Economic effect of leftism

I found the 2005 and 2010 values for nominal gross state product of US states. I looked up Wikipedia for which states were right to work states. Over the five years, right to work states grew ten percent relative to non right to work states

That is to say, after five years, the average growth in nominal GDP for a right to work state was 1.231, that is to say, twenty three percent, five percent a year, while the average growth in non right to work states was 1.135, that is to say, thirteen percent, or two and half percent per year – probably negative real growth when inflation is taken into account.

Most left wing policies are federally enforced, rather than state enforced, thus this must massively understate the economic effect of leftism. Chances are that the effect of state plus federal leftism over five years is far higher than ten percent of GDP – which explains our current economic decline: Society has massively moved left, therefore must become correspondingly poorer.

If a state is not “Right to work”, this means that a “bargaining unit” can be unionized by vote – so if fifty percent of the people in your “bargaining unit” sign up, and vote in a secret ballot, you find some of your pay is being deducted to support full time political activists, and you are now on a union health care scheme that provides markedly fewer benefits and markedly higher cost than your old health care scheme.

This sounds bad, but in practice is worse. For the individual, signing or not signing makes no difference to the likelihood that a deduction will be made from his pay, since he is unlikely to be the one that makes a difference between 50% and 49%, but it makes a very large difference to the likelihood that he will have his legs broken. So the rational individual choice is to sign regardless of what the individual thinks of the union. This is not too bad, provided a secret ballot is required, but a secret ballot is not always required. Sometimes you get a union imposed on the basis of card check alone, that is to say, on the basis of broken legs, depending primarily on how cozy the union is with the government, as compared to how cozy the employer is. Federal legislation requires a secret ballot, but of course, the federal government is not required to obey its own laws, and frequently does not.

In a right to work state, however, you only get dues deducted from yourself individually if you yourself individually sign up, with the result that the dues tend to be lower, and the union health scheme does not suck so much, and, of course, the rational individual choice is not to sign up regardless of what the individual thinks of the union, making leg breaking correspondingly more hazardous.

In practice, right to work states do not have markedly fewer strikes and labor disputes. They do, however, have markedly fewer full time left political activists.

2 Responses to “Economic effect of leftism”

  1. red says:

    Jim, any thoughts on why the left keeps winning despite it’s horrible track record? MM seems to think they made all the right calls during most of their run in power. I’m not certain that’s true. Germany seemed to have a better economic model than the US or Russia during the 30s and yet they were crushed with the overwhelming economic might of the allies. The Birches had the truth on their side and yet you might as well cut off your nose if you name yourself a Bircher. Running a legal business in modern American is harder than running an under ground business in Soviet Russia and yet no one even comes close to our economic might.

    How did the left come to have overwhelming economic, military, and propaganda powers while making horrible calls over the at least the last 60 years?

  2. jim says:

    Last two hundred years, more like. The original brutal left wing disaster was the French Revolution.

    Assume you want power. You join a gang that is on its way up. The right is the party of “Don’t change stuff, people get hurt”, and the left is the party of “We want to turn society upside down”. So all the politically ambitious people are drawn to the left. Naturally the left will have a rather dreadful track record, and naturally the left will attract the ambitious and able power seekers. Any conspiracy seeking power will be a left wing conspiracy.

    The left provides jobs for the boys, hence its tendency to regulate everything and forbid everything.

    Suppose you want to build a house. You are going to have to prove that you are not disturbing ancient Native American artifacts, nor endangering the rare Preble’s meadow jumping mouse, nor draining land that is swampland once every thousand years. To prove that you are complying with each of these regulations, you need to hire a consultant, someone with a virtue degree, thus a left winger, someone with the right connections, who will issue a report that your house is not endangering the rare Preble’s meadow jumping mouse, and another consultant for another report that … Jobs for the boys.

    The left is the political apparatus for turning political power into goodies, for transferring wealth from the diffuse interest – people in flyover country, rednecks, and so forth, to the concentrated interest. New goodies, means new rules, changes, hence leftism. Leftism is the position “More goodies for us”; Rightism is the position “No more goodies”; Reaction is the position “We plan to take away your goodies!” Naturally reaction is really unpopular.

    It turned out that Preble’s meadow jumping mouse was rare because it never existed as a separate species. They were just regular meadow jumping mice who looked a bit different, like redheads are regular humans who look a bit different. But all the protections for it were still in place last time I heard. Millions of dollars are still spent every year protecting them, most of the expenditure being fees to people in the virtue industry.

    I personally paid consultants a bit over ten thousand dollars for reports concerning a fallen down wall of loose stones probably made by native Hawaiians to keep their pigs out of their paw paws.

    And that is why the left wins. What does “racist” mean? A racist is a low status person who is plotting to take away a high status person’s goodies.

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