Michael J. Reitz is executive vice president of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

The Wall Street Journal says Michigan is the new battlefield in organized labor’s national campaign to preserve political power. In a Labor Day editorial, The Journal discusses the so-called “Protect Our Jobs” amendment that would enshrine collective bargaining in the Michigan Constitution. The editorial reflects the work of Mackinac Center analysts, noting the effect of the proposal: “The amendment would reduce the ability of Michigan lawmakers to change labor laws and end-run efforts to give workers a choice about whether to join a union.” The Journal also notes that organized labor hopes to invalidate and ban other meaningful reforms with passage of the amendment.

This editorial confirms what Mackinac Center experts have been saying for months: POJA is part of a national effort by organized labor to reverse a long decline in union membership. Union officials realize that if they cannot recruit members by offering a desired service, union power can only be preserved by enshrining a monopoly in the law.

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A “bottlenecker” is someone who uses the power of the government to limit competition in the market and artificially boost their own profits. Bottleneckers use a variety of methods to achieve their goals, including tax loopholes, regulations, occupational licensing requirements, minimum wage laws and many more. The end result when these special interest bottleneckers succeed is fewer choices and higher prices for consumers, fewer job opportunities for workers and less innovation throughout the economy.

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