Comparing the following two maps does not provide a basis for making the case that “right to work” enhances public health and the quality of life of workers and their families:
In the interest of full disclosure and to make it plain that I am not engaging in “fat shaming,” I am a person of “girth.” (How is that for a euphemism?) By that, I mean that if I ever somehow managed to squeeze myself into a sub-compact car or into a “tiny house,” they would either have to cut me out of it or bury me in it.
But, there is no denying that if I were thinner (in my case, actual thinness seems a very remote possibility), I would be healthier now and have better prospects for a longer and healthier life.
Although I am an outlier in this respect, obesity rates have been broadly correlated to low incomes: that is, the poorer one is, the greater the likelihood that one’s diet will include poor food choices; likewise, the lower one’s income is, the greater the likelihood that one will be working multiple jobs and have less time and less energy to prepare healthy meals and to engage in regular exercise.
Previous posts in this series have included:
Right to Work by the Numbers, Part 1: Population Growth and Movement: https://academeblog.org/2013/04/03/2666/.
Right to Work by the Numbers, Part 2: Immigration: https://academeblog.org/2013/04/21/right-to-work-by-the-numbers-part-2/.
Right to Work by the Numbers, Part 3: Unemployment Rates, by State: https://academeblog.org/2013/04/30/right-to-work-by-the-numbers-part-3/.
Right to Work by the Numbers, Part 4: Historic Highs and Lows in Unemployment, by State: https://academeblog.org/2013/05/05/right-to-work-by-the-numbers-part-4/.
Right to Work by the Numbers, Part 5: Employment in Manufacturing: https://academeblog.org/2013/05/10/right-to-work-by-the-numbers-part-5/.
Right to Work by the Numbers, Part 6: Loss of Employment in Manufacturing, before and during the Great Recession: https://academeblog.org/2013/07/21/right-to-work-by-the-numbers-part-6/.
Right to Work by the Numbers, Part 7: GDP by State and GDP per Capita by State: https://academeblog.org/2013/12/16/right-to-work-by-the-numbers-gdp-by-state-and-gdp-per-capita-by-state/.
Right to Work by the Numbers, Part 8: GDP in Urban and Rural Areas: https://academeblog.org/2014/02/21/right-to-work-by-the-numbers-part-8-gdp-in-urban-and-rural-america/.
Right to Work by the Numbers, Part 9: Previously Uninsured Americans Who Now Receive Health Insurance through the Federal Exchanges Established under the Affordable Care Act: https://academeblog.org/2015/06/21/right-to-work-by-the-numbers-part-9-previously-uninsured-americans-who-now-receive-health-insurance-through-the-federal-exchanges-established-under-the-affordable-care-act/
Right to Work by the Numbers, Part 10: Unemployment Rates in August 2015: https://academeblog.org/2015/09/26/right-to-work-by-the-numbers-part-10-unemployment-rates-in-august-2015/