CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: This is an adjustment to reality. The fact is that, you know, in the glory days the 40s, the 50s, the 60’s, the UAW was able to give its workers the highest wages, benefits in the world. That was because of an anomaly that we were only industrial country that came out of second World War intact. Europe was on its knees, Germany and Japan were rubble. So, we thought that was the natural order of things. It wasn’t.
And when the other industrial countries recovered, we got world competition as we have. We ran into bankruptcies, Chrysler now twice. We see that in the southern states where the transplants are without the unions. They weren’t the ones who went bankrupt last in 2008 and 2009. So it really is a choice. It’s a tough choice, and I sympathize with the unions, but the fact is that in the global economy where you have to compete on wages and other elements, of the units of production, you can you either have, you know, high wages with low employment or you can, as Obama would say, spread around the wealth.
The fact is that in the right-to-work states, unemployment is 6.9%. And in the other stays the non-right-to-work, it’s 8.7. So you can choose to have fewer workers who enjoy higher, inflated, unnatural, if you like, wages, uncompetitive wages. Or you can have competitive wages and more people employed, more people with the dignity of a job and less unemployment, more taxation and more activity. I think it’s it the right choice but I understand how it’s a wrenching choice.