C.E.O.’s and Minimum-Wage Jobs; More on Miguel Wooding; On Ed Lee Jumping in the Mayor’s Race …

by on July 28, 2011

To the Editor:

I found Holly Sklar’s article “CEOs to Workers: More for Me, Less for You” quite interesting. Let’s look at it from another angle. That is, right-to-work states versus non-right-to-work states. I believe there are 22 such states. Proponents of right-to-work laws claim that the economies with such laws grow faster and that their citizens are better off. But with their faster growing populations, right-to-work states had unemployment rates averaging 8 percent in April of this year, just below the 8.2 percent average in non-right-to-work states.

Economists Elise Gould and Heidi Shierholz looked closely at the differences in compensation between right-to-work and non-right-to-work states. Controlling for the demographic and job characteristics of workers as well as state-level economic conditions and cost-of-living differences across states, they found that in 2009 wages were 3.2 percent lower in right-to-work states vs. non-right-to-work states – about $1,500 less annually for a full-time, year-round worker; the rate of employer-sponsored health insurance was 2.6 percentage points lower in right-to-work states compared with non-right-to-work states; the rate of employer-sponsored pensions was 4.8 percentage points lower in right-to-work states.

And, in 2008, the rate of workplace deaths was 57 percent higher in right-to-work states than non-right-to-work states, while in 2009, poverty rate in right-to-work states averaged 15 percent, considerably above the 12.8 percent average for non-right-to-work states. Yes, right-to-work laws are very much “right-to-work-for-less” laws, as union critics call them. They are great for business, but not so great for the workers and the economies of right-to-work states.

Ralph E. Stone
San Francisco

To the Editor:

As a newly licensed attorney, I volunteered at the Eviction Defense Collaborative in 2005 and was honored to meet and know Miguel Wooding — the most intelligent, kind hearted, committed person I would ever know. He was truly brilliant and with his talents could have been a huge success at anything he did. Fortunately for the rest of us, he had no interest in the usual career path and devoted his life to others. It was a life all should aspire to, a life devoted to helping others.

I became a board member of the EDC in 2007, and met with Miguel at board meeting several times a year. Joining the fight to protect tenants as an attorney, I would seek his advice about tenant related legal issues. He was the most knowledgeable person around regarding S.F. tenants issues … and so generous with his time. His loss is devastating to the tenant community and to those who knew him as a friend.

Paul Behrend
San Francisco

To the Editors,

RE. “Yee Video Attack May Push Ed Lee Into Mayor’s Race” by Randy Shaw (BeyondChron, July 25, 2011):

Politicians changing their minds is common. To wit: Gavin Newsom, a judge’s son who wanted to become Governor, saw that he hardly had the votes from the electorate – – not when he was competing with the heavyweight Jerry, son of former Governor Pat Brown. So, Newsom jumped into the Lieutenant Governor’s race, and it was a lightweight race for him.

Now Newsom gets to travel to the White House, and flashes his cosmetic smile standing next to one of the San Francisco World Series heroes, in the same room as the Commander-in-Chief. What a photo op! And Gavin and Jerry are now best pals under the State Capitol dome in Sacramento!

Anh Le
San Francisco

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