Mark Ames wrote a terrific piece about the origin of RTW4Less. It isn't pretty. Thom Hartmann discusses it, above.
RTW4Less started as the brainchild of a putrid little racist named Vance Muse, writes Ames in Not Safe For Work Corporation:
...as Michigan Republicans pushed the bill into law, labor groups converged on the capital in Lansing. According to the BBC, "police in riot gear used tear gas to control tensions among a crowd [outside the Michigan statehouse] of more than 10,000 protesters." For a lot of (once)-middle-class Americans, it’s hard to reconcile that level of anger with something as dull-sounding as "right to work laws."
"Austerity measures" are easier to fear: "austerity" is meant to sound scary and sadomasochistic. But "right to work" sounds dreary and almost redundant, like "right to pay bills."
That’s until you start to understand the history of the "right to work" movement, the racist human hagfish who brought "right to work" into our lexicon and made it happen, and the far-right fascist oligarchs who made it worth their while. Once you meet a few of these cretins — specifically, Vance Muse, the Karl Rove-meets-David Duke brains behind the whole "Right-to-Work" movement whom I’ll introduce you to a little later in this piece — you’ll understand why those thousands who converged on Lansing were acting like their state legislators just invited Count Dracula into everyone’s homes.Read the whole thing here.