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December 03, 2003

Dean & Libertarians Hate "Right to Work" Laws

In Dean's Hardball appearance, Chris Matthews pressed him on whether he supported "right to work" laws. Dean gave a good tough answer:

DEAN: I hate right-to-work laws.
And let me tell you why it's OK to be forced to join a union. The union is out there negotiating for your wage increases. Why should you get a free ride? Why should you should be able to go to work for that company, get the same benefits as everybody else who paid their union dues and you paid nothing? That's why I'm against right-to-work laws...
MATTHEWS: You understand why a libertarian would disagree with you, right? A libertarian would think they had a right, he or she, to work where they can do the job.
DEAN: Yes, but why should they-but why should they get the benefits of everybody else who is paying dues and get a free ride?
Although Matthews was an idiot on this point. The Libertarian Party opposes "right to work" laws for a very good reason-- they are government interference with private contracts. Libertarians don't like most labor laws but they also support "compulsory unionism" if that's what workers and employers negotiate in a contract. See their platform here:
we urge repeal of the National Labor Relations Act, and all state Right-to-Work Laws which prohibit employers from making voluntary contracts with unions. We oppose all government back-to-work orders as the imposition of a form of forced labor.
Given how bad labor laws are at this point, I'd pretty much support the Libertarian position on complete repeal of national labor laws, from right-to-work to the ban on sympathy strikes to Presidential interference with strikes.

If we could hold onto a basic right to free speech in the workplace, the rest of the apparatus of the labor laws could be thrown in the trash with little loss and a lot of gain for workers rights.

Posted by Nathan at December 3, 2003 03:24 AM