Michigan has faced some tough times over the past few years. First, there was Michael Moore, who seemed more interested in exploiting than explaining the plight of his hometown of Flint as well at the needs of his state. “My Oh My, Michigan” crossed many people’s minds when they read about the declining auto industry. The Detroit School District was going bankrupt, and the city was losing hundreds of thousands of residents. The entire state endured a net loss of population from the previous decade. National columnist Pat Buchanan reported that half of Detroit could be razed and transformed back into farmland.

Recent reports described the resurgence of wolves attacking Michigan farmers’ livestock, and Detroit city leaders who were seeking a bailout of their own, or the entire city will entire receivership. Conservative Pete Hoekstra failed to win the Senate seat, after he had come in second two years prior for the Republican nomination for the state house. He had himself to blame in part, because of that dreadful “Spend-it-now” commercial. Hoekstra turned into “Joke-stra” for many voters. It seemed that Michigan would not rise again.

However, the 2010 “shellacking” brought Republicans back into power, and the resurgence of the Great Lakes State emerged. The election of Republican Rick Snyder in 2010 sent a loud message throughout the Great Lakes region, joining with the stunning ascendancy of Governors Scott Walker in Wisconsin and John Kasich in Ohio. Midwestern states had been struggling with dwindling revenues, burgeoning budget deficits, and regulatory burdens which bumped businesses down and then out. A new crop of governors would turn these troubling times around.

Wisconsin instituted budget reforms to curb collective bargaining rights. Despite massive protests, recalls, and the loss of a few state senators, Governor Walker survived the recall and today his party has retained their majorities in both house of the state legislature. Governor John Kasich proceeded too quickly, thus incurring an initiative back-lash. Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels has authorized privatization of the roads, with a net profit for the state. He has instituted school choice. He also signed into law “right to work” legislation to engaged business development and economic growth, both to great effect.

Now there is Michigan Governor Rick Snyder. An innovative reform, his emergency manager law permitted a non-elected official to cut spending and generate efficiency, since most elected officials are unwilling to risk their offices to make the necessary cuts. Two years later, Proposal 1 was defeated by referendum, but another bill will modify the emergency manager reform with more protection. Moreover, the November 6th, 2012 elections delivered more bad news for union special interests. The Republicans retained their majority in the state House of Representatives. Two key union initiatives also failed, including Proposal 2, a measure which would have granted constitutional protection to collective bargaining rights. Proposal 4 also failed, which weakened the SEIU’s foray into the healthcare industry. With the lame-duck session still in place, Governor Snyder is advancing “right to work” legislation.

Following the reforms of Governor Daniels, Snyder and his Republican legislative majorities have pushed “Right to Work” legislation, which will permit employees to choose whether they join a union or not. Despite the declining number of union members (17%), the governor wants to support workers, but more importantly he chooses to let unions step up and prove the efficacy of their interests for the individual employee: individual choice and economic growth.

Union elites decry such legislation, in large part because it will cut into their bottom line. Employees deserve to choose. If they want to join, all power to them; if not, no one should deny them that power, either. USA Today has already commented on the rising tide of “right to work” legislation. “Right to work is a good idea”: just as a business has to attract investors and serve customers, so should a union earn the trust and respect of the members whom the union elites represent. “Right to work” does not mean “Wrong to organize”. The employees in “Right to work” states are making more money, and businesses are creating more jobs. Michiganders deserve the same opportunities. Honestly, if the UAW President Bob King thinks that “right to work” is wrong, then it must be right, since his interests, which are not necessarily the interests of his members, are in jeopardy.

Every state should wish Michigan and Michiganders all the best, as very likely the “right to work” legislation will pass. The citizen, the worker, and the individual businessman deserve all the freedom they can get, and Governor Rick Snyder should be commended for his courage to do the right thing for his state in the face of crippling economic realities.