Mark Ballard has a gross error in his recent column. He states, “Yet the states with the highest percentage of union members — like New York and California —were the fastest to rebound after the recession.”
First, California has not rebounded. The Bureau of Labor Statistics website (www.bls.gov) shows that state is still almost 400,000 jobs (3 percent) below its previous employment peak of February 2008.
Second , of the top 10 states with the highest percentage of union membership, only two — the previously mentioned New York and the energy-rich Alaska — have more people employed than before the recession.
In contrast, our state — which Ballard constantly criticizes because it is not being governed like European countries — began setting employment records in November and is now up 1.1 percent. Readers may be interested to learn that my review of per capita income across countries shows that only three countries in Europe — energy-rich Norway, the EBR-size country of Luxemburg and Switzerland- — have a higher per capita income than Louisiana.
Loren C. Scott