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.

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.

Labor Under the Radar

Rather, a labor reform bill making its way (too slowly, IMHO) in the House.  The bill has some interesting items in it:

  • require unions to obtain permission from workers to spend their dues on purposes other than collective bargaining
  • mandate a recertification election upon the expiration of a collective-bargaining agreement if a workforce has turned over by more than 50%
  • take card-check off the menu of options for holding a union election
  • allow employees to withhold their personal contact information from unions

What’s not to like?

What’s holding up the bill?

Minimum Wage and Automation

Is technology—automation—really going to kill jobs?  No.  As many, including me, have written before, automation is only going to shift the nature of jobs.  Minimum wage laws are killing jobs, and will continue to and at increasing rates, by making robots cost effective despite their high up-front costs.

Wal-Mart, for instance, used to employ humans to track individual stores’ cash and manage their books.  Now at roughly 4,700 Wal-Marts, roughly 4,700 of those employees have been replaced by a machine that can track the books and while counting bills and coins at rates of 480 and 3,000 per minute, respectively.  Because it’s Wal-Mart, those folks, where they’ve wanted to, have taken jobs elsewhere in their store at the same pay, but those jobs are at risk, too.  Cashiers are being replaced by automated check-out stands, for instance.

EPA Jobs?

The Environmental Protection Agency has sent out more than 1,000 buy-out notices to its employees….

The positions are being eliminated, and the incumbents aren’t being offered positions elsewhere on the government’s teat payroll.  The horror.  The union-demanded, if not God-given, sinecures are not sinecures, after all.  American Federation of Government Employees Local 704 President Michael Mikulka is quite vocal with his dismay.

EPA wants over 1,200 of us to leave, purportedly to save money going forward and claiming that they no longer need the positions occupied by staff that in some cases worked at EPA for over 30 years[.]

It’s Time

…to sweep the ones we can’t trust from the Republican Party of Castrati and from Congress.

When Republicans voted on the repeal-only bill in 2015, they knew Mr Obama would veto it, making their vote largely symbolic. Of the GOP senators currently in the chamber, 49 voted for it at the time.  …

Moreover, many GOP lawmakers have already acknowledged that they would vote differently now that the stakes are far higher….

Now that these persons have to take action more concrete than virtue signaling, they’re exposing themselves as porch dogs.  They’re betraying their country, and more specifically, they’re betraying their constituents, to whom they promised for the last seven years, they’d repeal Obamacare and replace it.

A Union

doesn’t like Amazon buying Whole Foods.

[United Food and Commercial Workers International Union President, Marc] Perrone plans to file a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission, arguing that letting Amazon buy Whole Foods would trigger a wave of store closures and eventually quash customer choice.

With a straight face, he argued in his complaint (which somehow fell into The Washington Post‘s hands before the filing) that

Regardless of whether Amazon has an actual Whole Foods grocery store near a competitor, their online model and size allows them to unfairly compete with every single grocery store in the nation.

Grievances

Thousands of State Department and US Agency for International Development employees indicated in a survey they are worried about the future of their agencies, with some expressing particular concern about lack of support from the Trump administration and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

And

Many of the more than 35,000 State Department and USAID employees responding to the survey indicated longtime frustration with the way the agencies function, including poor technology and duplicative and redundant processes that make frequent workarounds necessary. They also cited pet projects created by ambassadors and Congress, according to the report reviewed by the [Wall Street] Journal.

Food Stamps and Work

Now that the Obama administration’s waiver of work requirements for families without dependent children in order to be eligible to obtain food stamps has been rescinded, the vast numbers of recipients are being greatly reduced.  Alabama, for instance, this year resumed the work or work training requirement in a pilot program involving 13 of its counties and has seen its food stamp enrollment fall by 85%.  Georgia is running a similar program, and it’s seen a 58% drop.