Senator Heinrich addressed the New Mexico Legislature (from the looks of things, many legislators “boycotted” his presentation). Interestingly, Heinrich noted that New Mexico is losing jobs to Arizona and Texas. These are both Right to Work states, but Heinrich of course would never argue that such a law would be a big reason that those states are surpassing New Mexico.
And Heinrich obliquely attacked Right to Work saying that “we aren’t going to turn our economy around by passing laws that lower the wages of hard-working New Mexicans.” I agree with him, but in reading the speech I totally missed that as a reference to Right to Work. Thanks to the Journal’s Dan Boyd for catching that, but Heinrich’s facts are simply wrong. States that have such laws on the books are seeing income growth far faster than non-Right to Work states.
The article from former US Senator Fred Harris that appeared in the Journal over the weekend suffered from many of the same problems as Heinrich’s talk. Harris was clearly a far-left wing US Senator. His claim that Right to Work laws is completely unsubstantiated. According to the Fiscal Policy Institute, 5 of the 10 most unequal states are Right to Work and 5 of the least unequal states are Right to Work. There is no pattern.
Oh, and if Mr. Harris wants to find a real-world example of the positive impact Right to Work can have on wealth generation in a state, he need look no further than his home state of Oklahoma where personal income growth far outpaced the region in the wake of the law’s adoption in 2001.