Monday, April 17, 2017

$1.4 trillion (with a t) Earned Income Tax Credit?! -- or organize labor :-)


Paul Krugman: " ... we can limit the human damage when they do happen. We can guarantee health care and adequate retirement income... We can provide aid to the newly unemployed. And we can act to keep the overall economy strong — which means doing things like investing in infrastructure and education, not cutting taxes on rich people and hoping the benefits trickle down." 
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/17/opinion/why-dont-all-jobs-matter.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&_r=1

We can rebuild union density so half the workforce isn't getting paid way less than they would be paid if we had say German union density.

If McDonald's can pay $15 an hour with 33% labor costs, Target pay pay $20 with 10-15% labor costs, Walmart can pay $25 an hour with 7% labor costs. At least that's the hope -- and labor being able to flex its bargaining muscles in the (truly) free market is the only way we are going to find out.


Labor unions are the only way to end punishing just-in-time work scheduling.

Labor unions are the only thing ever going to end endemic abuses like ...
big pharma gouging,
for-profit-college-scams,
ever growing financialization,
etc., etc., etc.
by supplying the permanent political machinery to back up the average person.


 * * * * * * * * * * * *

A look at the not-so-workable approaches other than labor unions:

If EITC could somehow be used to restore the 10% overall income share lost by the bottom 45% over a couple of generations -- IOW could be used to double (!) their incomes -- that would come in at something like $1.4 trillion a year, not today's $70 billion (equals 1/2 of 1% of overall income). Before we tear out hair out figuring out how we would distribute that -- it would obviously upend the whole (consumer) market-based direction of production.

I'm not nearly as interested in the min wage as I am in rebuilding labor union density. That would sort out production by the max the consumer would put up with rather than the minimum labor will up with (starting with the most vulnerable workers and working up).

I'm guessing if the mid 54% pay 14% more of their incomes through higher prices (10% of overall income) -- they in turn with their new union generated political power can just confiscatory-tax back the 10% overall the top 1% squeezed out over the last two generations.

Their moral question there could be phrased as do they want to keep the 54% in penury (may not be a choice if the 45% refuse to show up for work [strike]) or do they want pro quarterbacks to work for a million a year instead of ten million. When faced with questions like this I ask myself: what would Jimmy Hoffa do? :-)

Finally occurred to me that the bottom 45% will heartily encourage the mid 54% to lay that confiscatory-tax (90% on all income over say $2 million?) on the 1% -- so they can get at some of that money! :-O

Friday, April 7, 2017

Could gang affiliaition qualify Chicago students to graduate, Mayor Emmanuel? ???


Chicago's Mayor Rham Emmanuel wants to require city high school students to submit a plan for future life backed by official documents (like college acceptance or promise for a job) -- or they cannot graduate! 

Given that 100,000 out of my guesstimate 200,000 Chicago minority, gang-age males are in street gangs -- because they wont commit to a long life of $10 an hour wage slavery in an economy where the same jobs could pay $20-$25 an hour -- but where there is no hope of wage betterment without a restoration of healthy union density that is nowhere in sight ...

 ... I'd like to ask the mayor if under present day dire labor market conditions, would street gang affiliation qualify?  :-O
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/gang-wars-at-the-root-of-chicagos-high-murder-rate/

TO  RESTORE HEALTHY US LABOR MARKET:
http://ontodayspage.blogspot.com/2017/04/neither-rust-belt-americans-nor-chicago.html

 * * * * * *
 

For those who like to do eighth-grade math:
The bottom 45% of earners now take 10% of overall income instead of 20% like in 1968 -- but -- that is half of twice as much overall income: leaving the bottom 45% right back where they started in absolute terms (on average of course: less at the bottom/more at the top).

The next 54% up take the same 70% of overall income as they did 50 years ago -- but-- that is of double the overall income, therefore they have twice what they started with in absolute terms (on average of course: less at the bottom/more at the top).

If collective bargaining on the part of the bottom 45% can raise prices enough on the next 54% up to recoup their lost 10% of overall share -- meaning 14% of the middle 54%'s share -- then the 54% will still end up with 172% of what they started with in 1968 in absolute terms.

To get that absolute 28% back from the top 1% ...

... who now take 20% of overall income instead of 10% like before -- which means they doubled their share of doubling per capita income ...

 ... the 54% will not be able to rely on raising the price of burgers.  More direct means will be necessary -- more likely the tax ax -- like the death tax to use one currently operating example.

When I was a kid in the 50s, the top federal income tax rate was (technically) 92% on incomes over one million dollars (today's money -- close enough I think).  The president of the United States was a five star general Republican who was not in too huge a hurry to do anything about American Apartheid.  IOW, should be nothing too alien (if that scares) about confiscatory taxes in today's culture.

In an ideal world we could tax 10% of income share back from the top 1%, first, and in turn use that pay higher consumer prices to restore the share of the lowest 45% -- painlessly.  But we really have to restore union density first to accomplish any of this.

CEOs and quarterbacks now take home 10X more than is needed to get them to show up and work productively.  When enough union density is built up tax axing this should not be a problem.  In the 60s the top paid NFLer Joe Namath made $600,000 in today's money.  Double that for doubled productivity (or what have you) and you still get only one-tenth of what Chicago Bears' Jay Cutler gets.


In an ideal world we could tax 10% of income share back from the top 1%, first, and in turn use that pay higher consumer prices to restore the share of the lowest 45% -- painlessly.  But we really have to restore union density first to accomplish any of this.

 * * * * * *

Not to mention other ways -- multiple efficiencies -- to get multiple-10%s back:
 + squeezing out financialization;
 +
sniffing out things like for-profit edus (unions providing the personnel quantity necessary to keep up with society's many schemers;
 +
snuffing out $100,000 Hep C treatments that cost $150 to make (unions supplying the necessary volume of lobbying and political financing;
 + less (mostly gone) poverty = mostly gone crime and its criminal justice expenses.

IOW, labor unions = a normal country.

PS.  I'm quite sure that the mayor's idea qualifies as a Fourth Amendment privacy violation: government insisting on knowing your personal plans (documented -- not just some high school essay) or suffer severe penalty.

Neither rust-belt Americans nor Chicago gang-bangers are ...


Neither rust-belt Americans nor Chicago gang-bangers are interested in up-to-date kitchens or two vans in the driveway.  Both are most especially not interested in $10 an hour jobs.

Both would be very, very especially interested in $20 an hour jobs.

80 years ago Congress forgot to put criminal enforcement in the NLRA(a).  Had union busting been a felony all along we would be like Germany today.  Maybe at some point our progressives might note that collective bargaining is the T-Rex in the room -- or the missing T-Rex.

The money is there for $20 jobs.  49 years -- and half the per capita income ago -- the fed min wage was $11.  Since then the bottom 45% went from 20% overall income share to 10% -- while the top 1% went from 10% to 20%.

How to get it -- how to get collective bargaining set up? States can make union busting a felony without worrying about so-called federal preemption:
 + a state law sanctioning wholesalers, for instance, using market power to block small retail establishments from combining their bargaining power could be the same one that makes union busting a felony -- overlap like min wage laws -- especially since on crim penalties the fed has left nothing to overlap since 1935
 + First Amendment right to collectively bargain cannot be forced by the fed down (the current) impassable road.  Double ditto for FedEx Express employees who have to hurdle the whole-nation-at-once certification election barrier

 + for contrast, examples of state infringement on federal preemption might be a state finding of union busting leading to a mandate for an election under the fed setup -- or any state certification setup for labor already covered by NLRA(a) or RLA(a).  (Okay for excluded farm workers.)

Collective bargaining would ameliorate much competition for jobs from immigrants because labor's price would be set by how much the consumer can be squeezed before (s)he goes somewhere else -- not by how little the most desperate worker will hire on for.  Your kid will be grabbed before somebody still mastering English.

Centralized bargaining (sector wide labor agreements) practiced by the Teamster's National Master Freight Agreement -- also by French Canada, continental Europe and I think Argentina and Indonesia -- blocks the Walmart-killing-supermarket-contracts race to the bottom.  Airline employees would kill for centralized too.

Republicans would have no place to hide -- rehabs US labor market -- all (truly) free market.

Truly populist up politics in the long run reduce financialization, for-profit scams, phara gouging, etc. etc., etc.  Dean of Washington press corps said when he came to Washington (1950s?) all the lobbyists were union.

PS. After I explained the American spinning wheels labor market to my late brother John (we were not even talking about race), he came back with: "Martin Luther King got his people on the up escalator just in time for it to start going down for everybody."

Friday, March 31, 2017

Converse connection: much pharma innovation achieved much sooner but for the patent string outs


While looking at this headline in Medical News Today, this morning …

How to use long-acting insulin: Types, frequency, peak times, and duration by Alyse WexlerReviewed by Alana Biggers, MD, MPH
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/316674.php

… I thought the normal thought of how a lot of “innovation” (not necessarily this story’s) is just to stretch out patents — to retain top prices.

Then a converse connection: a lot of these innovations could be achieved at a much earlier date if it were not for the patent string out.

We know that Gilead was on its way to a much less harmful version of its HIV drug (“old” version harms a percentage more of patients’ bones and kidneys every year) — but stopped for five years to let the patent run five years later.
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-gilead-lawsuit-20160712-snap-story.html

There are really hundreds of thousands of university researchers all over the country begging for grants. I believe 300,000 are doing government paid pharmacy research right now. Makes no difference to them whether you and I or big pharma pays.

What this adds up to is that for-profit patent research may not speed up new drugs — but that it can and does slow them down. Not to mention that when big pharma actually comes up with a new drug, they price it so high nobody can utilize it. (See Angry Bear Open Thread, 3/28/17.)


From John LeCarre’s (author’s note) at the end of The Constant Gardner:
“There is no Dypraxa, never was, never will be. I know of no wonder cure for TB that has recently been launched on the African market or any other— or is about to be— so with luck I shall not be spending the rest of my life in the law courts or worse, though nowadays you can never be sure. But I can tell you this. As my journey through the pharmaceutical jungle progressed, I came to realize that, by comparison with the reality, my story was as tame as a holiday postcard”

Gilead wants $300 billion to cure every Hep C case in the US
($100,000 X 3 million sufferers) — not some poor African country — 600 X what it costs to manufacture. That’s how much the whole country spends on all drug research ($25 billion tax paid; $50 billion private) every years. Can’t wait to find out what you’ll be bled to cure your Alzheimer’s. 

Wonder what the Manhattan Project cost in today’s dollars? — wait; Goggle says $27 billion (2017 dollars).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manhattan_Project



Almost forgot: don't forget all the research efforts (plural) wasted in the search for copy-cat molecules -- solely to cut in on the profits.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Cheaper teachers revitalize neighborhoods?!


Would bringing in more, better trained police turn around one of LA's poverty stricken ghettos (where half the young males are in street gangs)?  Then how will bringing in so-called charter schools staffed with higher turn over, lower paid, min-benefit teachers revitalize schools, not to say neighborhoods?!

All across the country the understanding has been gained that ghetto schools under perform because students (and some teachers!) don't expect anything remunerative enough waiting for them in the job  market to make the extra effort.
https://www.amazon.com/Cracks-Pavement-Social-Resilience-Neighborhoods-ebook/dp/B00332EXDM/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

For-profit schools can load up on programs because saving money on teachers?  Don't want to pay your employees a fair living -- then admit to yourself that you are not a progressive.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Underlying principle: monopoly of union balances monopsony of employers


My caveat about one concept in a great, comprehensive survey:

Unions in the Precarious Economy, How collective bargaining can help gig and on-demand workers
Katherine V.W. Stone February 21, 2017

“If gig workers in the United States are found to be independent contractors rather than employees, they cannot benefit from federal and state laws guaranteeing” … “as independent contractors, any collective action they might take to change their working conditions could make them liable for antitrust violations.”
http://prospect.org/article/unions-precarious-economy-0

I’m thinking, UPS and FedEx are identical companies (UPS 550 planes, 60,000 trucks; FedEx 650 planes, 45,000 trucks). If the First Amendment guarantees the right of UPS truckers to collectively bargain, how to justify denying the same right is possessed by FedEx Express drivers -- even if they had been (are) found to be individual contractors, not employees.

Underlying principle: monopoly of unions needed to balance the monopsony of employers. Country founded on balancing competing interests.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Gang members are not interested in the up-to-date kitchen or ...


Some stuff I'm working on -- while reading James Kwak's book Economism: Bad Economics and the Rise of Inequality.

Nations are just like people -- nations are just as free to decide to consume more and invest less or vice-versa.  Do individuals always obsess on containing every possible dime of consumption so as to invest more later?  Let's look at what (who!) Republicans think our nation should conserve less of to invest more later.

Let's see: less Medicaid, less food stamps, less education, less ... .  Wait a minute; looks like the lowest people on the economic totem pool, the poorest are expected to consume even less (through lower government spending) so that the rich can save more (through heavy tax cuts) and invest ... and make all our futures brighter later.  Mmm.

Doesn't seem to be working in Chicago at least where our quarterback Jay Cutler has a $126 million contract for 7 years -- and 100,000 out of my guesstimate 200,000 minority, gang age males are in street gangs. 

Gang members (and their out of work blue collar, rust belt, former manufacturing counterparts) are not interested in the up-to-date kitchen or two mini-vans sitting in the garage.  They just want a decent life.

A $10 an hour job is not a decent life -- a $20 an hour job or jobs is.  Most $10 an hour jobs could pay $20.  The min wage was $11 when per capita income was half today's.  45% of today's workforce takes 10% of overall income -- used to be 20%.  2/3 of workforce will always be non-college -- only way to $20 is through collective bargaining with the ultimate consumer -- able to not show up to work for the 55% if they won't fork over.  Oh, uh, top  1% used to take 10% overall, not 20% -- all of which means the money's there -- somewhere.

Labor is sold sort of on reverse-margin.  Meaning labor can raise the price of Walmart's goods for instance only 7% while getting 100% raise for itself.  The money's there.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Lost in all the fine and refined analyses ...


Re:  DeLong on Rodrik on Delong on NAFTA - at Equitable Growth

Lost in all the fine and refined analyses ...

... see http://angrybearblog.com/2017/01/trade-agreements-have-harmed-manufacturing-employment.html ...

... seemingly forever out of focua is that most all today's $10/hr US jobs (e.g., Walmart cashier) could plausibly pay more like $20/hr -- with German level union density.  That 45% of today's US workforce is earning $15/hr or less seems to make debating about a few percent more or less available manufacturing jobs blamed on this or that -- far from the defining issue of our time.

And don't forget health care looks like the next manufacturing -- evenly spread everywhere and eventually government funded.

[cut-and-paste]
THE MONEY IS THERE SOMEWHERE

You can't get something from nothing but, believe it or not, the money is there, somewhere to make $10 jobs into $20. Bottom 45% of earners take 10% of overall income; down from 20% since 1980 (roughly -- worst be from 1973 but nobody seems to use that); top 1% take 20%; double the 10% from 1980.

Top 1% share doubled -- of 50% larger pie!

One of many remedies: majority run politics wont hesitate to transfer a lot of that lately added 10% from the 1% back to the 54% who now take 70% -- who can transfer it on down to the 45% by paying higher retail prices -- with Eisenhower level income tax. In any case per capita income grows more than 10% over one decade to cover 55%-to-45% income shifting.

Not to mention other ways -- multiple efficiencies -- to get multiple-10%'s back:
squeezing out financialization;
sniffing out things like for-profit edus (unions providing the personnel quantity necessary to keep up with society's many schemers;
snuffing out $100,000 Hep C treatments that cost $150 to make (unions supplying the necessary volume of lobbying and political financing;
less (mostly gone) poverty = mostly gone crime and its criminal justice expenses.

IOW, labor unions = a normal country.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

NYT's Nate Cohn: Trump won by trading places with Obama -- trade (union) back


Trump won by trading places with Obama.

NYT's Nate Cohn: "Just as Mr. Obama’s team caricatured Mr. Romney, Mr. Trump caricatured Mrs. Clinton as a tool of Wall Street" ... "At every point of the race, Mr. Trump was doing better among white voters without a college degree than Mitt Romney did in 2012 — by a wide margin."

"[Mr. Obama] would have won Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin each time even if Detroit, Cleveland and Milwaukee had been severed from their states and cast adrift into the Great Lakes."
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/23/upshot/how-the-obama-coalition-crumbled-leaving-an-opening-for-trump.html


  * * * * * * * * * * * *

America should feel perfectly free to rebuild labor union density one state at at time -- making union busting a felony.  Republicans will have no place to hide.

Suppose the 1935 Congress passed the NLRA(a) intending to leave any criminal sanctions for obstructing union organizing to the states.  Might have been because NLRB(b) conducted union elections take place local by local (not nationwide) and Congress could have opined states would deal more efficiently with home conditions -- or whatever.  What extra words might Congress have needed to add to today's actual bill?  Actually, today's identical NLRA wording would have sufficed perfectly.

Suppose, again, that under the RLA (Railroad Labor Act -- covers railroads and airlines, FedEx) -- wherein elections are conducted nationally -- that Congress desired to forbid states criminalizing the firing of organizers -- how could Congress have worded such a preemption (assuming it was constitutionally valid)?  Shouldn't matter to us.  Congress did not!  :-)

Note well: it is not mostly the organizer's job loss to be punished; it is much more the interference with all employees' bargaining power -- working them for less.

For more musings on what and how else to dump the Trump boys by banging loudly and everywhere on the labor union drum, see here (work permanently in progress): http://ontodayspage.blogspot.com/2016/12/wet-backs-and-narrow-backs-irish.html

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Re: The people mostly likely to care about who uses women’s restrooms aren’t women


Re:  The people mostly likely to care about who uses women’s restrooms aren’t women
By Danielle Paquette December 21
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/12/21/the-people-mostly-likely-to-care-about-who-uses-womens-restrooms-arent-women/?utm_term=.386204a64ef8#comments


Women are afraid to get on the elevator with a man they don't know.  The commenter with the bad co-ed bathroom experience is more like the real experience.  Ditto for the Time Magazine story of a entire swimming team and coaches forever afraid to use the female locker room once a man has been discovered there -- jamming a single shower instead.  Male looking men are going to be much more visible than (often invisible) trans women.
http://time.com/4324687/even-in-liberal-communities-transgender-bathroom-laws-worry-parents/ 


It doesn't matter if half the women don't care about a trans female in the ladies -- it matters if half do.  The matter is decided completely on the basis of the subjective experience of women -- just like it is when male officers frisk females with the warped idea that they are only doing their job (almost all trained it's alright I believe -- criminal law makes no such exception).
http://ontodayspage.blogspot.com/2012/08/taking-male-leo-hands-of-females-late.html

I am not barred from the female bathroom for fear of crime.  It is a matter of intimate privacy before anything else.

Surprised to seem almost universal approval comments on WaPo -- mostly resentful and snobby.  Opposite experience on Yahoo News where first 100 out of 4,000 regularly over 90% opposed, mostly vehemently and at length.  ???

Wish you guys wouldn't tear up the fabric of the world from one end when the next president of the US threatens to tear it up from the other.  The specter of Obama supporting trans female boy (cannot have the op under 18) in the high school girls locker room (!!!) may have been the last straw for a lot of Trump voters.  The reaction there (vehement and unyielding) may be much more like what to expect if they try to really push this far and wide.  DNA, DNA, DNA.


ADDENDUM
What I call the 12-16-18, male-to-females are like radically altered eight year old boys.  Near puberty their little peanut sized testes are carefully watched (testosterone is a one-way street and changes irreversible).  When they double in size the child is hit with puberty suppressing drugs.  At 16 they start female hormones.  At 18 they get the operation -- which constructs a vagina and saves some sexual nerves so they can get aroused.  

Suppressing puberty keeps the males from getting as tall or as big boned as well.  These are rare enough and they don't want to be noticed -- they want to live like women.  

The 12-16-18s are what most free use bathroom advocates imagine we will find in the ladies, I imagine.  Harmless enough if that were it.  But Bruce would never have been welcome -- and neither big boned, big muscled, facial hair (?) and deep voice Caitlyn.

FWIW, according to the book (I'm still at the beginning) When The Opposite Sex Isn't: Sexual Orientation In Male-to-Female Transgender People, Oct 15, 2008, by Sandra L. Samons, the typical M-T-F (still with male parts) is repulsed by male on male sex -- but desires men the way women do (and desires to get a vagina). 

For adults, of course, we want the female-to-males in the men's room -- where else?  But for school children it should be completely subjective.  If the high school boys cannot handle an f-t-m in the boy's room that's the way it has to be.  

I'm not looking for rights in favor or laws against right away.  I'm for letting common sense try to work it through where possible -- it's a new situation.  I fear Obama's and Bernie's and Hillary's blithe willingness to intrude boys (can't have operation until 18) into girl's high school locker rooms may have been the last straw for many a Trump turning voter (keep it up and I might go Repub).

"(A) group of 324 Swedish transsexuals for an average of more than 10 years after gender reassignment with controls and found that transsexuals had 19 times the rate of suicide ... "
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/23/opinion/sunday/richard-a-friedman-how-changeable-is-gender.html?_r=0  They break your heart - reports of transgenders going to sleep praying they wake up in a different body.  But you can't tear up the most delicate part of everybody else's social fabric for one out of three hundred.  (Or is it much less -- same Times article: " ... transsexualism [defined as those who want to change or do change their body] is very rare — a recent meta-analysis estimated the prevalence at about 5 per 100,000 ... " ???)

First read should probably be: Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family, Paperback – June 7, 2016
by Amy Ellis Nutt, a Pulitzer Prize winning Washington Post science writer.  The Samons book is a $50 used paperback by a therapist for therapists (why I'm going slow -- very dense).

Friday, December 16, 2016

Wet backs and narrow backs (Irish immingrants' native born kiddies)


We already covered that farm workers are exempted from federal protection of labor organizing -- therefore may be legally covered by state labor laws -- IOW state not subject to assertion of federal preemption.

Fears of a Trump loaded NLRB revoking recently recognized employee status of college student research and teaching assistants may be tempered by the opportunity that would create to cover same with state labor law instead (including conducting certification elections).

Wet backs and narrow backs -- complementary legislative and public support capturing: heavy (nay, desperate) determination on the part of wet; heavy education and full middle class expectations on the part of narrow who may demand nothing less than full state/federal parallel labor law, like California's (35 pp pdf).  Wet appeals to blue collar supporters; narrow appeals to academic liberals (who mostly empathize less with low skilled labor).

Upshot: even in a state as progressive as Oregon farm, farm workers missed out of state organizing protection by one vote in the legislature in 1989 and as far as I know it never came up again.  Put wet and narrow together: no repeat defeat.

Mmm.  Next category: any category at all left out of fed organizing coverage -- e.g., Uber and Lyft drivers, etc.  Teamsters -- who are great -- working for them through some regular channels on West Coast now.

Brainstorm!  "FedEx Express – unlike those other companies – is not covered by the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) ...  the RLA – like the NLRA – protects the right of employees to form, join, and be represented by a union, it is far more difficult for employees to organize under the RLA than it is under the NLRA. As a result, only a small segment of the FedEx Express workforce – some 5,000 pilots – is unionized; almost 100,000 truck drivers, package handlers, dispatchers, and other FedEx Express ground transportation employees are not (94% union free)."
http://www.civilrights.org/publications/fedex-rla-loophole/introduction-the-fedex-loophole.html 


Dream of Fedex employees in protected states carrying on modern day "correspondence societies" via social media, working up to organizing national certification, someday -- national election required by RLA: a never ending media story.  Freedom of speech as well as of association at stake in protecting "correspondence societies."  (650 planes, 45,000 trucks; 550 planes, 60,000 trucks -- Fedex, UPS respectively.)

Hey, Fedex folks could be the clearest example for the general public of how completely non-workable fed labor law can be.  94% non-unionized in private economy means the rest of us cannot be much better off.  

Of course, wet/narrow accomplished state organizing protection would not be as lacking in enforcement power (toothless!) as fed so-called protection.  Otherwise, why bother?  Just two quick aspects.  Mandating certification elections upon a finding of union busting, seems to me the most common sense, almost seamless way to safeguard organizing -- once we get control of Congress back.  The fed cannot preempt a workable state certification setup with a nonenforceable certification setup -- not with a First Amendment right to commercial association at stake -- making a possible opening for states to pass mirror state union certification processes for all workers (like California's farm workers law)? 

Suppose states do a mirror of the fed setup -- then, suppose Congress gets around to actually establishing actual enforcement.  Pretty ticklish having state setups whose moment-to-moment (preemption) legitimacy depends on the latest judicial reading of latest federal effectiveness/in-effectiveness).  No deep reason not to have parallel state laws (er, uh, presumably of the enforceable species). 

Agenda for less progressive states: Imagine if a state government prohibited certain businesses from bargaining with labor unions.  Couldn't constitutionally of course: First Amendment.  Freedom of association does not just protect the right to freely associate commercially, but to to bargain.

20 states prohibit their governments from collectively bargaining with some of most employees.  Constitutionally plausible -- and courts approved -- excuses: govs not disciplined by free markets, gov unions include payers of taxes, etc.  Okay; but there is a bargaining process specifically tailored to fairly re-balance gov-union firepower: compulsory arbitration.  And a First Amendment right is at stake.  Time for union supporters to start banging on courtroom doors over this.


For more progressive states: Suppose the 1935 Congress passed the NLRA(a) intending to leave any criminal sanctions for obstructing union organizing to the states.  Might have been because NLRB(b) conducted union elections take place local by local (not nationwide) and Congress could have opined states would deal more efficiently with home conditions -- or whatever.  What extra words might Congress have needed to add to today's actual bill?  Actually, today's identical NLRA wording would have sufficed perfectly.

Suppose, again, that under the RLA (Railroad Labor Act -- covers railroads and airlines, FedEx) -- wherein elections are conducted nationally -- that Congress desired to forbid states criminalizing the firing of organizers -- how could Congress have worded such a preemption (assuming it was constitutionally valid)?  Shouldn't matter to us.  Congress did not!  :-)


 Note well: it is not mostly the organizer's job loss to be punished; it is much more the interference with all employees' bargaining power -- working them for less.

THE MONEY IS THERE SOMEWHERE

You can't get something from nothing but, believe it or not, the money is there, somewhere to make $10 jobs into $20. Bottom 45% of earners take 10% of overall income; down from 20% since 1980 (roughly -- worst be from 1973 but nobody seems to use that); top 1% take 20%; double the 10% from 1980.


Top 1% share doubled -- of 50% larger pie!

One of many remedies: majority run politics wont hesitate to transfer a lot of that lately added 10% from the 1% back to the 54% who now take 70% -- who can transfer it on down to the 45% by paying higher retail prices -- with Eisenhower level income tax. In any case per capita income grows more than 10% over one decade to cover 55%-to-45% income shifting.

Not to mention other ways -- multiple efficiencies -- to get multiple-10%'s back:
squeezing out financialization;
sniffing out things like for-profit edus (unions providing the personnel quantity necessary to keep up with society's many schemers;
snuffing out $100,000 Hep C treatments that cost $150 to make (unions supplying the necessary volume of lobbying and political financing;
less (mostly gone) poverty = mostly gone crime and its criminal justice expenses.

IOW, labor unions = a normal country.

Friday, December 9, 2016

"Third gear" doctrine of state labor law?


Asserting that a state labor law setups (replicating) conducting union certification elections and (uniquely) forcing employers to actually bargain with the union -- do not violate federal preemption on the theory that you cannot preempt something (enforceable) labor law with nothing (unenforceable) ...

... (assuming this holds up in court) this sets up a very tricky future for the courts. Every time federal labor law morphs -- the enforceability and practicability of fed law might need to be judged all over again to decide whether state setups may continue to operate (not be preempted).  Pretty wacky state of things.

Given that states may add enforceablity to current federal law (e.g., by making union busting a felony);
Given that states may add to their current separate certification setups (today, for farm workers) any classification that the NLRB combs out of federal definition of employees (tomorrow, graduate student instructors and college athletes -- NOW THAT IT OCCURS TO US THAT WE CAN DO THIS);
Given that states can replicate the entire federal setup as long as the federal setup remains a road to nowhere ...

... it seems state and federal labor laws could be approaching pretty closely meshed.

For the sake of workability it might make sense for courts to allow, for instance, states to set a 7 day election requirement to for an election after card check -- to supplement a (theoretical here) 30 day federal requirement.

Could call this a "third-gear" doctrine.

At this point there might not be much light showing between state and federal labor law jurisdiction.  Maybe courts could bring on the final meshing by, say, not allowing states to overrule a finding in favor of certification -- but allowing states to overrule a finding against certification: a relative of can't preempt something with nothing.

Not perfectly clear doctrine, but we have to do something.

ANY CATEGORY OF WORKERS SUPPOSEDLY LEFT OUTSIDE THE FED SETUP BECOMES ELIGIBLE FOR STATE SETUP!


FLASH:
Just read that Trump stacked NLRB could walk back teaching and research assistants category as employees.  Hey; we know states may conduct their own union certification setups for farm workers because farm workers were left off FDR's ship.
https://onlabor.org/2016/12/09/what-will-a-trump-nlrb-mean-for-graduate-teaching-and-research-assistants/

HEY! THAT MEANS THAT ANY CATEGORY OF WORKERS DEFINED OUTSIDE THE FED SETUP IS ELIGIBLE FOR SEPARATE STATE LABOR ORGANIZING SETUP!!!!!!!!!!!!

State labor setup could add something oh, so every day practicable.  State NLRB substitute could MANDATE certification elections upon a finding of union busting.  States should also take union busting as seriously in criminal law as fed takes taking a movie in the movies -- that FBI warning on your DVD comes alive and you are gone for couple of years if caught.

But mandating certification elections has so much more an everyday, natural businesslike feel that it could sail relatively smoothly through state legislatures.  Nota bene: Wisconsin mandates re-certification of public employees unions annually (51% of membership required; not just voters) -- nothing too alien about mandating union elections.

State set up might ACTUALLY go the last practical mile and actually force employers to actually bargain with certified unions -- which refusal to bargain remains the last impassable barrier associated with the fed no-enforcement mechanism.  See Donald Trump in Vegas.

When I was in San Francisco a decade or so ago a union demonstration was going on in front of a hotel on Fourth Street all day, every day: "San Francisco should beware (chanted the leader); Hotel Marriot is unfair (membership responded) -- Hotel Marriot, you're no good; sign that contract like you should."

A concierge I was taxicabing to work one morning, later, told me that part of the deal to allow the Marriot build was to allow a union. Good luck.

State setups to conduct union organizing can illustrate for the rest of the country the shape of real labor market protection.  Limit federal definition of employee: wonderful state and local opportunity.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

ADDENDUM: TO BUTTRESS MY ASSERTION STATES MAY FILL IN FOR MISSING FED UNION BUSTING PROTECTION


CLIPPED FROM A WASHPOST STEVEN PEARLSTEIN COLUMN:
Under Trump, red states are finally going to be able to turn themselves into poor, unhealthy paradise
By Steven Pearlstein December 4 at 9:34 AM
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/12/04/democrats-can-look-forward-to-the-coming-republican-era-being-a-disaster-for-republican-voters/


TO BUTTRESS MY ASSERTION THAT STATES CAN FILL IN FOR MISSING FEDERAL SANCTIONS AGAINST UNION BUSTING:
"If the Trump administration makes good on its promise to pull back on environmental regulation, states can step up their own regulation of power plant emissions and oil and gas drilling.  To combat climate change, they could impose a refundable carbon tax or, as California has done, create a cap and trade system for carbon emissions.

"If Republicans repeal the Dodd-Frank financial regulations, many of those same regulations could be written into state law, either by legislatures or by state banking, securities and insurance regulators and consumer protection agencies. Taking a page from Louis Brandeis and the Progressive era, states could also provide incentives for the creation of state-chartered mutual banks, insurance and investment companies, financial institutions that are owned by their customers.  The few mutuals that still exist offer competitive products and superior service at lower cost, all of it with less risk that the Wall Street mega-firms have turned finance into a head-I-win, tails-you-lose casino.

"Nobody expects a Republican Congress and White House will move to increase the federal minimum wage but there is nothing to prevent states from raising theirs. Nor is there anything preventing states from restoring within their borders many of the workers rights that the Republican Congress and President-elect Donald Trump are poised to eliminate.

"And if the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission give the all-clear signal for corporate mega-mergers, as you can expect they will, attorney generals from blue states can ban together to file federal and state antitrust suits to block them. The attorney generals could also take a page from the playbook of the Chamber of Commerce and other conservative activists and use of the federal courts to try endlessly delay or block regulatory actions or repeals proposed by the Trump administration."



Our US labor market is the only market where market muscle can be used with impunity to squeeze the other side in the bargaining even though such is officially recognized in law as illegal (NLRB lacks enforcement power). Our US labor market is the only modern, first world labor market where union busting happens -- doesn't exist over there or over there as far as I know -- just not in the culture (scabs; what's that?).