Liberals and Unions

In December 2014, the NLRB passed a final rule on a partisan 3-2 vote that greatly shortens the time for a workplace union-organizing election. … Mr. Obama issued a “memorandum of disapproval”—essentially a veto—to kill the Congressional measure [to overturn the rule] and preserve the NLRB rule.

From now on unions will have unlimited time to prepare their campaigns to organize a workplace, springing the election paperwork on an employer when they figure they have the best chance to prevail. By reducing the time before an election to as little as two weeks from the current average of 38 days, unions will be able to lobby workers and make their case before a company can counter with its own argument.

Projecting

The Texas House last Wednesday passed its version of the State’s spending budget. In the course of that, there was debate over Congressman Stuart Spitzer’s (R, Kaufman) amendment to reallocate $3 million from Texas’ HIV and STD prevention programs to its abstinence sex education programs. That amendment debate included this…foolishness:

Congressman Harold Dutton, Jr (D, Houston), asked Spitzer—a surgeon—whether abstinence had worked for him personally.

“It did,” Spitzer replied. “I’ve had sex with one woman in my life, and that’s my wife.”

Not content with his embarrassment (or simply unable to recognize it), Dutton pressed the matter.

Economic Growth

…over last year, the 6th under the Obama administration. Which is several years late in occurring under the Obama promises, but that’s another story. See the graph. EconomicGrowth

First, the overall GDP: disregard the shrinking in the first quarter of 2014; that appears to be an aberration compared to the nearby trend.

What’s interesting are the components of the GDP growth and of Business Fixed Investment in particular.

Texas Education

Lawmakers in Austin are now debating SB 276, a bill that would provide school choice and educational freedom to all Texas students. It would allow parents who opt out of public schools to take with them 60% of the money the state would otherwise spend on their child—about $5,200—to pay private-school tuition. The rest of the money, roughly $3,000 per student, would go back into the state treasury.

There are a couple of alternative uses for those $3,000 than just dumping them back into the general pot.

A Reason

…to decertify public “service” unions. And to terminate for cause the government’s “negotiators” for agreeing to such a thing.

Under the 1978 Civil Service Reform Act, “official time” was named, and it allows public service union members to use company time—that is, time they’re formally working for the government in a government job as a government employee—to do union administrative things. Doing union-specific work on the government’s clock also means they’re being paid by the government—by us taxpayers—to do union, and not government, work.

All the more Reason

…to speed reform of the way in which our economy produces medical care services and in which we pay for them.

[A] 66-year-old couple retiring this year with average Social Security benefits can expect medical costs to consume 67% of the Social Security they will receive in retirement.

A 55-year-old couple who plan to retire in 10 years can expect to devote about 90% of their lifetime Social Security benefits to healthcare costs.

There’s more:

Social Security benefits typically grow by approximately 2% a year—the overall rate of inflation. But medical costs in general tend to rise by more, 5% to 7% a year[.]

The Democrats’…Budget

The House Democrats are showing their disdain for the American people with this thing (you have to drill to see what they’re burying).

Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D, MD) published the House Democrats’ version of a budget, and it nearly doubles the Federal deficit over the next 10 years and increases the national debt by nearly a third over the same period to $25 trillion dollars. On purpose. Remember this as he gears up for his run for the Senate next year.

There’s More To It

…than this, or so it seems.

A wave of cash is leaving the eurozone, where returns on safe assets are infinitesimal, if they are positive at all, and headed to the US and other refuges such as Denmark and Switzerland.

Europe’s common currency has fallen 22% against the dollar in less than a year, from $1.39 to $1.08. The euro touched a 12-year low of less than $1.05 this month.

Returns on safe assets are infinitesimal in the US, too, with the Fed still actively suppressing interest rates (to the detriment of those Americans dependent on fixed income assets, but that’s another story). Why, then, would money come to the US at the expense of the eurozone—at the expense of the EU?

Central Banks, Interest Rates, and Fear

The Fed is looking to start raising its benchmark interest rates “real soon now.” This is expected to inject fear into investors used for so long to being coddled and protected from uncertainty by an interventionist central bank.

Christine Lagarde, head of the IMF,

warned Tuesday that markets could be heading for a repeat of the 2013 “taper tantrum,” in which stocks fell and interest rates rose around the world as the Fed considered winding down its “quantitative easing” bond-buying program.

She went on:

Of Course He Will

The National Labor Relations Board, the union arm of the Wagner Act, enacted a rule a few weeks ago that allows unions to hold organizing votes in non-union companies before company management has a chance to respond.

The Senate passed a resolution canceling the NLRB’s rule with a party line oriented vote. The House is taking up the bill and is expected to pass it as well, and with a party line oriented vote.

President Barack Obama, who succeeded in packing the NLRB for this sort of purpose, is expected to veto the resolution.