Union Greed Realized

Recall that the United Teachers Los Angeles union threatened to strike this week if they didn’t get their way.  Now they’ve gone ahead and done it, putting the education (such as it is in this district’s public—NTLA-manned—schools) of 500,000 children at risk.  For instance, at the Third Street Elementary School

[a] notice plastered on the school gate said that students will be gathered in the auditorium and the outdoor lunch pavilion area, instead of classrooms, during the strike, and overseen by administrators and teacher assistants.

No education allowed here, per the NTLA.

Building a Wall

President Donald Trump has floated the idea that he could declare a national emergency and use the military to build a wall.  I’m not convinced that’s necessary.

The Navy’s Seabees, the Army’s Corps of Engineers, and the USAF’s Civil Engineers always can use an operational exercise in construction.

The Party of Expansionist, Acquisitive Government

That’s what we can see made plain in the incoming Congress’ House of Representatives.  Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D, NJ) had this on her Progressive-Democratic Party’s plans:

There are dozens of measures…that have been languishing with Republicans at the helm for years, and I expect to see many of them finally come to the floor under Democratic leadership[.]

Plans like rolling back the just enacted tax cuts and preventing the individual income tax cuts from becoming permanent.  Because the Progressive-Democrats know more about how to spend our money than we do.

Another Outcome of Supreme Court’s Abuse of the Takings Clause

Recall the Takings Clause of our 5th Amendment:

nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Now recall three critical Takings cases decided by the Supreme Court.  Berman v Parker was a 1954 case in which the Supremes explicitly rewrote that clause to say for public purpose, not useHawaii Housing Authority v Midkiff was a 1984 case in which the Supremes ruled that it was perfectly fine for a State government to take private property away from a private enterprise and give it to private citizens who leased the property from the business.  Kelo v City of New London was a 2005 case in which the Supremes said it was jake for a State government to seize a private citizen’s property and give it to a private business for that business’ purposes.

Union to Management:

“Nice little company you have here.  Be too bad if something was to happen to it.”

That’s what the railroad union EVG said to Germany’s major railroad company, Deutsche Bahn, last Monday as it took its workers off the line, shutting it down, during the rush hour period—a timing intended to inflict maximum damage to DB.  It’s not just the railroad this union extortion strike affected, either.

The strikes also caused major disruption on the roads. Germany’s most populous state, and one of the worst affected by the strike, North Rhine-Westphalia, saw a combined 450 kilometers (280 miles) of tailbacks [backed up traffic from traffic jams], according to regional broadcaster WDR.

Second Thoughts?

The New York City city council has decided to hold a series of hearings on the just concluded Amazon HQ2 deal cut with the city.  The council’s beef is the secretive nature of the negotiations between amazon.com and the folks purporting to represent the city.

Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen, Economic Development Corp President James Patchett, and Amazon executives have been invited to the hearings, which will take place during the next few months, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson’s office said Thursday.

There’s nothing wrong with the negotiations themselves being done behind closed doors; that’s the only place “frank and open” discussions can occur.

A Thought on Amazon’s Choices

Amazon.com has made its selection (-s, plural as it turns out) for its alternate corporate headquarters: Arlington County, VA’s Crystal City and New York’s Long Island City, with a booby consolation prize—or a scrap bone—tossed to Nashville, TN.

I have a couple of thoughts about this.

San Antonio, in Texas, had misgivings and declined to play Amazon’s game.

“Blindly giving away the farm isn’t our style,” wrote San Antonio officials in an open letter to Mr Bezos.

Others openly groveled and kissed the ground on which Amazon officials walked when those worthies deigned visit.

The Wages of a Minimum Wage Law

Recall Seattle’s 2015-2016 minimum wage law that mandated a rise in minimum wage from $9.47/hr to $12 for small businesses and $13 for large businesses.  The University of Washington early on published a study that demonstrated a drop in hours worked by low-wage workers of some 9% with a resulting decrease in actual income for those low-wage earners—ones least able to afford the cut—of some $74/mo.

New, updated numbers are in, reflecting in particular tracks folks with jobs at the time the mandated minimum wage went up.

The Dangers of Welfare

These are illustrated by a Letter to the Editor in Friday’s Wall Street Journal.  The letter-writer wrote of a pay raise his company gave its employees and a bit of Panic of 2008 history:

Despite high unemployment rates [during the Panic], we still struggled to find well-qualified employees. We were competing against the federal government’s repeatedly extended subsidy for unemployment programs. We interviewed dozens of people who flatly told us they were only interviewing to obtain another log entry to remain qualified for unemployment benefits, and that they didn’t need to work for us when they could get paid almost the same to not work at all—for 52 weeks or more.

College?

I’ve written before about whether college is for everyone.

Some empirical evidence appears in a Wall Street Journal piece about last week’s unemployment number.

Peerfit Inc is growing, adding 80 staffers to its original 20 in just the last year and increasing their wages 5%-10% in the same period.  CEO Ed Buckley has noted the difficulty in finding “good people.”  Then he added this kicker:

When we first started, everyone we were hiring had a four-year college degree.  Now the skill set [of vocational hires] is sometimes even sharper than their counterparts coming out with a four-year college degree.