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.)"

  * * * * * * * * * * * *

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):

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

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. 

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).

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.

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 ... "  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)." 

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.


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.


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.


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


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

"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?).

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Life satisfaction = paycheck satisfaction = life satisfaction -- or is it the other way around?

Re:  A Job Is More Than a Paycheck  --  Dec 2, 2016, By Noah Smith

Life satisfaction = paycheck satisfaction = life satisfaction -- or is it the other way around?

Enter Walmart: the land of $400 paychecks.  The mostly American raised employees are embarrassed to work there.

Enter McDonald's: the land of $400 paychecks.  The mostly Mexican and Indian employees are happy and vibrant -- they know they are in a tight spot but they could be doing so much worse (in Mexico or India).

Enter taxi world: my former land of $800 a week pay (cash every day) -- and the former land of happy vibrant employees.  The now world-wide raised employees are happy and vibrant -- but they know they are in a tight spot.

What happened to my Chicago taxi job?: one 30 cent rise in the mileage rate between 1981 and 1997 -- at which 1990 midpoint Chicago started building subways to both airports, opening up unlimited limos, putting on free trolleys between all the downtown hot spots -- and -- adding 40% more cabs.  Since I left San Francisco (1996-2004) the city has doubled the number of taxicabs.

Enter Chicago's south or west sides: be a good idea to wear a bullet proof vest.  100,000 out of my guess 200,000 gang age males have opted out of the $400 paycheck, straight economy.

Go back to 1970 New York.  My Teamsters local 804 had just won a contract for $800 a week (adjusted) for furniture warehouse stockmen at 60% of today's per capita income.  Today's 804 pulls down more like $1200 a week for UPS driver (occupations with similar heavy strain).  Ask Jimmy Hoffa why -- and how.

45% of the US workforce pulls down $600 a week or (a lot) less.  The 45% pull in only 10% of overall income.

The next 54% pull in 70%.  Top 1% pull 20% -- up from 10% a couple of gens back.

A unionized bottom 45% could (could) squeeze 10% of overall income out of the next 54% by raising prices at Walmart or McDonald's.  Take more radical measures for the 99% to squeeze back 10% from the top 1%.

The 99%'s unions wont think twice about resetting the 90% fed income tax on earnings over $2 million, say.  Or whatever it takes.

Overall, the money is there -- and so is so much efficiency through reform.  Less financialization, less (much less!) pharma price gouging, fewer pro-profit ed ripoffs.  Enough union density puts an reform cop on ever corner.

Come to think of it enough unions is the only thing that can clear up the last of the US crime wave: the drug wars on impoverished neighborhoods streets.

The irony that it remains undone is that the path to high union density is as simple as protecting that path from management muscling.  The American labor market is the only market we have where unfair market power operates completely unchecked (it is illegal) -- it is the only labor market in the modern, first world as far as I know where management even tries to muscle labor.

Repub Congress not going to add enforcement power to NLRB (love to see mandated elections with a finding of busting).  But -- if there were no other labor laws whatsoever -- states could certainly legislate protections of employees in their separate labor markets.  Federal preemption should not effect that power (just as states can add to the min wage but not subtract).

Just open up the path for employees to organize a collective bargaining unit if they want to (no more gauntlet) and get out of their way.

Whatever high union density does or does not accomplish in wages and benefits -- union employees will understand they have squeezed the maximum that can be squeezed out of the consumer in the free market = happy and vibrant former gang bangers stacking shelves, hopefully not in too tight a spot.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

First 100 days state-by-progressive-state re-unionizatioin agenda

None of this below has ever been vetted by the courts -- but no time like now to start -- the workability seems very compelling.

First, (progressive) states can add to federal protections like the minimum wage or safety regulations.  Don't know why they could not add to labor organizing protections.

LEGAL dissection: Suppose that the opposite of today there were no federal setup for establishing a collective bargaining unit -- people in the free market established their units ad hoc when and where they were able.  Suppose that unlike today that federal law made interfering with establishing a collective bargaining unit a crime.  [This reverse combination might do more for labor than today's actual situation -- but I digress.]

Examples of federal fed and state parallel statutes: bank robbery, RICO (33 states), etc.  If there were no organizing setup to PREEMPT, there would be no question states could make union busting a crime. With today's fed set up I would still think it perfectly obvious that states merely protecting that setup is not preempting.

Now we add the CONSTITUTIONAL dissection: Given the established First Amendment right to organize (commercial association), the fed cannot setup an exclusive path to collective bargaining if said path is in a permanent blocked condition.

The process of labor organizing is by definition adversarial situation where history in the US (recent decades at least) shows unchecked market power -- MONOPSONY! -- all on one side.

6% union density in private industry -- and it wouldn't even be 6% if they had to start from scratch today -- 6% union density (and dropping) is all proof anybody should ever need that the road to collective bargaining is permanently blocked.

Put at its simplest: the fed cannot preempt something with nothing -- not with a fundamental constitutional right at stake.  This should make the open path to states criminalizing union busting doubly unduckable.

Logically IF THE FED CANNOT PREEMPT SOMETHING WITH NOTHING -- if it's difficult to get people to think that any radically new way of doing things is possible -- logically: states should be able to erect their own labor union certification setup UNTIL THE FED REFORMS.

What I'd like to see at the state and eventually federal level is mandated certification elections on a finding of union busting.  Simpler, more streamlined than using up law enforcement resources, no businesspersons go to jail (big business more pin-downable than small, just like with discrimination statutes).

In Wisconsin the Republicans force recertification of public employee unions every year -- with 51% of membership required, not just voters.  So what's so alien about forcing a certification election with reasonable cause?

Interestingly, California (and maybe others, I don't know) have a separate union certification setup for farm workers only.  This is done on the strength of FDR telling Congress that it did not apply to farm workers, probably just to get it through.

6% union density is like 20/10 blood pressure -- it starves every other healthy economic and political process.  I am sure that all these stories we see about big pharma making drugs so expensive nobody can use them (think Sovaldi which could eliminate Hep C overnight for the cost of half a billion dollars manufacturing, but Gilead wants 300 billion!), for profit colleges (Trump), trillion in student loans, etc., would never have gotten so bad in the first place if there were anybody minding the store.

David Broder, late dean of the Washington press corps said that when he came to DC fifty years earlier the lobbyists were all union -- the economic cops on the blocks.

10,000 gun homicides in US -- 8,000 gang related.  Ever want to stop the shooting in Chicago, $400 jobs will have to start paying $800 AGAIN (my old taxi job, supermarkets -- be nice if regional airline pilots didn't have to take food stamps, answer to the latter is centralized bargaining, look it up).  Meantime 100,000 out of my guesstimate 200,000 Chicago gang age males are in street gangs to try to make a living.  Only unions will stop the shooting -- absolutely no other way.

Want to ruin Donald's day -- in case that's the only thing that matters to you: actually help poor blacks (who did not vote against) and blue collar whites (who did vote for) -- unlike O and the Clintons who never did anything for either of them; not enough to make their lives promising again anyway.


Nobody can stop the march of collective bargaining once progressive states wake up and realize they -- not only -- can but -- only they can -- restore healthy labor union density to our undernourished, moribund democratic process.

PS.  Don't be daunted if Repubs force right-to-work nationally.  In the German labor market, the platinum standard of labor effectiveness, I don't believe there is a single majority union -- mostly "freeloaders" -- but mostly collectively bargained -- that's the difference.



Friday, November 18, 2016

Our airline manufacturing evaporates -- while Donald fiddles (not to mention O and Hill)

One huge industry where the US seems to be holding its own is manufacture of airliners — namely Boeing …

… or are we? First I saw TV reports that manufacture of the body and wings were being off shored Italy and Japan.
“The final assembly for the Boeing 787 takes place at Boeings’ plant in Everett, Washington. The plant employs a mere 800 to 1,200 staff who are responsible for the final assembly of the major components of the aircraft. As with the Boeing 737, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner will have the construction of it’s major components contracted out to manufacturers around the globe.”

“Subcontracted assemblies included wing manufacture (Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Japan, central wing box)[37] horizontal stabilizers (Alenia Aeronautica, Italy; Korea Aerospace Industries, South Korea);[38] fuselage sections (Global Aeronautica, Italy; Boeing, North Charleston, US; Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Japan; Spirit AeroSystems, Wichita, US; Korean Air, South Korea);[39][40][41] passenger doors (Latécoère, France); cargo doors, access doors, and crew escape door (Saab AB, Sweden); software development (HCL Enterprise India);[42] floor beams (TAL Manufacturing Solutions Limited, India);[43][44] wiring (Labinal, France);[45] wing-tips, flap support fairings, wheel well bulkhead, and longerons (Korean Air, South Korea);[46] landing gear (Messier-Bugatti-Dowty, UK/France);[47][48] and power distribution and management systems, air conditioning packs (Hamilton Sundstrand, Connecticut, US).”

As with everything, the economic rape of America can only end with the re-constitution of high union density. European labor unions would not tolerate this kind of de-industrialization — they would react politically. 6% unionization in private firms (which wouldn’t even be 6% if it had to start from scratch) is equivalent to 20/10 blood pressure: starving every other healthy process.

Anybody -- everybody?! -- understand that making union busting a felony can be done on a state by progressive state basis — the only open path with Repub control of Congress? Do this or do nothing!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Pink Donald: The Wall (afraid of swarthy skins)

Anti-wall campaign slogan:
Pink Donald: The Wall (afraid of swarthy skins)

Situation: 12 million illegal immigrants — maybe 2/3 overworked/underpaid Mexicans.

Just think: 1 out of 40 persons among us is an overworked/underpaid Mexican — and it’s all our fault for not spending tens or hundreds of billions of dollars building a Maginot Line barrier to keep them out. Just imagine: we still have time to build the laughing stock of the world. Can’t think of the link but: according to US and Mexican authorities, Mexican emigration to US steadily down for 10 years — one source said by three; the other by ten.

Hundreds of years from now archeologists are going to dig up the ruins of American civilization and find that it was 8 million underpaid/overworked Mexicans who brought everything down.

Friday, November 11, 2016

We can always hope: impeach Donald!

We can always hope.

What would happen if Donald Trump was impeached?
The Independent‎ – 1 day ago
This guy has such an overactive scurrilous past that a Watergate type Albatross could hang over him his whole term — however short (fingers crossed) that may be.

NBC decides not to air ‘SVU’ episode about President-elect Trump’s rape accusation
Death and Taxes‎ – 1 day ago

Trump Rape Accuser Dismisses Suit [technicality -- unaided by attorney filed under wrong statute -- will be back]
The Daily Beast‎ – 2 days ago


Woman accusing Trump of raping her at 13 cancels her plan to go public [death threats]
The Guardian, Nov 3

With Bloom coming on board Doe appeared – until the press conference fiasco – to have acquired considerable additional legal and media firepower.

The founder and owner of The Bloom Firm, which handles family, civil and criminal cases in California and New York, has in the past sued the Boy Scouts of America and the Los Angeles police department. Bloom hosts a Court TV talkshow and is a legal analyst for NBC News.
. . .
Judge Ronnie Abrams has ordered counsel for Trump and Epstein to appear in his New York district court along with Doe’s legal team for an initial status conference on 16 December. That raises the extraordinary prospect, were Trump to win the election, of counsel for a US president-elect being called into federal court in proceedings relating to allegations of rape of an underage girl.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

"All these histories are bullshit": why Trump won

As my old Bronx doctor, Seymour Tenzer, put it: "All these histories are bullshit -- I got punched in the chest; that's why I've got a lump."

Trump's victory is down to the disappearance of the $800 job for the $400 job.  That subtracted from the vote in the black ghettos – and added to the vote in the white ghettos -- both ghettos being far off the radar screen of academic liberals like Hill and O.

I notice the white ghettos because that is me.  My old taxi job (much too old now at 72 3/4) was “in-sourced” all over the world to drivers who would work for remarkably less (than the not so great incomes we native born eked out).  Today's low skilled jobs go to native and foreign born who willing to show up for $400 (e.g., since Walmart gutted supermarket contracts).  Fast food strictly to foreign born who will show up for $290 a week (min wage $400, 1968 -- when per cap income half today's).

Don't expect the 100,000 out of maybe 200,000 Chicago gang age males to show up for a life time of $400/wk servitude.

6% union density at private employers = 20/10 BP which starves every healthy process in the social body = disappearance of collective bargaining and its institutional concomitants which supply political funding and lobbying equal to oligarchs plus most all the votes ...

... votes: notice?  45% take 10% of overall income -- 45% earn $15/hr or less -- a lot of votes.

To shore up my usual assertion that states can make union busting a felony (taking same as as  serious an economic crime as taking a movie in the movies – couple year fed hospitality), state and federal laws against bank robbing coexist side by side (so could copyright violation penalties, no?).

Right now, at the federal level we have placebo protection for organizers.  Jobs can be reinstated after years of waiting – mostly fired again for something else.  No deterrence to suffocating unionizing – nor recourse, like mandating elections on finding of union busting – zero; nothing at all.

As such today’s federal law sets up a union certification gauntlet most all employees cannot survive – an inherently lopsided contest in an inherently adversarial process.  Being forced into the straightjacket of an inherently unworkable organizing process – preempting something with nothing -- is the equivalent of forbidding employees to organize a collective bargaining unit – a First Amendment right.
Interestingly, California has its own certification process for farm workers only.  Seems FDR told Congress – trying to get the union law through; not written in the law – that it would not apply to farm workers.  With this as an excuse states are able to set up certification of their own.

Leaving the esoteric aside – states can inarguably back up the federal labor organizing scheme by instituting criminal penalties for muscling in our most important market (would anybody doubt states may penalize unions for the reverse?).

Deterring union busting at state level should breeze through legislatures in progressive states (WA, OR, CA, NV, MN, IL, NY, MD?) which also happen to be our most prosperous states and therefore potentially the most influential.

From there it is "clear and hold."

I see collective bargaining as such a core social as well as economic right that I think that a US Constitutional Amendment should be prepared to enshrine it specifically – going beyond an (recognized) First Amendment protection.

A couple of years of Donald and I am sure we can take back the House and the Senate.  If progressives' number one push is for re-unionization I'd be absolutely sure we could take them back.  (Remember, Bernie beat the hell out of Hill versus Donald.)

The Wage That Meant Middle Class
By Louis Uchitelle,  APRIL 20, 2008

"Leaving aside for a moment those who have lost their jobs, what of those who still have them? Once upon a time, a large number earned at least $20 an hour, or its inflation-adjusted equivalent, and now so many of them don’t.

"The $20 hourly wage, introduced on a huge scale in the middle of the last century, allowed masses of Americans with no more than a high school education to rise to the middle class. It was a marker, of sorts. And it is on its way to extinction."

Monday, November 7, 2016

Middle class-workers of the world unite -- foreign policy

My view of the big world — foreign policy — is the Rick Steves, Anthony Bourdain outlook: middle class-workers of the world unite (or at least middle-classes): the people everywhere who (to borrow a phrase from Bill Clinton) work hard and play by the rules.

There seems a commonality of outlook to be discovered from Russia to Turkey to Syria to anywhere. Somehow we (the middle class) people ought to be able to coordinate our countries’ interactions. 

Classically, middle classes — all the way from the Middle Ages — were the vanguard of democratization. No more Game of Risk mentality if we take hold.

But, if you read Thomas Frank’s timely tome, released in March, Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People? you will learn that the Clintons’ and Obama’s missing empathy with the middle class goes deeper than just some cultural blindness from living too high up in the clouds (or too high on the hog) but that it is enforced with a deeply antagonistic to middle priorities view of life …
… and cloudy elitist Hillary is not very likely to see the middle-classes-of-the-world-unite approach as a promising way forward — indeed unlikely to be capable of seeing it is there at all.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

How foolish is the failure of progressive states to make union busting a felony?

Do you know what failure of progressive states to take the easy path to re-building union density reminds me of?

Of 19 Republican governors who oppose Medicaid expansion (90% reimbursement yet!) -- who always willing GIVE UP hundred of millions if not billions of dollars of tax breaks to attract businesses and jobs ...

... but who wont TAKE hundreds of millions if not billions of federal (payroll) tax raised money to create really top flight medical jobs ...


That's how foolish progressive legislatures who do not make union busting a felony look to me.

Even if it were just only for their own electoral good.