I’m reluctant to tease Yeselson’s piece on the Michigan loss last week because it’s all excellent, but this general point is a good introduction to the specific claims about the state:
The vaunted libertarian argument in support of right to work would be far more convincing if libertarians supported the rights of employees to reject at their discretion the countless rules and obligations that employers mandate as a condition of employment. The argument seems to be that employees are free either to quit a job or not take it in the first place if they find various company requirements—e.g., what time they are to come to work—onerous or unpleasant. Libertarians do not argue, however, that workers have the right to retain their employment yet arrive at work at noon if their employer wishes them to arrive at 9. Don’t start, or quit, but if you’re on the job, follow the boss’s rules, right?
Yet we are to believe that only the requirement that workers must join a union or else compensate the union for work it will do on his or her behalf constitutes a grave blow to the worker’s economic freedom. Despite the high-minded justifications proffered by some of its defenders, right to work has no distinguished, abstract theoretical pedigree, no elevated standing in the mansion of Western political theory. It’s a snarling pit bull of a policy that disempowers the institutional voice of employees—unions—for the benefit of corporations. Most of the wealthy states don’t have right-to-work laws, and most of the poor ones do. Workers in right to work states make less than those in non-right-to-work states, and their unions have fewer resources to fight the corporations and politicians who benefit from this lopsided system. That’s the idea.
Real the whole etc. See also MacGillis — this is the latest example of why trusting “moderate” Republicans is likely to leave you with nothing but the barrel that will constitute your wardrobe going forward.