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.

We’ll See

In an unprecedented move against North Korea, China on Monday issued an order to carry out the United Nations sanctions imposed on the rogue regime earlier this month.

Of course, in the days immediately following the first meeting between President Donald Trump and the People’s Republic of China President Xi Jinping, just after Trump’s inauguration, the PRC acted like it was going to start honoring then-existing sanctions against northern Korea.

That turned out to be just an act.  Is the present “order” serious, or is it just another empty gesture?

We’ll see, indeed.

Yucca Mountain

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission voted 2-1 Tuesday to restart and resurrect the licensing process for the controversial Yucca Mountain nuclear waste site project.

The decision gives the go ahead for the “information gathering” stage that will eventually allow the Department of Energy to secure the license to build a nuclear waste facility more than 100 miles northwest of Las Vegas.

Finally.  We need a repository for our accumulating nuclear waste, and the bottom of a salt mine is one of the best places extant: given the easy solubility of salt, the existence of this much salt in one place strongly implies a geologically stable area that’s also stable over geologically long time periods.

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.

Collapsing Obamacare

These data are from the Kaiser Family Foundation.  There was such hope by the health care coverage providers at the start; then the realities of the “market” place hit, and hit hard.  Following the early expansion of coverage providers into ObamaMart, the drop-off in companies between 2016 and 2017, and the resulting collapse of choice—in too many counties, even of any availability at all—is stark.  It’s expected to get worse in 2018 and 2019, too.

The State-by-State drop off is presented in the table below, constructed from KFF‘s table at the link.  The average drop-off across all States is nearly 23%.