When Were They Not?

All IT Jobs Are Cybersecurity Jobs Now goes the headline on a recent Wall Street Journal article, and the subhead reads The rise of cyberthreats means that the people once assigned to setting up computers and email servers must now treat security as top priority.

It’s like these folks—both in the IT arena and in the reporting media—have just had an epiphany.

The global “WannaCry” ransomware attack that peaked last week, and has affected at least 200,000 computers in 150 countries, as well as the growing threat of Adylkuzz, another new piece of malware, illustrate a basic problem that will only become more pressing as ever more of our systems become connected: the internet wasn’t designed with security in mind, and dealing with that reality isn’t cheap or easy.

“We pay a lot to feed the civil servants”

That’s what Zhou Dewen, Zhejiang Private Investment Enterprise Association Director, a business lobbying group in the People’s Republic of China has said.  He, like business representatives anywhere—including here in the US—is right to be concerned.  That concern is compounded by President Donald Trump’s tax proposal.

Now, Chinese officials and executives worry that the tax proposal Mr Trump announced last week will set back China’s global competitiveness and spur companies to invest in America instead of China.

Which is one of the points of Trump’s proposal that, among other things, seeks to drastically lower our usurious business tax rates.

Shrinking the Federal Government

…is more than just reducing spending; although that’s a major component of the necessary shrinkage.  Shrinking also must include reducing the physical size of the government, reducing its payroll.  To that end, the moves by President Donald Trump and OMB Director Mick Mulvaney will prove valuable if Congress will cooperate.

Robot Employment Acts

That’s what Andy Puzder, the ex-CEO of CKE Restaurants, calls minimum wage laws.

In a survey released last month, the publication Nation’s Restaurant News asked 319 restaurant operators to name their biggest challenge for 2017. Nearly a quarter of them, 24%, said rising minimum wages.

And so we get:

McDonald’s said last November that it would install self-order kiosks in all 14,000 of its US restaurants. Wendy’s announced in February it would add kiosks at about 1,000 locations to “appeal to younger customers and reduce labor costs.”

Port Automation

It’s coming to west coast ports, and the unions don’t like it.

The push over the last decade by international maritime ports to fully automate operations has sparked the ire of many US longshoremen whose high-paying jobs and way of life are at stake. The trend also sets up a battle between their unions and companies and governments who see automation as a cleaner, more efficient and more cost-friendly alternative to the current system.

Never mind that west coast ports—three in particular, Long Beach, Los Angeles, and Oakland—do 40% of the nation’s (not just the west coast’s) container traffic and so costs there have sharp impact on the nation’s economy.

A Thought on Free Trade

…which I’ll assume for this post is structured between participant nations as fair trade, since it’s possible to have free and unfair trade, and it’s unfair trade that should be anathema.  Not all free trade is unfair; the parameters of any trade agreement, parameters that make the trade fair or unfair, are matters of mutual agreement (or perhaps not so mutual in the case of unfairness) among those participants.

Don Boudreaux triggered my thought with his piece in US News & World Report.

The Left Gives the Game Away

Again.  Buried at the bottom of a Wall Street Journal piece on the auto industry’s effort to get the Obama administration’s last-minute (almost literally) attempt to make permanent fuel standards (also last minute because the underlying research wasn’t even going to be complete until 2018) is this rationale from Roland Hwang, at the National Resources Defense Council’s Director, Energy & Transportation Program, as paraphrased by the WSJ.

relaxing standards could hurt Americans depending on clean-car technology jobs.

Because EPA regulations are all about creating jobs and not about mitigating pollution.

Foolish

Bill Gates, the co-founder of  Microsoft and world’s richest man, said in an interview Friday that robots  that steal human jobs should pay their fair share of taxes.

He said, and he was serious,

Right now, the human worker who does, say, $50,000 worth of work in a factory, that income is taxed and you get income tax, Social Security tax, all those things.  If a robot comes in to do the same thing, you’d think that we’d tax the robot at a similar level.

A Terrible Nightmare for Bureaucrats

Here’s Joe Pizarchik, ex- Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement Director in the Interior Department, for all of the Obama years:

My biggest disappointment is a majority in Congress ignored the will of the people.  They ignored the interests of the people in coal country, they ignored the law and they put corporate money ahead of all that.

Wow.  Just wow.  Because the people, exercising their will in electing the majority of Congress—all the members of Congress, come to that, every single one of them—had their will ignored when the majority that they elected executed on their will by rejecting a bad regulation.

A National Parental Leave Policy

AEI has a piece on this; unfortunately, their piece proceeds from some false premises.

Developing a National Paid Parental Leave Policy

It’s interesting that folks of a bent proceed from such claims. They always decline to establish, for instance, that we need a national policy for parental leave. It’s such a widespread failure that I have to conclude it’s deliberately Alinsky-esque in its attempt to control the discussion.

The United States is one of two countries without a national policy providing new mothers with rights to paid leave following the birth of a child.