Wednesday, September 28, 2016

MY COMMENT AT ANGRY BEAR TODAY -- Asserts states may today order certification elections ...

MY COMMENT AT ANGRY BEAR TODAY -- Asserts states may today order certification elections with a finding of illegal blocking -- argues no federal action to directly (or mostly even indirectly) protect organizing substantively exists to preempt; First Amendment invoked.

  1. Denis Drew
    Today’s News & Commentary — September 26, 2016
    Posted on September 26, 2016 by Emily Miller 

    “A recent op-ed in the Washington Examiner argued that federal lawmakers may be able to address the standstill in federal labor law simply by authorizing waivers which would allow states to opt out of the federal regime. The waivers would open the door for states to experiment with policy which better addresses the challenges of modern business models and allow unions to take on new responsibilities to better serve their constituents.”

    Waivers can fix out-of-date federal labor laws
    By Andrew Stern & Eli Lehrer • 9/22/16 

    “Few relationships in America suffer as unnecessarily thanks to federal government morass as that between employer and employee. In fact, the fundamental structure of labor relations has changed rather little since the Taft-Hartley Act (1947). [...] Current proposals to make significant, nationwide changes to federal labor laws have almost no chance to be signed into law. And indeed, recently the focus has shifted instead to the state and local level.”

    "Andrew Stern is former president of Service Employees International Union and a senior fellow at Columbia University. Eli Lehrer is president of the R Street Institute, a conservative think tank based in Washington, D.C." 
    Nota bene: one major labor leader and one rock-ribbed conservative.

    This could open the way for progressive states (WA, OR, CA, NV, MN, IL, NY, MD, etc.) to supplant (today’s virtually non-existent) federal enforcement of the right to organize by allowing a finding of penalizing organizers or joiners (principally by firing) to lead to a mandated certification election (not anybody’s agenda but mine at the moment; but maybe we’ll get there).

    It is even possible to come up with a plausible legal argument that states could impose elections today — on the theory that the doctrine of federal preemption cannot hold sway where there is virtually (substantively) no federal presence to preempt.

    There is literally no criminal or civil penalty for muscling employees out of their legally defined right to organize today.

    Theoretically there is some protection for organizers (not sure about joiners) in the NLRB’s ability to command they be re-hired with back pay (minus earnings elsewhere). But, even if fired organizers had to be re-hired for life, the labor market power play would remain un-done. The fact that most re-hired are re-fired within twelve months makes even that sop mostly non-existent.

    The right to organize a collective bargaining unit is a First Amendment right (commercial freedom of association). Any legislation simply barring organizing would run right smack into a First Amendment barrier.

    When the federal government puts in place a setup that claims to preempt actual enforcement of that primary (that’s why it’s the “first”) constitutional right — but which mechanism actually has no power to enforce at all — then, said bogus preemption can reasonably be argued to contradict the First Amendment.

    Arguable — and at least powerfully makes the point that there is today no legal support for organizing collective bargaining units at all.

    States can add to federal labor protections but not subtract (e.g., minimum wage). In the absence of actually working protection of organizing (not just organizers) states should feel free to impose certification elections where labor market warping is found.

    Union busting should be a felony (taken at least as seriously as taking a movie in the movies ;-]) — but mandating elections could be the most direct remedy for union blocking.

Sunday, September 18, 2016


COMMENTS I HAVE BEEN DROPPING THIS WEEK AT [first paras -- full content in comments below to save space]:

IF OBAMA HAD spent the last 7+ years explaining to the general public what Mike Konczal lays out, then, he would have much trust with which to convince voters what frauds the Republicans are: golden credibility!  [comment left at Economist's View] 
Do US progressives ignore THE CORE REASON for income inequality (please include the word "income" so most people won't mistake the discussion to be about race in the 1950s)? Do they? 
IOW, worry more about the folks at home in rich countries (whatever the morality of that might be) or more Donald Trumps are on the way, world wide. 
My low skilled job, taxi driving, has been virtually outsourced all over the world (Pakistan, Russia, Nigeria, Mexico, etc.).

Lack of collective bargaining makes a wages race to the bottom that is malignant enough all by its lonesome. (Taxi fares are not set by coll barg, but a unionized country would be a diff country.) But, throw in enough poor country raised immigrants and the race for home grown labor becomes fatal.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Republican NO-COMET STRIKE agenda

Let us peer at the year in-year out Republican moans and screams.

In psychiatry there is the concept of “transfer anxiety.” Some patients have so much anxiety (not the exact Repub problem) that they repress it to try to get away from it only to end up worrying about (usually irrational) something else — for instance, that throwing a cigarette in the street may ignite somebody’s gas tank. Can’t just make part of your perceptions go away.

Repubs anxieties OTH come from WANTING an anxiety — a healthy anxiety — wanting to save the world — DON’T WE ALL? But Repubs have no adult size issues they really care about: for instance, poverty, medical (all kinds of issues), discrimination, etc.

I like to say the Repubs have no “comet-strike” anxieties.

Repub issues:
Gun control: there are 300 million guns in this country. Do Repubs seriously think somebody is going to come and take them all away? More stringent check or safety standards or whatever: no comet-strike there.
Immigration: there are 12 million illegal immigrants here. About 8 million may be over worked, under paid Mexicans. Going to bring America down? No comet-strike.
The deficit: assuming this generation is going to leave a bill for future generations — those future generations will have more money to pay for it through economic growth (IF WE RESTORE COLLECTIVE BARGAINING TO OUR LABOR MARKET)/but may decide to lay it off on their future generations/who will have more money/but who may lay it off on their future generations. That’s human nature — but no comet-strike.

Maybe if someone could explain to Republicans what they are really (not) worried about, some of them might switch to adult (earth-shaking) concerns.

ADDENDUM (just though of this, this moment)
As to the big bugaboo "the government" -- the government is just an extension of the power of whoever (whatever interest group) runs it.  If your (high density) unions run it, the government is just an extension of your unions.  Still worried about that -- are you afraid to run the country for yourselves? 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Black employment is what really, REALLY matters

There are low skilled jobs aplenty that can pay just as much as factory jobs. With collective bargaining workers are paid by the max consumers are willing to fork up — not by the minimum for which desperate workers are willing to show up.

Lack of collective bargaining is especially harmful to American raised workers of all colors in mixed American raised/foreign raised work forces like Chicago’s. The labor market doesn’t clear evenly. Look at fast food in Chicago and it is all Mexican and (East) Indian labor. My old taxi job has been “outsourced” to the whole world.

Foreign raised workers are willing to show up for $400 a week — Am are not. We want $800. If there were nobody but Am around they would have to pay $800. Also if wages were set by collective bargaining they would have to pay $800.

In any case with collective bargaining you intuit you have squeezed the best the economy (a.k.a., the consumers) of your era can produce (a.k.a., pay).

Result of dropout of Am in Chicago: an unbelievable 100,000 out of my guesstimate 200,000 gang-age, minority males are in drug dealing street gangs. (Last night the TV said, if I remember correctly, 40 of the 52 shot over the weekend had 672 arrests among them.)

Especially with a mixed rich country/poor country work force you desperately need to restore collective bargaining — to make the American labor market workable (pun intended) again.

* * * * * * * * *
Intimidating union organizing is illegal everywhere — and nowhere/nowhere practicably. If caught firing an organizer you must rehire her. Doesn’t matter if you fully compensate her income loss and never fire her again — you got away with the real bank robbery money anyway; you barred the certification election anyway.

Only remedy that makes economic sense: a finding of union busting should lead to a mandatory certification election. I believe this sanction has to take place at the federal level (NLRB preemption). This could be possible if Hillary pulls enough reps and senators with her. [Be a great issue for Hillary with blue collar voters.]
 * * * * * * * * * *
At the state level union busting now needs to be taken as as seriously and harmful an unfair market practice as, say, taking a movie in the movies — which will get you a couple of years federal hospitality.

As long as nobody else talks about re-unionization (as the beginning and the end of re-constituting the American dream) — nobody thinks it is possible to talk about …
… or something.

Easy as pie to make union busting a felony in our most progressive states f(WA, OR, CA, NV, IL, NY, MD) — and then get out of the way as the first 2000 people in the many telephone directories re-define our future.

After I described the American spinning-wheels labor market to my late brother John, 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."

Sunday, August 14, 2016

NLRB union busting finding: should mandate a certifciation election

Just thinking out loud: Maybe if the NLRB finds you have been union busting, you should be forced to hold a certification election (besides going to jail).

Union busting is illegal everywhere. Get caught and it is not even like getting caught robbing a bank and being forced to give back the cash. Sure you’re forced to take the fired employee back, but even if you don’t fire her (usually) for something else you have still succeeded in blocking the collective bargaining that makes for a fair labor market. You get to keep the money!

Noto bene: a 100% rich country (American raised) labor force will have lower wages w/o collective bargaining — than a 50/50% rich country/poor country (anywhere else) raised labor force w/collective bargaining. Ponder.
 * * * * * * * * * * * *
Most min wage scenarios ignore what I suspect is the re-circulation effect — of newly raised min income spent proportionately more at lower wage firms — than at firms it would have been spent otherwise. This may explain the Card and Krueger finding that min wage employment increased with the raise. Job loss/income loss may actually take place at higher income levels instead. The idea is to re-distribute. 

Seattle workers may lose out on much re-circulation/re-distribution effect of their (gradual) creep up to $15 an hour (which everyone is studying so intensely) because Seattle has the highest median household income around ($100,000). Re/re may work better in Chicago which has 60/40 minority/majority population.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Re: Trump and the damage done - Joe Stiglitz

Re:  Trump and the damage done - Joe Stiglitz

" ... a full-time male worker is lower than 40 years ago, the hourly wage at the bottom comparable to levels 60 years ago. "
" Trump has exploited this great divide ... "
" ... that he has received the nomination of one the two major parties, the Grand Old Party — puts all countries on notice: Next time, someone as or more extreme may be elected, someone even less committed (if that is possible) to honor old agreements. "

No such extreme could plausibly exist if we move America's labor market back to normally high union density.

To me labor Nirvana would be getting most low skilled jobs into the area of $800/wk -- $600/wk minimum (maybe for high labor cost businesses like fast food; maybe). My guess is that would take something like 12 1/2% shift in income from the top 55% who now take 90% of income (or from the top 54% who now take 70%) to the bottom 45% ($15/hr being today's 45 percentile wage).

Four labor union empowered 10% bonuses to get the 12 1/2% back for the 55% -- and everybody else:

10% saved on market rip-offs like medical (drug and device monopolies), education (for profit colleges), real estate skyrocketing (self-destructive zoning, no realistic rent control like Germany's, et al.) -- others can produce a much more comprehensive list than I can.
10% of overall income gouged back from the 1% who now take 20% (historically it was only 10%, which was thought to make very rich) via confiscatory taxation -- think Eisenhower level.
10% more productive economy by cutting today's finance share of the economy from a bloated 20% (where too many of our best young minds go to gamble) back to a genuinely useful 10%.
Another 10% potential savings in a pervasively union managed and monitored economy:  Sick: The biggest increase in healthcare costs in 32 years
" ... $3 trillion annually on healthcare. That represents about 17% of total economic activity. The average for all nations within the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development is 9%. [...]  Family premiums have increased 20% over the last five years, which is a lot but a darn sight better than the 31% hike over the previous five years, and a huge improvement over the staggering 63% growth in the five years before that."

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Hillary needs to angry-up

Voters want candidates to fight 1% bullying — both the Bern’s and the D’ump’s voters. They want somebody to be mad, angry for them — even if they don’t know exactly, precisely who they want them to be mad at and why.

Big demeanor problem for Hill (and O) is their happy, happy faces. What are they so happy about? I asked about that once at Angry Bear and Beverly Mann explained that Hill had a rep for being icy and was trying to counteract that. Good enough — for then; not anymore.

We the people (sound familiar?) are anything but happy — or hopeful. Hopeful?!

Don’t offers us palliatives to ease the pain we are feeling Hill: higher minimum wage, tuition relief, extended paid health care — assuming you could deliver them. What we need is an angry candidate to go after our skilled and determined oppressors — win or lose. Nothing else would give us real hope, Hill — or give you Bernie’s and the D’ump’s voters — whether you can deliver them to the guillotine or not.
* * * * * * * * * *

" The NLRB declined yesterday to review the decision to unionize of workers at Trump International Hotel, Las Vegas. Roughly 500 Trump International Hotel workers voted and narrowly approved joining the Culinary Workers Union last December, but Trump International Hotel did not recognize the election, arguing that the election was 'anything but free and fair.' "
* * * * * * * * * *

Making union busting a felony ranks with me with women or non-rich men getting the right to vote — or any other civil right you can think of. Union busting is a federal offense — punished by undoing the harm you did to a particular organizer (gets job back until majority fired for “something else” within a year — having no union protection).

The greater harm — the harm of depriving the the entire workplace of any free market bargaining weight (or political forum power) — goes totally unpunished.

Meanwhile don’t take a chance undermining the free market by taking a movie in the movies. Just read in Dean Baker’s Beat the Press:
” In some cases the TPP is directly protectionist. It would strengthen copyright and patent protections, even requiring that member countries have criminal sanctions for copyright protection. ”
* * * * * * * * * *

As long as nobody else talks about re-unionization (as the beginning and the end of re-constituting the American dream) — nobody thinks it is possible to talk about …
… or something.

Easy as pie to make union busting a felony in our most progressive states f(WA, OR, CA, NV, IL, NY, MD) — and then get out of the way as the first 2000 people in the many telephone directories re-define our future.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Did Gilead's new Hepatitis drug Epclusa truly take $22.5 TRILLION to research?

At $75,000 a treatment, Epclusa, Gilead's new Hepatitis drug which miraculously cures all forms of Hepatitis, A, B, C, D, E, could cost about $500 billion to treat all 7 million Americans afflicted from some form of Hepatitis. Which would cost Gilead in the neighborhood of $1 billion to manufacture (figuring about $150 each for 7 million US patients -- if same as Sovaldi -- don’t have exact population figures in front of me but that that is what I call “close enough.”)

To justify that cost by the need to support research Gilead would have us believe they and others spend in the neighborhood of $499 billion on research on the average for each new drug that successfully comes to market.

But wait; there’s more — as the Popeil TV ads used to say.

Worldwide there are more like 300 million with chronic Hepatitis. Let’s see: $300 million X 1,000 = $300 billion X 75 = $22,500 billion or $22.5 trillion needed for research on average to bring a new drug (minus the 1/5 of one percent manufacturing costs -- let's be fair)?
 * * * * * * * * * * 
While Gilead ducks $10 billion in taxes.
 * * * * * * * * * *
Meantime back at the big pharma ranch:  

One striking chart shows why pharma companies are fighting legal marijuana         Christopher Ingraham, July 13
" They found that, in the 17 states with a medical-marijuana law in place by 2013, prescriptions for painkillers and other classes of drugs fell sharply compared with states that did not have a medical-marijuana law. The drops were quite significant: In medical-marijuana states, the average doctor prescribed 265 fewer doses of antidepressants each year, 486 fewer doses of seizure medication, 541 fewer anti-nausea doses and 562 fewer doses of anti-anxiety medication.

" But most strikingly, the typical physician in a medical-marijuana state prescribed 1,826 fewer doses of painkillers in a given year. "

" … pharmaceutical companies … have long been at the forefront of opposition to marijuana reform, funding research by anti-pot academics and funneling dollars to groups, such as the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, that oppose marijuana legalization. "

Thursday, June 30, 2016

My COMMENT at Economist's View and DeLong:

Re: Which Thinkers Will Define Our Future? - J. Bradford DeLong
Re: The Anger Wave That May Just Wipe Out Laissez-Faire Economics - NYTimes

Karl Marx said America doesn't need socialism because it had labor unions. Opps! (Where'd they go?)

NYT writer does usual analysis of what-to-do-next w/o any mention of re-unionizing our labor force -- w/o realizing that de-unionizing is the source of almost all our other troubles.

Today's progressive thinkers (don't know about Keynes, et al) all seem to miss that only re-balancing the average persons' economic bargaining power and political power via re-creating high labor union density can re-constitute a health society.

My future-defining thinker might be Jimmy Hoffa. :-)

But as long as nobody talks about re-unionization (as the beginning and the end of re-constituting the American dream) -- nobody thinks it is possible to talk about ...
... or something.

Easy as pie to make union busting a felony in our most progressive states (WA, OR, CA, NV, IL, NY, MD) -- and then get out of the way as the first 2000 people in the many telephone directories re-define our future.

My  COMMENT at Noahpinion:

Re:  Some stuff economists tend to leave out

A hidden dimension in prime-age, non-college educated male labor market drop-out -- usually left out?

"The Crips and the Bloods" and my gang, American raised (former) taxi drivers, would enthusiastically work for $200 a week -- one hundred years ago when it would have been understood that that was the best a, then, much less productive economy could pay low skilled labor: the best in history, indoor plumbing, etc.

They, we, won't work for $400 a week today.  $800, yes.

The money is there.  The min wage was $440 in 1968 at half today's per capita.  $600 a week would transfer 5% of income from the 55% who now take 90% to the 45% -- not counting push-ups.  Push-ups: supermarkets pre-Walmart used to pay $800.

Beautiful thing about collective bargaining is that (in the US make that "would be that") labor feels it has squeezed the most out of the consumer for the era it habitates -- and subjectively on top of the world.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Double the building instead of doubling the rents -- same money

"A North Beach [San Francisco] tenant recently received notice from his landlord that the rent on his apartment was going up from $1,800 a month to $8,000."


"Neil Hutchinson, who has lived in the building at Columbus and Scotland streets for six years, has been hit with a rent increase of 344 percent."


" MANHATTAN — The city’s rent-stabilized tenants will once again see a rent freeze on one-year leases."

"The Rent Guidelines Board voted Monday night against any increases on one-year leases and voted for a 2 percent increase on two-year leases, marking a repeat of its vote last year, which was the first time ever the board approved a rent freeze."


Strikes me that when rents double and triple, the same money could be going to build twice and three times as much housing instead of uselessly lining the landlords’ pockets (I think economists call this collecting rents).

Part of the solution, besides easing up on zoning like Seattle or happening to have plenty of land to extend construction to like Houston, might simply be a working market-realistic version of rent control like Germany and Paris and many Euro places (Singapore housing is 80% public I think).

Main idea: if landlords want to cash in on demand they will have to build to profit by it. Help; before we are all forced to move to Mexico!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Will 500,000 Americans a year die -- for lack of $30 million?

Fatalities from accidents and homicides in the US every year are a far distant second and third to the half a million Americans (and uncounted millions around the world) who die from heart failure.  There now there looks to be a stabilizing procedure for most all and an actual cure for many … but from Sunshine Heart, C-pulse device e-news I get, being $20-30 million short to fund final clinical trials stands between those millions and the rest of their lives.
It goes like this.  A trial with 20 very ill patients (stage III, stage IV HF, with at least one hospitalization and considered for another device) ended in 2012 with 5 complete cures (device removed), the majority improved and none worse.

Novel, implantable device 'could slow, reverse heart failure', Honor Whiteman,  Tuesday 7 October 2014
”Around 50% of people who develop heart failure [5.2 million Americans] die within 5 years of diagnosis. But could a novel, implantable heart device change this? In a clinical trial, the C-Pulse - a cuff that wraps around the aorta and pumps blood from the heart around the body - has proved effective in reversing heart failure, even in some patients with severe cases.”

No problems with clots or strokes with the C-pulse balloon outside the bloodstream.  Implanted non-invasively too.

Sunshine Heart has been working up a final trial with 200 patients to win FDA approval but can’t seem to get past 100.  Money seems the bigger obstacle.

“Unfortunately, there don't appear to be easy solutions to Sunshine Heart's primary problem - it lacks the resources of major cardiology companies like Boston Scientific (BSX), Medtronic (MDT), or St. Jude Medical (STJ) that could otherwise support and encourage enrollment. Getting the FDA's permission to run an interim analysis would certainly help, and the shares do appear undervalued, but the company is...”

One email from Sunshine Heart (can’t dig it out) made out private investors to be reluctant for fear any patent could be too easily worked around.

Here’s the thing.  I figure 5 million currently terminal patients (we all know somebody) would gladly pony up $6 apiece.  :-)  More sensible path – government supporting this and all clinical trials from now on – possibly neutralizing big pharma’s biggest gouging excuse without hampering innovation (encouraging) – in this case, with 10,000 American deaths every week, pronto.  Maybe states could get together and pitch in.  Maybe GoFundMe.  ???  Whatever, soon.

 * * * * * * * * * *
“To use Sovaldi to treat each of the 3 million hepatitis C patients in the United States, it would cost around $300 billion, or about the same amount we annually spend for all other drugs combined.”

Thus the opposite end of the pharma-out-for-pharma cruelty scale.  Federal legislation exists* to put and end to what-should-be a $300 billion joke right now.  Be a nice Democratic campaign issue – if that’s what it takes. 

Bydureon (once a week) keeps my blood sugar down, my insulin up and caused me to lose 50 pounds in as many weeks without effort.  [Late animal studies note: GLP-1 drugs like Bydureon may prevent the gradual loss of beta cells which characterized Type II diabetes.] The VA endocrinologist (right hand man to a Nobel Prize winner) who discovered the prized molecule in the saliva of a Gila Monster is likely still working on salary.  Pharmasset's chief Sovaldi researcher made $446 million dollars for himself …
… made possible only because the "Gilead Monster" could fork over $11 billion in the expectation of getting back $1,000 a pill (that cost $1 to make).

$30 million or $300 billion short, America's wonder drug machine needs major redesign -- and in a hurry.

Late additions:


Follow up  --  FWIW?:

From what admittedly little I gleaned from Goggle, neuromodultion seemed not to carry much promise -- at least in the context of the trials shown.


Gilead again.  This time Gilead halted research on an improved version off its HIV drug for six years to stretch its current patent.

" The foundation had argued in the lawsuit that millions of patients could have benefited years earlier from the less harmful drug if the company had not delayed its development.

" The older drug’s label has long warned that it can damage a patient’s kidneys and bones. In a large study in 2012, doctors at UC San Francisco analyzed a database of more than 10,000 HIV patients at the Department of Veterans Affairs, finding the risk of chronic kidney disease rose 33% each year a patient took the medicine."

" Lucentis is just as good as slowing the progression of macular degeneration as Avastin. There’s just one little problem with Lucentis, however. Instead of costing Medicare $50 per pop, it costs up to $2,000. " 

Unfortunately Genentech wont manufacture Avastin in ready-to-use form and there is a very slight risk of infection with current application of Avastin.  No high priced research needed here -- simply manufacture easy-to-use.  But big loss of over priced sales. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

How Hillary can leave Bernie in her progressive dust and Donald in her blue collar dust

Perfect issue for Hillary to leave Sanders in her progressive dust and Trump in her blue collar dust: make union busting a felony.  Only market in which one side may use unchecked market muscle by firing the other side's bargaining organizers -- to prevent monopsony (employer, one buyer) from being equally balanced in deal negotiating (that's "deal" as in Donald :-]) with a natural monopoly (organized employees, one seller).

Oh, it's illegal to muscle organizers alright -- and nobody would argue that it shouldn't be illegal.  There's just doesn't happen to be any working penalty other than being forced to hire the would be organizer back two or three years later (w/minimal comp for diff in wages) -- after which most are fired within a year for "something else", having no union to protect them from such.

Everybody (most anyway) think of the utter necessity of making union busting a felony for about one second -- about as long as it takes to reflect on the "immovable political object" of how things are set up now and immediately dismiss it from thought because it's, too different or something.  ???  Here's a little formulation that hopefully can make the thought of penalizing market busting on a grownup level last a few seconds longer:

In a labor market where wage levels are set by what I call subsistence-plus -- bottom skills paid by the very minimum below which no one will show up; better English, Starbucks?; better education, Whole Foods?, paid off in increments above the bottom -- where pay levels  depend wholly on worker compared to worker, rather than on what the ultimate consumer might have been willing to pony up (like we focus on in minimum wage discussions),  ...

... even with a labor force of 100% rich country workers (one example, primarily American born taxi drivers -- who will show up for $800/wk but not $400/wk) wage levels will be lower than in ...

... a labor market with 50% rich country and 50% poor country workers (possible population example, Chicago -- 40% white, 40% Black, 20% Hispanic) where wage levels are set by collectively bargaining -- according to how much can be squeezed out of the ultimate consumer (again, same as in minimum wage discussions).

Only look at France or Germany where a mixture of rich country and poor country workers does not put French or German workers out of work (think American born taxi drivers and the Crips and the Bloods).  Collective bargaining sets the rate of pay regardless of who is on the receiving end of the paycheck.  In Chicago fast food work has been outsourced to Mexico and India while Chicago taxi driving outsourced all over the world.

There's possibly another election angle (writing and thinking): collective bargaining could render immigration much more harmless appearing to some.  Of course we know Trump supporters are on financially better off than most -- many but not all.

Anybody ready to think for a couple of extra seconds?

Making union busting a felony, automatically backed by federal and 33 state RICO statutes (the latter necessary to deter employers from pushing the limits for too long) should be a shoe-in in progressive states (WA, OR, CA, NV, IL, NY, MD?) if someone would just make it a national issue.


Friday, May 27, 2016

Transgender bathrooms — it’s not just about plumbing.

The arrogance of academic liberals who just because they think German or old Tahitian expect American women to just forget their greatest fears and allow a previously unimaginable privacy invasion because the elite left (some voluble ones anyway) think they shouldn’t care.

And always remember — as incidents reported from locker rooms to dressing rooms around the country are starting show up — that the bigger part of this ideology is that NO QUESTIONS may be asked of any male entering the previously out-of-bounds area — lest anyone feel humiliated. Incidents being of males being found in all places, offering no explanation why they are there, and employees in charge explaining that they cannot ask questions.

The following may seem snarky — it is not; I fully understand the suffering of the transgender — it is just one of those “balloon pop” connections. To wit: if transgender females are so perfectly matched in their brains, why do they not understand why other females are abhorrence of their male endowed selves invading the previously sacred precincts. Just like I wonder how many still physical males are sexually attracted to females (like Bruce!). Purely scientific curiosity (I am hung up on motives).

In Palatine, Illinois one high school girl seems to complain that the physical boy can in fact view the girls while going to and from the locker room: “There is no towel over his eyes.” So what’s next: transgender female athletic coaches? Would be consistent.

As far as I can tell Obama would rather trans girls be naked in the locker with the other girls rather than be denied access altogether, if that were the choice. (CHASE EVERYBODY TO THE REPUBLICAN PARTY CLOWNS — YOU NEVER CARED ABOUT OUR LIVELIHOODS ANYWAY.)

The Southern states have something right for once. The liberal elite cannot possibly just revoke tens of billions of dollars from education throughout the country — impossible. $5 million was the threat to junk education in Palatine. Shouldn’t there be reaction against that? The Republicans would probably like to see federal money sucked out of education anyway. HELP THE REPUBLICANS IN EVERY WAY, WHY DON’T YOU?!

Rch/poor country workers -- in different labor markets

Re: Social-democratic vs market-friendly progressivism – Lane Kenworthy

Hill and Bern can add a truly free LABOR MARKET to their agenda.

A 50% poor-country/50% rich-country workforce (Chicago work-force? – useful approximation) whose pay level set by collective bargaining – will have a higher level of pay than a 100% rich-country workforce whose pay is set by what I call “subsistence-plus.”
Subsistence-plus means what Karl Marx would have recognized (Teamster vet here: we are looking for good capitalist contracts; we are not looking for class enemies): bottom pay is set at the bottom tolerance level below which nobody will show up …

… $400/wk for poor country/$800/wk for rich (just to concoct a not too far off approximation to use) – e.g., foreign born taxi drivers/American born (that’s me) which latter will no longer show up for 60 grueling hours. Neither will the Crips and the Bloods who, if supermarket were paying the $800 they used to, would be stacking shelves instead of looking out for cops (that’s 100,000 out of my guesstimate 200,000 Chicago gang-age, minority males – at any one time!).

A 50-50% labor market whose pay is set by subsistence-plus – or at least a combo of subsistence-plus and collective bargaining – will not clear. A huge drop out of rich country workers will result – more or less permanently (street gangs, whatever missing American born cab drivers do now ??? I’m retired at 72).

I repeat: A 50% poor-country/50% rich-country workforce (Chicago work-force? – useful approximation) whose pay level set by collective bargaining – will have a higher level of pay than a 100% rich-country workforce whose pay is set by what I call “subsistence-plus.”
because I think this particular formulation will stick in human male heads which too quickly (instantly) vaporize any idea that is too far from current (hunting pack?) practice – doesn’t even get out the other ear. I think this formulation will stick.

And maybe Hill and Bern can add a truly free LABOR MARKET to their agenda.

(I’m just starting to work on the above – not even a first draft – but I am always over-anxious.)