Oldham County and the Right-to-Work Lie

Bruce Maples
Bruce Maples
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It’s always fascinating to watch elected officials solve a real problem with a fairy-tale solution. Their real goal is to do this thing that they really have the hots for, so they either make up a problem (weapons of mass destruction), or they take a real problem and say “This thing (I have the hots for) will solve the problem,” when any sensible person can see that they’re just using the problem as cover.

Oldham County is the latest example of this contortion of logic. Stuck with an industrial park that is all park and no industry, leaders in the county are proposing a local so-called “Right to Work” (Right to Freeload) ordinance, saying that destroying unions and paying poverty wages is obviously the way to attract companies to the county.

Let’s be clear: Right to Freeload isn’t about jobs. It’s about greed and politics.

  • Greed — “If we can get rid of unions, I can pay my workers lower wages, which means more money for me.”
  • Politics — “If we can get rid of unions, they can’t be a force in electing Democrats.”

Is it any wonder that Right to Freeload is every Republican politician’s wet dream, along with their wealthy friends? So much so, that they will propose it at every turn, as the solution to every economic problem ever discussed, and hold out the carrot of “jobs jobs jobs!” even as they dream of crushing the very organizations that helped build our middle class.

Passing Right to Freeload will not bring business flocking to an empty field, eager to spend money putting up buildings. It will merely achieve the real goal of further damaging unions.

Pro tip to Oldham County: instead of trying to destroy unions, focus on your technical infrastructure, and your affordable housing, so that knowledge workers can live there and work remotely.

And turn that $20 million empty field into a park.

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Bruce Maples has been involved in politics and activism since 2004, when he became active in the Kerry Kentucky movement. (Read the rest of his bio on the Bruce Maples Bio page in the bottom nav bar.)

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