Burlison Joins Emery, Admits His ALEC Bill Would Lower Average Wages

Earlier this week, the chief proponent of so-called "right-to-work" in the State House joined the growing club of the plan's supporters who admit that it would cause average wages would go down for all Missourians. During an interview with The Missouri Times, ALEC member and State Representative Eric Burlison said:

“If a company hires new employees under Right-to-Work, there are probably bringing someone in at an entry level, and those people aren’t going to be paid what the long-time union workers are making, so yes, the average wage might be going down, but there are now more people in the workforce, and an individual has the right to do whatever is in their self interest when it comes to work.”

Just like Ed Emery last week, Burlison only had it half-right. Yes, study after study have proven that so-called "right-to-work" laws have resulted in lower wages for workers in states where they have been implemented.

However, the facts just don't back up Burlison's claim that those lower wages are caused by an influx of job creation.

  • The Economic Policy Institute found in a 2011 study that the “evidence is overwhelming” that “right-to-work laws have not succeeding boosting employment growth in the states that have adopted them.”
  • Hofstra University professor Lonnie Stevans found in a 2007 study that employment was actually lower in states with right-to-work laws when controlling for other factors.
  • And in 2011, Ozkan Eren with the University of Nevada and Serkan Obzeklik with Claremont McKenna found in a study that there was no evidence to support right-to-work laws increased employment in manufacturing in Idaho and Oklahoma.

It's refreshing that ALEC's frontmen are finally owning up to the truth that so-called "right-to-work" laws will cut wages for everyone. If only they would drop the rest of the charade and stop pushing the false narrative that the proposal leads to more jobs. It won't. 

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