New items to hit the news in recent weeks include so-called Right to Work laws and the Internet Freedom Act. Ryan Cooper on the former.
A major plank of the conservative agenda these days is so-called “Right to Work” laws, something Scott Walker recently passed in Wisconsin. Such a law makes it illegal for an employer and a union to enter into a contract ensuring any new employee will be automatically enrolled in the union or its dues program. Conservatives often insist that this is neither a pro- nor an anti-labor position, but merely a question of individual liberty and economic growth. Unions are okay, they say, but justice requires that people not be “coerced” into joining a union just to get a job, which hurts workers’ incomes by choking off growth.
What’s the problem with that?
Unions are already nearly dead in most of the country, and “Right to Work” is basically just stacking a couple bricks on the corpse in case Jesus happens by. But if you look at unions as a whole, especially historically, the benefits for workers are obvious and undeniable.
‘Right to Work’ also seems to mean a company can fire an employee for any reason.
What about ‘Internet Freedom?’ Jon Brodkin covers it.
US Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) this week filed legislation she calls the “Internet Freedom Act” to overturn the Federal Communications Commission’s new network neutrality rules.
The FCC’s neutrality rules prohibit Internet service providers from blocking or throttling Internet traffic, prohibit prioritization of traffic in exchange for payment, and require the ISPs to disclose network management practices.
These rules “shall have no force or effect, and the Commission may not reissue such rule in substantially the same form, or issue a new rule that is substantially the same as such rule, unless the reissued or new rule is specifically authorized by a law enacted after the date of the enactment of this Act,” the Internet Freedom Act states.
The ‘freedom’ then has to do, not with internet access for individuals, but for internet access to be controlled by giant internet service providers, such as AT&T which provided campaign money to Blackburn.
So much for internet freedom. This seems more like freedom for large companies to buy politicians to do their bidding.