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  • /uploadedImages/Blogs/Unemployment Line.JPG By Ron Meyer

    In the worst job market for young people in decades, it’s becoming clear that big-government policies are back-firing on the largely progressive youth. One of the worst and most ignored of these job-killing policies is forced unionism.

    Young people face harshening job prospects in states without laws protecting workers from being forced to join unions, known as right-to-work (RTW) laws. For recent grads seeking entry level jobs in a tough economy, unions continue to protect their own and guard against new hires.

    Forced unionism creates higher labor costs for both businesses and the government, causing them to cut other expenses like nonessential employees and entry level staff – the very positions young people usually occupy.

    But how do unions get away with mandating employees to join?

    In the 2010 election cycle, unions spent $96.5 million, almost all of which went to liberal leaders. To thank the unions, liberal public policy makers give higher benefits and salaries to the public unions in addition to allowing the private unions to mandate membership for employment.

    This symbiotic cycle is deadly to all workers except those in the union. Forced unionism creates a monopoly and artificially increases wages, forcing businesses to either hire less workers, go out of business, or move to a different state.

    Don’t believe me? Look at the numbers from Senator Jim Demint’s study, “Right-to-Work States are Winning the Future”:

        From 1993-2009:

    • In RTW states, private sector employment increased 18.3 percent more than forced-unionism states.
    • Income growth was 3.8 percent higher in RTW states.
    • RTW states added 46 percent more businesses.

    It’s important to remember that collective bargaining alone isn’t wrong; only when the government endorses forced unionism do we see economic pain targeting young people.

    The good news, as Young America’s Foundation Vice President Kate Obenshain pointed out to Bob Beckel this week on Fox News’ Hannity, unions are running scared because RTW states are growing, and across the country, less than seven percent of people in the private sector are union members.

    The bad news is that unions aren’t going down without a fight and their money will not stop flowing anytime soon.

    Young people looking for work need to realize that supporting progressivism hurts their chances of securing a job. Economic freedom brings the power of choice and competition into the market place and enables fuller employment for all Americans.

    Ron Meyer is a Program Officer at Young America’s Foundation. YAF sponsors conservative conferences across the country and owns the Reagan Ranch in Santa Barbara, Calif. Ron has appeared on Fox News and been published with the Christian Science Monitor, Yahoo! News, AOL News, Human Events, and the Daily Caller. Contact him at


    • Readers' Comments

    • Ron, the job market is a real concern for all Americans, but it is trivial compared to the real danger. The unions are more symbolic of the real problem. Americans have allowed themselves to express the lowest form of self interest. The lazy, selfish, entitled and non productive side of self interest. Unfortunately the world belief supports the idea that all societies go through this cycle. If America does not wake up from this ignorant belief that the world is here to make them happy then we are doomed. Think about this. What would happen if America needed the same “I can” culture today to survive that we had until 50 years ago? How many Americans today would sell everything to join a wagon train and walk across this great country for the opportunity, the chance of a better life? How many Americans today would sail to Alaska and hike over mountains for a chance at finding a little gold? History says that we need a firm kick in our hind side to wake us up. I believe that we need much more then a kick. The union issues we see today are just the tip of the iceberg. We are reaping what we sew…. The good, the bad and the lazy.
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