By MICHAEL REAGAN
All those union thugs who were rioting in Michigan last week were angry about the wrong thing.
They were demonstrating — which in union-speak means breaking things and punching people — against Michigan’s decision to become a right-to-work state.
If you believe the union spin, or the mainstream liberal media’s spin or the Obama spin, which all come from the same propaganda factory, that means Michigan no longer cares about workers, the right to organize, living wages, etc., etc.
But what Michigan’s new law really means is that the voters and a majority of the politicians in the state have miraculously decided that a citizen’s freedom of choice should extend to the freedom to be able to choose not to join a union.
What a concept.
It’s a great step forward for a troubled state that has seen its signature industry crippled to the point of near extinction by unions that had too much power over the lives of workers, American carmakers, politicians and the economy.
If those union thugs and their allies in the Democrat Party really had a clue, they would have been demonstrating — peacefully, if that’s possible — against what has happened to the once-great, but now pathetic, city of Detroit.
The statistics are staggering. Detroit — a union town if America ever made one — is a socialist hell on wheels.
Its city government is broke and nearly $50 million in the red, in part because it pays $1.08 in benefits to municipal workers and retirees for every $1 it pays in salaries.
Its population has fallen from 1.8 million in 1950 to about 700,000 as of 2011, and too many of the Detroiters who are left don’t pay taxes, don’t form traditional two-parent families, don’t have jobs and aren’t interested in having one.
Of the roughly 224,000 residents who actually have a job, only 190,000 work in the private sector. A third of the populace is on food stamps. Oh, and 99,000 of Detroit’s 363,000 housing units are vacant.
Welcome to Obamaville — and the future Obama America.
If Michigan’s union thugs want to demonstrate about something beyond their own economic interests as seen through the lens of union fundraising, they might try raising a fist to the sorry state of education in Detroit.
Among students in city schools recently exiting eighth grade, only 7 percent are “proficient” in reading and only 4 percent are “proficient” in math.
Maybe the unions are happy with those shameful numbers because they will be guaranteed a steady supply of uneducated kids who are only qualified to join a union.
But what were all those parents doing, supporting the union thugs and excusing thousands of schoolteachers who took the day off in solidarity? Those parents, if they had a common-sense proficiency in double digits, would be protesting the lousy education their kids are getting.
It’s interesting to see the left go wild in the streets to protest Michigan’s giant step for greater worker freedom.
It seems the left only wants you to have freedom of choice when you’re pregnant. After you give birth to the child, it’s those on the left — not the right — that want to deny your freedom to choose, whether it’s a school for your kid, the size of your soft drink, or to be in a union.
Michigan is going the right way — the opposite of the Obama Way that has doubled America’s homeless population to 636,000 and jacked up our food stamp population to 47 million.
Detroit has been destroyed by its own bad governments and the kind of federal policies Obama wants to expand. It may be beyond saving, except for growing crops where neighborhoods once were.
But Michigan has taken a dramatic step toward resurrecting its industrial economy. It’s no longer a union-made state.
It’s a state where freedom of choice extends to people who will no longer be forced to join a union or pay dues to a bunch of thugs who’ll spend it to elect more presidents like the one we’re stuck with now.
Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan and a political consultant. He can be reached at Reagan@caglecartoons.com .