "High union wages that exceed the competitive market rate are likely to cause job losses in the unionized sector of the economy." That is the unvarnished conclusion of one of the country's most admired economists. From 1970 to 1985, a state with average unionization had a rate of unemployment 1.2 percentage points higher than a state with no unions. This represented "about 60 percent of the increase in normal unemployment" in that period.

Okay, a finding from several decades ago may be a bit dated. But the phenomenon of how unionization affects unemployment isn't. Nor is the economist--Lawrence Summers, formerly president of Harvard and now President Obama's chief economic adviser. In this week's Fortune, Nina Easton calls him "the mastermind" of Obama's economic policy. His influence has limits, however, for Obama is aggressively promoting unionization at the worst possible time, smack in the teeth of a deepening recession with soaring unemployment.

Media attention has focused on the hot button issue of "card check." It would jettison labor's biggest impediment to signing up workers, the secret ballot. Naturally, it's labor's top priority in 2009. And though Obama and the vast majority of Democrats in Congress favor card check, its fate is unclear.

That's good. But unclear doesn't mean impossible.

At the just-concluded CPAC conference, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich called card check "a mortal threat to American freedom."

Related posts:

Blagojevich and union "card check"

Card check bill a minefield

Employee "free choice" may drive economic uncertainty

CBS refuses to air ad denouncing union "card check"

Stop the Employee FORCED Choice Act

Dems' secret ballot hypocrisy

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