I'm not sure what Politico's Ben White's background is, or if he's ever worked at a job where you were really glad you had a union in place to join, because you work in a dangerous environment, and because of those protections provided to you by the union, you could speak out about conditions on the job without fear of being fired or retribution, but it sure didn't sound like it after hearing his crass statements on MSNBC's Now With Alex Wagner.
I'm also really disgusted with the rest of the panel that was on there with him this Friday, because even though they made a lot of really great points about just what Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and his cohorts in the legislature were doing with passing this right to work for less legislation in their lame duck session, they let him get away with a really key issue that Rep. Brandon Dillon laid out so well during his speech this week.
The supporters of "right to work" don't really care about anyone's right to a job. What you're doing, as Ken already explained here, is arguing that it should be allowed that nonunion workers to get benefits that unions negotiate without having to pay their share for the process. And as Ken noted in that same post, "Proponents of 'right-to-work' laws argue that without such 'protections', workers can be forced to join unions, which is not true and is illegal under federal law and has been since 1947."
If Politico's White wants to have an honest debate about unions, rather than giving Republican taking points, maybe he could explain why it's fair for someone to benefit from the work and negotiating and legal representation a union is forced to give that employee, without that employee paying for those benefits, rather than the union being allowed to tell them that if they don't want to join, they're on their own. I thought Republicans loved the idea of someone "pulling themselves up by their own bootstraps." But now they think it's perfectly acceptable for a union to protect them and pay legal fees and negotiate for fair wages for them, without them paying to make sure that union has enough money to conduct business?
And as much as I really like Joan Walsh and Joy Reid and agree with the points they made during this segment, they missed the ball by not making that exact point to White when he was so terribly concerned about the choices and benefits of these workers and whether it's unfair to have them pay their union dues or not. Here is the question he should have to answer. Is it fair to force a union to represent free riders who want representation, but refuse to pay for it?
I thought Republicans were all about personal responsibility. I guess not if it means someone being allowed to freeload from a union so you can bust them financially. Then it's perfectly fine in the name of "freedom."
If anyone would like to try to get White to respond as to why he thinks his comments here were acceptable and that unions should be forced to spend money representing those who don't want to pay to join, and why those that refuse to join should reap the benefits of what those unions negotiate for, you can let him know at @morningmoneyben.