During the White House's Summit On Worker Voice on Wednesday, Joe Biden had a clear message for labor unions—that Hillary Clinton might not be a reliable ally, but he would be. His speech focused on his sympathies for the labor movement, his friendship with AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, and the like. He also hit Clinton, saying, "if I don't move... I'll be demoted to Secretary of State or something like that.Read more
As inconvenient as it may be, the forces of supply and demand are difficult to counteract—especially in labor markets. The Obama administration has exerted much effort attempting to do so over the last seven years, and it has yet to succeed.Read more
Two weekends ago, the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City held its annual monetary conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The left flew in hundreds of protesters donning green T-shirts that demanded “Higher Wages for America” and chanting, “We’re Fed Up.” The crowd was an assortment of college kids on their summer break, disgruntled middle-aged teachers, senior citizens, and blue-collar union members. Think Occupy Wall Street.Read more
In the president's Labor Day speech today in Boston, Barack Obama used New England Patriots' quarterback Tom Brady to make the case for unions.
"Even Brady's happy he's got a union," the president said to laughter and applause. "They had his back. So, you know if Brady needs a union, we definitely need unions."Read more
On July 16, we saw the definitive end to one of the greatest abuses of power in recent memory. After five years, the Wisconsin supreme court finally halted the Milwaukee district attorney’s notorious “John Doe” investigation that targeted Governor Scott Walker and political allies trying to reform the state’s laws regarding fiscally ruinous public employee unions.Read more
Another Sunday, another New York Times magazine, this one featuring a cover story about “Scott Walker and the dismantling of American unions.” Readers of the Old Grey Lady, a newspaper not without its virtues, are undoubtedly aware of its sympathy for down-trodden workers, especially if they belong to trade unions.Read more
On Thursday, the House voted to override a rule from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), implemented last year, that allows unions to hold elections to organize a workforce in as little as eight days.Read more
Tim Miller, the Bush spokesman, tweeted, "@rweingarten also if not secret - did you know about the private email before the NYT story?"
Weingarten responded, "yes."
Here's the exchange:Read more
Scott Walker has had a pretty good run as of late. He’s made some new friends and wrong-footed the right enemies and became, in fairly short order, a leader among the pack of Republican politicians running for president. Perhaps even the leader.Read more
Two years after it was supposed to help revitalize Atlantic City, the $2.4 billion Revel casino—all 57 stories of it—is closed. It’s an expensive eyesore that sums up Atlantic City’s decline.
Vegas is still a big draw, but it’s an anomaly these days. Destination gambling, as it was once known, is dying: 80 percent of states now have some form of legalized gaming.Read more
Politico recently hired Timothy Noah to be the publication’s labor and employment editor. Noah is a former Slate and New Republic columnist known for being liberal. Of course, most reporters on the labor beat are pro-union, so you’re probably wondering what the news is here. Well, that would be Noah’s hiring, in turn, of Mike Elk, formerly of Huffington Post and In These Times, to help him cover the beat.Read more
Last year, the New York Times did a glowing profile of the New York Freelancers Union, focused on how it's providing health insurance for a population of workers that typically don't have affordable coverage options:Read more
Politico recently hired Timothy Noah to be the publication's Labor & Employment editor. Now Noah is a former Slate and New Republic columnist who's known for being stridently liberal, so if you are an employer or someone who generally just likes reading coverage of labor issues that isn't slanted toward a pro-union bias, this was a problematic hire.Read more
The National Treasury Employees Union is an independent union representing, according to its own figures, "some 150,000" federal workers from many different agencies. The union claims to fight for the "dignity and respect" of its members, and it maintains a "legislative action center" to keep tabs on what Congress is up to.Read more
The Department of Veterans Affairs has admitted that 23 deaths are linked to “secret waiting lists” for health care and other malfeasance and mismanagement at the agency, though the actual total is probably significantly higher. So far, dozens of veterans have lost their lives. Not a single VA official responsible for this tragedy has lost his job. In a more functional political culture, the VA scandal would be a clarion call for civil service reform.Read more
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was created in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis to protect Americans from predatory practices by financial institutions. That sounds like a noble goal, but asking a federal agency to police irresponsibility has almost always been a bad idea in practice. The CFPB has yet to defy our low expectations.Read more
The Washington Examiner is up with a five part special report on "the rise and current decline of organized labor in America: How unions lost touch with the workplace and their own members." It's authored by Sean Higgins, one of the best reporters on the labor beat. Union politics can be complicated, and the introductory piece on "Big Labor's identity crisis" is an excellent place to start:Read more
The Mackinac Center is reporting that the Michigan SEIU has lost more than 80 percent of its members after Michigan passed a right-to-work law. The hemorrhaging membership is the result of the law ending an appalling extortion racket that siphoned taxpayer money to the union and forced thousands of home caregivers to pay SEIU dues unwillingly:Read more
At Slate, Dave Weigel recently reported that the Democrats have been so successful at demonizing the Koch brothers that party fundraising emails mentioning the Kochs can raise three times as much as the emails that don't. However, attacking the Kochs may not be all that motivating to anyone outside the circle of hardcore Democratic activists.Read more
The Scrapbook has devoted plenty of column inches over the years to detailing the incestuous relationship between public employers and public employee unions. Every election cycle, union dues—paid with taxpayer dollars—go to Democratic politicians, who, when in office, thank their donors with immutable contracts containing generous wages and benefits. It’s truly a vicious circle. But even we were surprised when we found out just how directly money was being funneled from public coffers to private pockets through union contracts.Read more
At the corner of First and H Streets in Northwest Washington, the balloons were all set, hanging stories high in the cold morning air. The inflatable Pepsi and Mountain Dew bottles were twisting in the breeze, and a mini-hoop game was set up. There was even a marching band and Chester the Cheetos Cheetah.Read more
It looks like labor unions might be getting tax relief from Obamacare, according to a report from kaiserhealthnews.org.
"Weeks after denying labor’s request to give union members access to health-law subsidies, the Obama administration is signaling it intends to exempt some union plans from one of the law’s substantial taxes," reads the report.Read more
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