MSNBC host Alex Wagner touted the societal benefits of unions on her show Monday, citing as evidence two studies that show increases in voter turnout and health insurance coverage in union towns.
The claim, brought about by a discussion over a Tennessee Volkswagen's decision not to unionize, came at the end of a statement where Wagner conflated progressive principles with ones that are legitimately societally beneficial:
Unions tend to kind of create an infrastructure from which progressives and democrats organize and vote more. If you look at unionized states, voter turnout is greater in the top ten unionized states compared to the least unionized states. Health insurance coverage is almost 5% points greater in the most unionized states compared to the least unionized states. These are progressive principals. There are benefits to society at large when there's a union in town, and that's beyond wages.
Few would argue that higher voter turnout or health insurance coverage were detrimental to society. But Wagner ignores other impacts of union towns, including lower stock prices for the companies that feature them, increased unemployment and a worsened employment-population ratio.
But, with all the free time the citizens have from not working, they do vote more.