Social Guarantees

Ilan Brat and Giada Zampano wrote, in a recent Wall Street Journal piece, about job protections and their effects on the prospects of today’s children and young adults in Europe. The whole article is well worth the read for its specifics, but from my perspective, the following is the money quote, from one of those young adults, Ms Serena Violano, a 31-year-old still sharing a room with her older sister in their parents’ home:

For our parents, everything was much easier. They had the opportunity to start their own life. Instead, we don’t have any guarantees for our own future.

A Precious Union

The Metropolitan Opera singers union resumed contract talks on Monday after a two-month hiatus, but union officials said they had little hope of reaching an agreement before a threatened lockout.

And no wonder, with such an awesome sense of entitlement.

“He doesn’t want to help us maintain our instruments,” said chorus member Jean Braham, commenting on the effect [Met General Manager Peter] Gelb’s proposed high-deductible health plan could have on singers’ voices and bodies.

“We are the artists,” Ms Braham said, her voice cracking. “We are the product. The fact that he accepts no responsibility and no accountability is just incredible to me.”

Another Reason

…to disband the NLRB.

McDonald’s Corp could be treated as a joint employer with its franchisees in labor complaints, according to a National Labor Relations Board legal determination….

The relationship between a franchisee and the parent franchisor varies in the details of the franchise contract. However, the general nature of the reputation is quite limited. The franchisee gets to use the franchisor name and the franchisor’s marketing and accounting assistance, and it gets the franchisor’s market power in holding down the cost of supplies. In return, the franchisee is bound to the franchisor’s rules regarding the use to which the franchise name is put and the nature, quality, and standardization of the product being sold. The franchisee also is required to refrain from activities that would result in denigration of the franchise name.

Paul Ryan’s Expanding Opportunity in America

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s “Expanding Opportunity in America” proposal can be seen in full here. I’ll only comment on parts of it in this post.

On the 50th anniversary of the War on Poverty, then, we should reexamine the federal government’s role. For too long, the federal government has tried to supplant, and not to support, the people fighting poverty on the front lines—families, neighborhoods, community groups. In the fight against poverty, the people ultimately are the vanguard, and government is the rearguard. Government protects the supply lines. But it is the people themselves who take to the front lines.

A Thought from the Border Crisis and Immigration Generally

…it’s not limited to those topics, but it was triggered by a quote by Dr Manny Alvarez in his piece about the bias of the Latino press in its coverage of the current children border crisis. What Alvarez said was this:

The crisis reminds me of that old saying: “Give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for a day; teach a man to fish, and he’ll eat for a lifetime.”

Alvarez offered this aphorism in the context of needing to address the root cause of the crisis, not merely treat the symptom that is what the crisis is.

College Isn’t for Everyone, Revisited

I touched on this a while ago. Here’s another look.

Dakota Blazier had made a big decision. Friendly and fresh-faced, from a small town north of Indianapolis, he’d made up his mind: he wasn’t going to college.

“I discovered a long time ago,” he explained, “I’m not book smart. I don’t like sitting still, and I learn better when the problem is practical.” But he didn’t feel this limited his options—to the contrary. And he was executing a plan as purposeful as that of any of his high-school peers.

The Word of a Union

The UAW broke its pledge to cease organizing activity at the Chattanooga auto plant that rejected unionization, announcing on Thursday afternoon that it would form a voluntary union for factory workers.

The union signed a neutrality agreement with the German auto manufacturer that gave organizers an advantage during its campaign.

However, that agreement also contained a provision barring the union from any organizing activity for one year following the vote.

The union decided to break that pledge on Thursday, announcing the formation of a new local that would allow workers to join voluntarily.

Who can trust a union’s promise?

Another Thought on Immigration

Gordon Crovitz, in a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed, pointed out some statistics.

The Congressional Budget Office last year estimated that legalizing the 11 million undocumented immigrants would boost federal revenues by $48 billion over 10 years while costing $23 billion in public services. Adding more skilled workers would bring in $100 billion over a decade, mostly from increased income taxes.

In addition to this, I add (and reiterate) immigrants start more businesses than Americans who’ve been here for two or three or more generations. Those businesses employ people, and more so than “just” immediate family members.

Friday’s Jobs Report

…which came on a Thursday last week…. Some tidbits from the BLS, behind the headline number, the unemployment rate of (now) 6.1%.

The number of unemployed persons decreased by 325,000 to 9.5 million.

That’s a couple million and four or five years late, but still: cool. Who is it, though, who’s newly employed now?

  • The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more), while declining by 293,000 in June, is still 3.1 million
  • The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) increased by 275,000 in June to 7.5 million.

YGTBSM

Wasting taxpayer money edition. This one is from Watchdog.org.

Take careful steps.

When possible, stay in your seat and, by all means, grab hold of that railing.

Simple advice, apparently from much simpler times.

Today, Hawaii seems compelled to pay someone—rather handsomely—to offer such ubiquitous and common-sense advice.

Of course, common sense and government oftentimes are mutually exclusive.

Hawaii taxpayers will spend $81,000 in 2015 on a new government position—fall prevention coordinator, who will teach Hawaii’s senior citizens, well, how not to fall.