Why Detroit Should Be More Like Chattanooga

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from The Heritage Foundation,

With news from Washington getting bleaker every day, it’s invigorating to learn about good news coming from the states.

Heritage Foundation chief economist Stephen Moore visited Chattanooga, TN a few weeks ago. His goal: to warn the fast-growing city not to follow in Detroit’s footsteps and allow unions a free hand.

And last week, workers at a Volkswagen plant there rejected a UAW unionization drive. Moore explains why:

– When I traveled to Chattanooga and met with families who would be affected by the union presence, I heard multiple concerns. One was that unions would withhold money from worker paychecks with few corresponding benefits. Workers are paid well at the VW plant — $15 to $30 an hour (plus benefits) depending on skills — and there is high demand for these jobs. Another concern was that the higher plant costs associated with a union might mean that more assembly jobs would be outsourced to Mexico or China.

In fact, union power is eroding in right-to-work states that have been creating jobs at two to three times the pace of forced-union states. This is something to be proud of, Moore says. “We should all celebrate because the hope for America’s economic future is to make bankrupt Detroit more like prosperous Tennessee — not vice versa.”

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