How Terrible Is That?

Jeremy Corbyn, British Labour Party’s MFWIC, has “accused” British PM Boris Johnson of pushing for US-style deregulation of health care.  The horror.

As the UK election campaigns got underway, Corbyn said his rival wanted to “unleash Thatcherism on steroids” once the country was no longer bound by EU trading treaties and regulations.

Channeling our own Progressive-Democratic Party Presidential candidate and Senator Bernie Sanders (I, VT), Corbyn thinks “capitalism” is a dirty word.

He went further:

Corbyn also said…that Johnson wants to strike a trade deal with US President Donald Trump to sell off parts of the UK’s National Health Service, or make it easier for US pharmaceutical firms and medical companies to sell into the UK healthcare market.

Boeing and Foolish Questions

In a Wall Street Journal article on the tortuous path to criminal prosecution that prosecutors would have in bringing Boeing to criminal trial over its 737 MAX crashes, Andrew Tangel, Jacob Gershman, and Andy Pasztor asked what seems to me to be a very narrow, short-sighted question.

Should prosecutors weigh Boeing’s importance to the economy and national security when deciding how to proceed with a criminal case over the 737 MAX crashes?

Of course prosecutors should—must—not. What’s truly important is the concept of weighing the risks to liberty and to national security of criminals being too big to be punished. We can never allow such a thing to enter even the run-up to criminal prosecutions.

Some Economic Data

From the October jobs report as summarized by The Wall Street Journal.

  • 131,000 new jobs
    • exceeded expectations
    • despite some 42,000 jobs lost to the union strike against General Motors
  • upward revisions of 95,000 jobs in August and September
  • job growth averaged 176,000 in the last three months, more than the 167,000/mo for all of 2019
  • overall labor force participation rate rose to 63.3%, which is rising despite baby boom retirements
  • employment ratio for prime-age workers, age 25 to 54, rose to 80.3%, highest since January 2007—since before the Panic of 2008

A Teachers Union Struck Chicago

The Chicago Teachers Union struck Chicago (closing out the children of the city from 11 days of education; although, that may have been a net benefit for the kids, given the lack of education the city’s public education institution provides), and it got everything it demanded.

  • A new joint class size council will be created to address overcrowding. The council will get weekly updated data and will have $35 million per year to address situations on a case-by-case basis
  • The contract will run for 5 years, giving the board time to implement some of the massive changes in staff

A Strike “Template”

That’s what the UAW hopes to use its bludgeon of GM as when the union turns to Ford and Fiat Chrysler.

The United Auto Workers will use the agreement at GM as a template that is expected to reach similar terms on wages and benefits in separate contract talks with Ford Motor Co and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles….

However, there’s no reason for Ford or Fiat Chrysler to succumb to this.  These are three separate companies, with separate goals, revenue streams, and cost structures; there should be three separate contracts with the UAW.

PRC Personal Savings Rate

James Areddy had an extensive article on this in a recent Wall Street Journal.  It seems that the personal savings rate of People’s Republic of China’s citizens peaked around 2010 and has been trailing off ever since.  Areddy posited a number of reasons for this, and why it’s likely to continue.  Chief among them is the usual suspect of an increasingly less poor, if not increasingly prosperous, population wishing to live better rather than save more.  Another major reason seems to be the PRC’s one-child policy, lately relaxed legally, but not socially.  With fewer kids in the family, there’s less reason for parents to save against those kids’ future.

‘Twas a Famous Victory

The UAW is touting its strike resolution with GM as a victory and a model to be used against [sic] Ford and Fiat-Chrysler. A letter writer to The Wall Street Journal has pointed out some other aspects of the union’s most famous victory.

For every GM employee at an assembly plant, there are at least 30 working at suppliers providing parts, materials, and services to those plants.

During the strike almost all the tier suppliers were forced to shut down or seriously curtail their operations, meaning layoffs (union and nonunion alike). Many of those employees must seek other employment….

the [suppliers’] employees who do go back to their jobs will simply go back to work with accrued lost wages and benefits incurred during the layoffs. Those suppliers will also have to go out, recruit and train new employees to replace those who left and don’t return, adding to their costs.

A City’s Attack on Privacy

You’re aware of the Chicago Teachers Union strike against the city, demanding a ton more money—a 15% pay raise over the next three years (against Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s meek counteroffer of 16% over five years).  Here is another part of Lightfoot’s offer to the union [emphasis added].

1-5.8 Bargaining Unit Employee Information. The BOARD shall provide the UNION on at least a monthly basis, and on a weekly basis for the months of August, September, and October, a list of all current employees in the bargaining unit, which shall include each employee’s first and last name, shift, job title, department, work location, home address, all telephone numbers (including cell phone number if available), personal and work email addresses, date of birth, seniority date, base hourly pay rate (if available), language preference (if available), identification number/payroll code/job number, salary, status as a member or non-member, UNION dues, and COPE payment.

Warren’s Assault on Hydrocarbons

Progressive-Democratic Party Presidential candidate and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D, MA) want so ban new leases for oil and gas drilling offshore and on Federal lands, and she wants to ban fracking altogether. This assault on our national energy underpinnings would have far-reaching negative outcomes.

  • domestic natural-gas prices would jump to somewhere between $9 and $15 per million BTUs from last Friday’s $2.32
  • oil would rise to the $80-to-$85 range and could run to $150 during market shocks from last Friday’s $53.78
  • entire oil-field service companies would become obsolete
  • pipeline owners would suffer without replenishment, as existing wells peter out

Costs of a Strike

There’s a lot of discussion about the costs of the UAW’s strike against GM.  The Wall Street Journal is an example:

Economists say the cascading effect of lost wages, production, and employment will likely linger even if the strike ends….


…suspended work at another two dozen company-owned parts warehouses and distribution centers and led to temporary layoffs of nearly 10,000 GM factory workers not represented by the UAW….