Brain Burp

[Because this is a family blog.]

I had this one this morning while out on one of my walks.  It concerns a free market economy, bankruptcy, the bankrupt company’s employees, and what we ought to do about those employees.

In an ideal world’s free market, then, here is my gaseous expulsion.  It comes against the backdrop of my long-held disdain for the citizens of one State being forced to send their tax dollars to another State via the mechanism of Federal transfer payments in order to indemnify the recipient against its own foolish spending.  That backdrop also includes James Madison’s remark, on the occasion of Congress’ considering money transfers to Haitians after a devastating earthquake

What Hath Fracking Wrought

From AEIdeas comes one indication:

AEIdeas summarized the circled section:

In 18 of the last 19 months starting in December 2015, the energy share of consumer spending has been below 4% marking a historic period of the most affordable energy in US history (annual data on energy spending back to 1929 confirms this).

That’s evil oil and gas for you—making our lives easier and making that ease cheaper.

Congress Has 12 Days

There are 12 days left after their 5 September return from vacation, driven by the Obamacare requirement for health plan providers to commit by 17 September to selling their health plans for the next year or withdrawing, for Congress to pass a potful of legislation.

Two proposals regarding Obamacare are in the offing.  One would shore up the funds transfer of Federal dollars to those providers who are losing money in ObamaMart, and the other instead would send that money as grants to the States to help them generate their own health coverage plan programs.  This one also would eliminate the Individual Mandate.

The Communist Worker’s Paradise

Here’s an example, People’s Republic of China style.  Including the fact that gender discrimination in the workplace is illegal in the PRC, while its governments at all levels blithely ignore those laws.

[A]bout 22% of women have experienced severe or very severe discrimination when seeking employment, according to Zhaopin Ltd, an online recruiter. … That percentage rose to about 43% for women with graduate degrees.

And

A trawl through job listings on Boss Zhipin, the recruitment site, showed some tech companies state explicitly that positions are just for men.

Obamacare and Drug Abuse

From a Wall Street Journal op-ed, come a couple of very telling statistics regarding the opioid addiction epidemic.

…overdose deaths per million residents rose twice as fast in the 29 Medicaid expansion states—those that increased eligibility to 138% from 100% of the poverty line—than in the 21 non-expansion states between 2013 and 2015.

And

There were also marked disparities between neighboring states based on whether they opted into ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion. Deaths increased twice as much in New Hampshire (108%) and Maryland (44%)—expansion states—than in Maine (55%) and Virginia (22%). Drug fatalities shot up by 41% in Ohio while climbing 3% in non-expansion Wisconsin.

Quotas

German businesses better add women to their governances.  Or else Germany’s Großer Bruder will do it for them.  Regardless of qualification.

Big German companies need to put more women on their executive boards, said Germany’s Women’s Affairs Minister Katarina Barley. The official threatened legal measures if the firms fail to fix the problem within the year.

Bad idea.

Quotas just stigmatize those who got in via quota, whether they were truly qualified for the position or not.  And those who are not, and so fail, only strengthen the stigma.  Quotas are especially damaging to black women.  My GP was contemptuously treated as a twofer in med school because she allegedly filled two squares: she’s a woman, and she’s black.  It stinks.

Bogus Beef

Congressmen don’t pay their interns.  Who knew?

At least 174 of the 184 lawmakers who support legislation raising the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour do not pay their interns, according to a recent Employment Policies Institute analysis.

It’s a bogus beef, though.  Folks employed in minimum wage jobs are low-skill workers doing low-value work, and they’re doing it to build general work experience and ethic, to earn summer spending money, to earn money for college, to build a resume, to supplement an existing family income.

Technology Theft

In a piece on American CEOs’ (and Apple’s in particular) cowardice in their dealings with the People’s Republic of China’s government—censor your stuff or you can’t operate in the PRC, give up your technology to or you can’t operate in the PRC, and these worthies meekly comply—comes this reminder on the latter bit:

Just about everybody in the US capital is complaining about how China forces foreign companies to give up technology in return for market access.

In truth, the PRC isn’t alone in this: willing participants are those American CEOs who acquiesce in the name of short-term profit rather than long-term gain.

Labor Law

Recall the 2015 ruling by the National Labor Relations Board that said, via Browning-Ferris Industries v NLRB, that a joint employer was not an employer that shared direct control over a temp agency’s employees with that temp agency, as the long-established 1984 standard held, but that such a joint employer is one that exercises merely tenuous control.

The case is before the DC Circuit on appeal from the ruling.  The Wall Street Journal is properly skeptical of the permanence of a favorable court outcome, as it is with the possibility of a reversing ruling by an NLRB populated with President Donald Trump appointees.

Tax Reform and Charities

Charities stand to lose billions in donations if Republicans advance their tax overhaul, prompting the nonprofits to carefully attempt to persuade lawmakers to reshape their plan.

As a result of a proposal to double the standard deduction and prevent people from deducting state and local taxes from federal taxable income, fewer taxpayers—5% instead of 30%—would have a financial incentive to itemize their deductions, including their charitable gifts, according to several estimates.