By ED FINKELSTEIN
In one of the most comprehensive studies to determine overall quality of life in America, U.S. News & World Report’s annual Best States ranking shows that almost two-thirds of so-called “right-to-work” states (RTW) provide the WORST overall quality of life for families.
The comprehensive study is yet another confirmation in this Labor Tribune series demonstrating how bad RTW states are when it comes not only to making a living — families earn $8,740 LESS in RTW states — but to a host of lifestyle issues like children’s education, family safety, health care for seniors, a quality community in which to raise your family, safe workplaces and a host of other issues.
The 2018 U.S. News Best States ranking shows how each of the 50 U.S. states ranks in 77 metrics across eight categories using McKinsey & Company’s annual national survey, which involved some 31,200 people across America in 2016 and 2017.
On Aug. 7, Missouri voters will determine whether the Show Me State should join the ranks of low-wage, diminished-expectation states by becoming RTW. To avoid that, we must Vote ‘NO’ on Prop A.
When it comes to overall quality of life under RTW, the sad facts are:
• RTW – 16 of the 25 worst states (64 percent) for family quality of life are RTW.
• WITHOUT RTW – Only nine of the worst 25 states (36 percent) are without a RTW law.
• WITHOUT RTW – 14 of the 25 best states (56 percent) have NO RTW law, allowing for a better overall quality of life.
• RTW – Only 11 of the 25 best states (44 percent) are RTW states.
Ranked at 21, Missouri hovers in the middle of the 50 states, much better than in most of the other categories in this series. But as previous surveys in this series have shown, RTW will not help to provide Missourians with a better quality of life.
The categories used to establish ranking in the U.S. News survey included:
• Health Care – access and quality of care.
• Education – pre-K-12 and higher education.
• Economy – stability and potential.
• Infrastructure – energy, transportation and Internet.
• Crime and Corrections – public safety and corrections.
• Fiscal Stability – states’ short- and long-term fiscal health and
• Quality of Life – natural and social environments.
QUALITY OF LIFE
In the specific Quality of Life grouping alone, 15 of the 25 WORST states (60 percent) were RTW states.
According to U.S. News: “The survey was meant to determine which factors are the most important to people about their state... The overall ranking takes a holistic view of all of these category rankings to determine which states are best for their citizens in all aspects.”
FAMILY WELL-BEING AT STAKE
On Aug. 7, voters will vote on Prop. A, the ballot measure to determine whether Missouri will be a RTW state.
The evidence is clear, Prop A (RTW) will not only drive down wages (for average family, $8,740 LESS annually) and benefits and make workplaces less safe while failing to create jobs, living under RTW threatens the well-being of you and your family.
Missourians have a chance to defeat RTW on Aug. 7 by voting NO on PROP A, sending a clear message to Missouri lawmakers that we don’t want to join the ranks of Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas and other states where working people can’t earn a fair return on their work and the wealthiest 1% and their corporate lobbyists use this anti-worker law to enrich themselves at the expense of workers and working families.
Protect your pay, your family and your quality of life by voting NO on Prop A, and encourage your entire family of voting age and your friends and neighbors to do the same.
In developing the Best States rankings, in addition to the McKinsey survey of states’ residents, U.S. News & World Report also pulled data from the U.S. Census Bureau, ACT, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the Council for Community and Economic Research, Federal Communications Commission, Feeding America, S&P Capital IQ, The Institute for College Access & Success, Moody’s, National Center for Education Statistics, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
See previous Why Vote No on Prop A stories:
Part 10. Living in RTW states is more dangerous for everyone, but especially students