Oregon Business Climate – Not So Good, but Don’t Let the Facts Get in the Way

According to Rich Vedder of Ohio University, hardly a bastion of right-wing thinking, between 2000 and 2008 more than ONE AMERICAN PER MINUTE moved from a closed-shop state (Oregon) to a right-to-work state ( a state where you cannot be forced to join a union as a condition of employment.

One a minute. Every minute of every single day.

Now the report from Loyola University: American cities with above average unionization rates have grown POORER and LESS POPULOUS. Capital moves to places where unions are weaker, and the job-seekers follow the capital.

The economist Paul Samuelson said, unions “determine how industries in decline are accelerated towards their extinction.”

But in Oregon, no right-to-work is ever even considered and instead, taxes on the filthy, lying, conniving, dirty businesses are raised.

A great plan if there ever was one.

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Posted by at 06:38 | Posted in Measure 37 | 23 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Ron


    Your rather obtuse description of Oregon businesses leaves one wondering how you really feel.

    Click on the link below for a map of right-to-work states Any Oregonian seeking employment in a near by state does have a few choices. For somebody like myself who really does love Oregon but would like to work in a right-to-work state, it would be a difficult choice. But you do waht you gotta do.


  • dartagnan

    I love the way you conservos toss terms like “socialist,” “Marxist” and “closed shop” around with absolutely no regard for their meanings. There is no such thing as a true “closed shop” (place of employment bound by contract to hire only members of a particular union) in this country anymore — it’s illegal.

    • Jerry

      Are you aware, that in Oregon, your dues are required and are withheld from your paycheck whether you are a member of the union or not, if you work in a union shop? I didn’t think so.

      That seems pretty coerced to me.

      So it is not illegal. What you thinking?

      So typical to shout out before doing any research.

      • dartagnan

        A “closed shop” means you have to belong to a union to get hired. What you people are calling a “closed shop” is actually a “union shop.”

    • Rupert in Springfield

      >there is no such thing as a true “closed shop” (place of employment bound by contract to hire only members of a particular union) in this country anymore — it’s illegal.

      Under what fiction do you think it is illegal?

      You might be thinking of Communications Workers v. Beck. However that decision stated that a union could still require workers to pay that part of dues used in collective bargaining. In short you can withhold the portion of union dues used for political lobbying, but that’s it. That is de facto forced unionization.

      Interestingly, that was Clinton’s very first act in office. Rescinding a Bush XO that required employers to inform workers of their rights under Beck.

      There are also other forced unionization efforts, such as day care workers. Since the state pays a lot of the bill for these workers unions often try a power grab to classify them as state workers. thus they can force them to join SEIU or AFSCME. This was pretty notable in WA and Mich. and has even been brought up here in Oregon.

      Oregon is not a right to work state. Thus state does not prevent forced union memebership and federal law only prevents you being forced to pay for union political activity, union dues in general though, you can be forced to pay.

      Oh, and by the way, you have repeteadly asked people to wake you up when business starts leaving Oregon.

      Here is a small list:

      Comnet Marketing Group Inc., a Medford-based telephone survey group, will move most of its 150 jobs within four years. It is also foregoing expansions that would have added another 150 jobs to its Oregon work force.

      Blue Line Transportation Co., a Portland trucking firm, will likely move a division that generates $2 million in annual sales to Idaho. The hikes would have boosted the division’s yearly taxes to $10,000.

      MLS Inc., a 52-year-old publishing firm that specializes in small newspaper printing, is also considering whether to remain in Eugene.

      Star Oilco laid off one of its 15 employees in anticipation of paying the 2009 retroactive taxes. The Portland fuel distributor, which operates on margins ranging between 0.5 percent and 2 percent, would need to earn an extra $81 a day to pay its $15,000 corporate minimum tax bill.

      Wakey Wakey – rise and shine!

      source Portland Business Journal Feb 12, 2010

      • dartagnan

        You mention only two business that are actually moving plus one that is considering a move, and you provide no evidence that they are moving specifically because of Measures 66 and 67.

        I seem to recall predictions that thousands of businesses would flee Oregon. You have quite a long way to go.

        • Jerry

          No, Oregon has a long way to go before the number of new businesses coming here outnumber the ones leaving.

    • Moron Detector

      You’re an idiot if you believe the kibble you just posted.

    • naoko

      That isn’t true at all. For the most part, the entire Hollywood entertainment industry is closed shop. When I worked out there briefly, anyone who acted for more than one day, total, was required to join the union in order to be employed. The same is true for many other segments of the industry. About the only time you can work if you’re non-union is during a strike. My aunt, who has been in the industry more than 30 years & is a big organized labor proponent, laments that there are a few (very) small facets of the industry not yet controlled by the unions- apparently cartoons are still exempt.

  • John Fairplay

    Really? I would urge you, then, to apply for a job as a teacher at you local public high school without being a member of a teachers union and see how that goes.

  • valley p

    Southern states are our right to work states right? And business are flocking there? Current unemployment in the south according to US Bureau of Labor Statistics:

    South Carolina: 12.6%
    Florida: 11.8%
    North Carolina: 11.2%
    Alabama: 11%
    Tennessee: 10.9%
    Kentucky: 10.7%
    Mississippi: 10.6%
    Georgia: 10.3%

    Current unionized state unemployment rates:
    Iowa: 6.6%
    Hawaii: 6.9%
    Vermont: 6.9%
    New Hampshire: 7%
    Minnesota: 7.4%
    Maryland: 7.5%
    Maine: 8.3%
    Wisconsin: 8.7%

    And if you look at state per capita wealth the data even more favor unionized states.

    So Jerry, as usual….you are simply wrong. Education levels have more to do with both employment and wealth than do “right to work” laws.

    • Jerry

      Gee Whiz – you forgot MI, OH, NY, etc. How convenient.
      But you are right – I don’t know anything and you know everything.
      Thanks for the help.

      • valley p

        Yes Jerry, I left out some states with high union membership and high unemployment, and I left out some states with right to work laI also left out China, which has way low labor costs and no unions at all. Unfortunately for you, there is so little correlation between right to work and unemployment that your entire premise is shown as being bogus. That is what a quick research of facts can do for you.

        And remember, the subtitle of your post is “don’t let facts get in the way.” Apparently you were not kidding about that.

        • Jerry

          I stand behind the statements fully.
          Anyone can nitpick using selected “facts” but the point is valid.
          Right-to-work states are doing much better than non-right-to-work.
          Check which states have deficits if you like.
          Same result.
          Heavy union, blue states are all bankrupt!

          • valley p

            “I stand behind the statements fully.”

            Of course you do Jerry. You won’t let facts get in your way. That was my point. You start by claiming jobs are moving from union states to right to work states, and when I show you facts that contradict that you ignore it. Now you claim that union states have higher budget deficits, but you don’t have any facts to back that up either. You and facts are like oil and water.

            But we love you anyway.

      • John in Oregon

        You also left out New Jersey with high state worker unionization, high unemployment, high budget debt, and very high *wealth out migration.*

        • valley p

          As usual John, you are reporting anecdotes and drawing erroneous conclusions. New Jersy gas the third highest per capita wealth in the nation. If some wealth is migrating out, other wealth is apparently being created to fill the gap.

  • retired UO science prof

    Many wonderful ideas this Sunday for ballot initiatives. Maybe Bill Sizemore can use these in his campaign for Governor!

    Right-to-work. Fix the schools through DMV.

    And I was under the impression that Oregon was a net in-migration state.

    Jerry, thanks for setting me straight.

    • John in Oregon

      retired UO science prof , since you brought up Bill Sizemore I wondered if you had noticed this little tidbit?

      During the 2008 elections where the Public Employee Unions ran campaign adds repeatedly about Bill Sizemore being a “convicted felon” even thought the Unions knew this was false.

      Sizemore sued several Unions and their sibling groups for $12 million dollars. Union lawyers have been fighting hard to get the case thrown out.

      Recently Sizemore won a key decision in Marion County Circuit court. Judge Joseph Guimond ruled against the Unions and that case can now proceed to trial.

      Now we get to what is going to be the interesting part. The next step is discovery of the unions and their inner workings. Discovery in which Sizemore will have access to emails, financial records, polling data, focus group data and anything else related to the case.

      I have often thought that one of Bill Sizemore’s worse enemies was named Bill Sizemore.

      On the other hand I don’t think the Unions and PACs want that information available to the public. Will the Unions offer to settle to keep the inner-workings out of the light of day?

      What ever else might be said, sometimes when Sizemore is involved it can be very interesting.

      • retired UO science prof

        Dunno any more about it than you, I’ve never been affiliated with a public employee union. I don’t really have a dog in the fight. If Sizemore can uncork embarrassing stuff from the unions, it’s fine.

  • Bill Sizemore

    Speaking of Bill Sizemore, I have worked on several ballot initiatives to give Oregon workers the right to work without being coerced into paying union dues. The attorney general and the Oregon Supreme Court won’t let that happen in Oregon. The AG, who is typically elected with union money, will not give an honest ballot title to a Right to Work measure and if an even remotely honest title is granted, the unions always appeal to their friends on the supreme court and the court, which has ex-union lawyers on it, and the court always sabotages the ballot title beyond comprehension.

    The same goes for any attempt to repeal Oregon’s Little Davis Bacon law, another law the unions want left alone. Try getting an honest ballot title for that issue. It can’t be done. The court won’t let it happen and no matter how the measure is written, the ballot title will be sabotaged beyond repair. In fact, if you read the measure and then the supreme court’s ballot title, you will walk away scratching your head and wondering how any honest person could describe that measure in that way.

    Forget the statistics. There is a fundamental principle at stake here. No American should be forced to join a union or any other such organization and pay tribute to it as a condition of employment. Nationwide, less than eight percent of the private workforce is unionized, but something like 42 percent of the public sector is unionized, and that is especially true in a state like Oregon where the public employee unions run the entire process.

    Unions call the shots at the state legislature and successfully bought and paid for the most powerful state offices in Oregon including governor, attorney general and secretary of state. No one even tries to hide that fact anymore and the people holding those offices are shameless.

    Either we break the public employee stranglehold on our state government or the party is over. Now that’s a fact.

  • anonymous

    It may come as a surprise to many but the unions are not the only ones who like Little Davis Bacon. Big contractors do too. They make more money when they are “forced” to pay union wages. Unions do better under Little Davis Bacon and so do big contractors who bid on public works projects. But the taxpayers get ripped off royal.

    Big business always has and always will use government as a protection racket to stifle competition, which is exactly what the unions are doing. (Oh and by the way, de facto closed shops are the norm in Oregon. Claims to the contrary are merely employing semantics.)

    I would love to see Sizemore elected governor and then be a fly on the wall when the various state employee unions try to negotiate with him. They might regret having called the buy a convicted racketeer. He might not win his $12 million lawsuit, but the exposure the unions will suffer as a result of the case will worth more to the state than $12 million. Give ’em hell, Bill.

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