Projection

Kentucky has decided to take advantage of new Federal Medicaid rules and add a work requirement to those receiving Medicaid payments in order for them to be eligible for continued payments.  Recipients in the typical working age range of 19-64 must do 80 hours—two weeks—of what the State terms “community engagement.”  There are, of course, exceptions for those who cannot work.

As Kentucky’s governor Matt Bevin (R) noted in his tweet about his decision to approve the new rule,

There is dignity associated with earning the value of something that you receive. The vast majority of men and women, able-bodied men and women … they want the dignity associated with being able to earn and have engagement.

The Price of Labor

…is also a cost to labor.  Minimum wage mandates took effect at the start of the year in 18 States and in 20 cities.  These mandates have drastically raised the cost to labor.

Late Monday, casual dining chain Red Robin Gourmet Burgers (RRGB) announced that it would eliminate bus boys at 570 restaurant locations, a move that is expected to save the company an estimated $8 million over the course of the coming year. The company’s chief financial officer said the decision was made in order to “address the labor increases we’ve seen.”

A Thought on Student Loans

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is taking steps to redress the Obama administration travesty of a student loan program, but these can only be interim steps and by themselves are entirely insufficient.

Unfortunately, the student loan programs are entirely dysfunctional and want complete revamping. My high-level suggestions:

  1. student loan discharge only via bankruptcy, no special treatment of these loans
  2. let schools and students write their own loan agreements, including interest rates and payback provisions, without Government interference
  3. hold those schools and students to those agreements
  4. if Government guarantees any student loans, do so IAW the following:

Paul Krugman Struck Again

An oldie but goodie that demonstrates the awesome durability of the New York Times‘ writer’s acumen.  Uncovered by my wife.

Good for Workers, Good for Business

Recall the National Labor Relations Board’s case of a couple of years ago, Browning-Ferris Industries.

Browning-Ferris concerned a recycling center staffed by contractors. The original [NLRB] ruling found the contractors were jointly employed by a staffing firm and Browning-Ferris.

This ruling, if allowed to stand (the case also is in the Federal court system) would have allowed contractors like those at Browning-Ferris, McDonald’s, and any other franchise-centered corporation not only to form unions at individual franchises (which they’ve always been able to do), but also to form a grand union across the corporation.

Higher Education Improvement

The Wall Street Journal has a summary of the House’s The Promoting Real Opportunity, Success and Prosperity Through Education Reform (PROSPER) Act, to be proposed this week.  It’s aimed at

filling that gap [in college graduates’ skills, with 6 million jobs left begging] by both deregulating parts of the sector and laying the conditions for shorter, faster pathways to the workforce. The act focuses on ensuring students don’t just enroll in school, but actually graduate with skills that the labor market is seeking.

Highlights include these:

Colin Kaepernick’s Lawfare “Protest”

After being unable to get a job with any team in the NFL this season, Colin Kaepernick has filed a formal grievance against the NFL, each of the 32 team owners, and President Donald Trump—who supposedly “influenced” league management and team owners into not hiring him—alleging that they colluded to not sign him at quarterback, or end-of-bench monitor, this season.

Coincidentally, his filing comes after a year in which he routinely attacked our flag and national anthem and insulted our veterans by taking a knee during the pre-game playing of our national anthem.  Also coincidentally, his filing comes after a year in which he led his last employer, the San Francisco 49ers, to a 1-10 record before the team tired of losing and benched him.

Another Bit of Foolishness

And another incentive for businesses to relocate.

San Francisco is looking to tax robots because they are taking rote jobs that humans do.  They’re not the first to consider such a thing, but it’s still foolish.  Never mind, especially with minimum wage laws pricing the unskilled and/or poorly educated out of work, that robots do the jobs more cheaply.  Robots are more reliable, too, as Security guard Eric Leon noted about a security robot:

He doesn’t complain.  He’s quiet.  No lunch break.  He’s starting exactly at 10.

Some Labor Day Questions

First published in 2015, I’ve updated it for today.  In an ideal world, I’ll be able to update it again next year, with a more optimistic tone.

The Wall Street Journal asked some questions on Labor Day 2012, and supplied some answers.  Here are some of those questions and answers, which remain as valid this Labor Day.

Getting Ridiculous

ESPN has withdrawn one of its sportscasters from calling a University of Virginia football game for the sole reason that he bears the evil name of Robert Lee.  Not Robert E Lee, the Civil War evil general’s name, just Robert Lee.  That’s too close to evil for the PC gang.

Instead Lee (if I might be permitted to use that name) was reassigned to “a different game” where he’ll be more out of sight.

ESPN notes that assignments are switched all the time.

Including for racist reasons.