From the wonderful FirstDraft. I encourage all of you, my loyal 5 (Yes, Five!) readers to print out of bunch of these letters & mail them out. Thanks in advance, as usual.
Reader Sue sent this idea along. If businesses don't have demand for their products, it doesn't really matter what happens to their taxes because they won't have the money to pay anybody anything. So if you support the rights of unions to organize, in Wisconsin or in your state, you can send your favorite local business the following letter:
I am: I support your business:
a public employee weekly monthly
a union member several times yearly for large purchases
a non-represented worker seasonally (landscaping, entertaining, holidays)
Dear Business Owner:
You are receiving this letter because I consider you an important business in my life. The recent legislative activity in Madison strongly indicates that our elected officials intend to turn Wisconsin into a right-to-work state. Public employees, who are now having years of negotiated economic and labor rights and benefits taken away from them, are facing a sudden and large hole in their personal budgets. Union members understand that they will be next and non-represented workers understand that their pay and benefits will shrink as a direct result of the rollback of worker rights that will continue under this administration.
This affects you as it affects us. Right-to-work states lag in both wages and personal income*, and any business tax breaks you may be eligible for will not make up for the fact that your customers have less money to spend. It is unlikely that your tax burden will be reduced to nothing; you will still need to pay taxes even if your customers are unable to support you with their purchases at a level that they have in the past.
This letter is not a notification of a boycott of your business; it is precisely because I support your business that I am sending it. However all indications are that I will have less money to support any of my favored businesses, and because of State policies and attitudes that situation is likely to continue even after a recovery.
It does not automatically follow that a pro-business environment has to be anti-labor. I thank you for taking the time to read this letter.