It is interesting that the Ontario Tories quote the Pacific Research Institute in this week’s white paper on labour.
In the paper, the Tories say the average yearly economic growth in U.S. States with voluntary union rules is 4.4 per cent compared to 3.6 per cent in those which use a system similar to Ontario’s.
Oddly, the PRI says the “calculations” are based on data collected by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Calculations? What kind of calculations? Wouldn’t the bureau have available economic growth numbers for the States? Why would they need to be “calculated” by PRI?
The PRI is an extreme right-wing organization whose vision, according to their website, is to promote “individual freedom and personal responsibility. The Institute believes these principles are best encouraged through policies that emphasize a free economy, private initiative, and limited government (emphasis added).”
PRI is partially funded by the notorious Koch Brothers and headed by Sally Pipes, a Canadian living in the United States.
Pipes had previously been an assistant-director at the Fraser Institute. She frequently speaks and writes against universal health care and the recent health care reforms in the United States. That includes a tirade against evidence-based standards, which Forbes Magazine’s Rick Unger writes in 2011, “might have something to do with the Pacific Research Institute’s professed belief that evidence-based medicine, particularly when used as a national standard for practicing medicine, is a part of the whole death panel scenario and an evil to be avoided at all costs.”
Last year Ungar was left pondering how Pipes could so misinterpret a Deloitte study of doctors attitudes to Obamacare as part of her over-the-top attacks.
According to Ungar, PRI has a history of cherry-picking and fabricating data to support the big tobacco companies and undermine California’s clean air regulations.
The Koch brothers are the billionaires behind Koch Industries, which is the second largest private family-owned business in the United States. Koch Industries is involved with oil, energy, chemicals and financial products. It employs no less than 30 lobbyists in Washington and is a frequent funder of right-wing and libertarian think tanks.
Now Ontario’s Tories are using PRI to bash organized labour in this province.
In a white paper long on inflated rhetoric and short on fact, the PRI numbers are one of the few pieces of “evidence” they care to offer. That is if you can call anything coming from PRI to be “evidence.”
For a different take on the impact of such measures on the economy, click here.