In which SCOTUS agrees with FDR

Today the Supreme Court ruled on compulsory government sector union fees, recognizing such fees as a First Amendment issue about compelled political speech. To summarize:

JANUS v. AMERICAN FEDERATION OF STATE, COUNTY, AND MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES

States and public-sector unions may no longer extract agency fees from nonconsenting employees. The First Amendment is violated when money is taken from nonconsenting employees for a public-sector union; employees must choose to sup- port the union before anything is taken from them. Accordingly, nei- ther an agency fee nor any other form of payment to a public-sector union may be deducted from an employee, nor may any other attempt be made to collect such a payment, unless the employee affirmatively consents to pay.

This opinion essentially agrees with that of famous Progressive Franklin Roosevelt:

All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. It has its distinct and insurmountable limitations when applied to public personnel management. The very nature and purposes of Government make it impossible for administrative officials to represent fully or to bind the employer in mutual discussions with Government employee organizations. The employer is the whole people, who speak by means of laws enacted by their representatives in Congress. Accordingly, administrative officials and employees alike are governed and guided, and in many instances restricted, by laws which establish policies, procedures, or rules in personnel matters.

There is no such thing as a “public-sector” union. There are government unions, of which the public is the employer, where bureaucrats “negotiate” among themselves, and a third party payer is stuck with the results.

When you name such unions “government unions”, it’s much easier to understand that government “management” and government “labor” have common goals and the employer doesn’t even have a seat at the table.

Public/Pirate partnerships

Friday, I noted Michigan’s private marketing bureau rip-off. It just gets worse.

Michigan Senate Bill 97. Emphasis mine:

To give state and local government agencies the power to enter into joint operating arrangements with a particular business for purposes of building a hospital or transportation facilities. The private operator would benefit from tax exemptions and its governmental partner’s power to impose property taxes, borrow, take private property using eminent domain and more. The government agency involved could choose the private sector actor without necessarily having to accept the lowest bid. The projects could be proposals from a private developer.

This is just a corporate version of the SEIU dues scam and is no less reprehensible simply because there’s a different set of government approved thieves. The Granholm Democrats licensed a union to steal Medicaid dollars from taxpayers. The Snyder Republicans are getting ready to legalize similar looting by Blue Cross Blue Shield, the Michigan Infrastructure & Transportation Association, and Matty Maroun (owner of the Ambassador Bridge). Of course, it’s endorsed by the Chamber of Cronyism.

H/T Right Michigan where you can find out who to call to kill this assault on Michigan taxpayers.

Rent Seekers

Bills Make It Easier For Private Marketing Bureaus To Force Dues on Businesses

This regulatory statist, public/pirate partnership should cease. The parallels (rent-seeking and arbitrary, bureaucratic consumer punishment) to Trump’s trade war impulses are educational opportunities for the economically ignorant.

Update 01/13/17:
It occurs to me to ask how this is different from the SEIU dues-skimming travesty?

Open Letter to Senator McConnell

Dear Mr. Majority Leader,

I watched Senator Cruz speak on the Senate floor about your vow that there would be no vote allowed on renewal of the Export-Import Bank. Either Senator Cruz suffers from a catastrophic hearing impairment combined with serious cognitive disability, or your assurance was akin to “if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor:” You’ve decided there will be such a vote. The Ex-Im renewal amendment will be coupled with an amendment to repeal Obamacare that you’ve personally offered.

How generous of you. Some Republicans (who, I will remind you, comprise the party of which you are Senate Majority Leader) helped you pass Obamatrade based on your promise Ex-Im would die without a vote. Now they have to fight a battle you told them wouldn’t happen. Crony capitalist leaning “Republicans” who want Ex-Im renewal get another kick at the can, but can symbolically vote against Obamacare.

You provide an easy choice for Democrats. They know the President has their back and will veto any Obamacare repeal. Democrats can vote to renew the Ex-Im Bank and even to repeal Obamacare, knowing only the former would ever be allowed to stand.

You’ve called this a “compromise,” giving Democrats and corporatist-state Republicans their chance to perpetuate a give away of taxpayer funds, and giving Republicans the chance to play-vote to repeal Obamacare. What a sham. And a shame.

I also understand you will not allow Senator Paul’s amendment to stop taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood to come to a vote. Given Planned Parenthood’s recently revealed nonchalance about selling dismembered babies’ organs, which they view as clumps of waste tissue with a market, Senator Paul’s amendment seems to me a timely, winning and principled one. A good issue with which to challenge the modern eugenicists’ newspeak about “tissue samples”, ”calvarium” and “less crunchy.”

But beyond merely opposing these horrors on principle, did it ever occur to you that a compromise might be to fund the Ex-Im Bank with the half a billion tax dollars annually given to Planned Parenthood? That would be a compromise amendment. One where the Democrats are forced to pick their poison. It would have been far better than offering the hemlock to your fellow GOP Senators while serving milk and honey to the opposition.

By the way, if I were writing such an amendment, I would also include a provision to subtract from any future Ex-Im Bank funding the $10.3 million the bank provided as a loan guarantee to subsidize the installation of some solar panels in Belgium. Those panels were made by Solyndra, perhaps the poster child for public-pirate partnership. The installation was completed a year prior to the issuance of the loan guarantee and created exactly zero jobs. Ex-Im didn’t facilitate this export, they shoveled money into a failing company as a matter of political policy.

The Ex-Im Bank is a tool for politicians and lobbyists. It is a highly visible example of the unholy alliance between the Federal government and the corporate-welfare queens laughingly calling themselves capitalists. The private sector is more than up to the task of financing viable business ventures, but apparently provides insufficient opportunities for graft and corruption.

Bad though Ex-Im is, I’d rather waste the money on failing “green” energy companies than on “non-profit” mega-abortion mills. Planned Parenthood is the single largest perpetrator of abortions in the world. It commits an estimated third of a million abortions per year. About as many abortions as the total of half the remaining G7 nations (Germany, France, Canada) combined. Most of those abortions are performed on black and hispanic women in our inner-cities, where the number of abortions typically exceed the number of live births. How about shoving the #WaronWomen and #BlackLivesMatter memes back in the faces of the hypocrites who excuse this leisurely genocide?

In short, Mr. Majority Leader, I agree with Senator Cruz: You are acting like Harry Reid. Senator Cruz is also right that introducing your own Obamacare amendment is a distraction, intended to fail. And intended to muddy the waters.

I am in full-throated agreement with Senator Cruz’ assessment of the GOP leadership. I’ve been disillusioned for many years, and your personal betrayal of your fellow Senators is, sadly, just a small example of the wider corruption which is driving me from the party.

The public adulation for Donald Trump (R?, Blowhardville), should be telling you something about how alienated much of your base already feels. I urge you to reconsider how you are handling this matter, rather than further destroying the brand.

Crapitalism

I’m afraid this ex post facto Export-Import Bank Solyndra subsidy will typify Obamatrade if it’s enacted.

Q: When would the U.S. government subsidize a U.S. export that had happened in the previous year and that was estimated to create zero jobs?

A: When the U.S. exporter was politically connected Solyndra, and the subsidizing agency is the Export-Import Bank of the United States.

I’ll believe 1,000 when it happens

Big data gets a boost

Amazon is expected to employ 120 at data centers it recently announced in Dublin, Hilliard and New Albany; statewide, the number is anticipated to rise to 1,000. The company’s total investment over the next three years in central Ohio alone is an estimated $1.1 billion…

Development officials at the state and in each of the three suburbs stepped up with significant incentives to land Amazon, which is appropriate given the size of its investment and job creation. The state has approved tax incentives for the project valued at an estimated $81 million. That isn’t a handout, but a benefit that Amazon will earn as it actually invests and creates jobs here.

A real bargain at only $675,000 for each job.

Ohio requires Amazon to collect sales tax, so Ohioans might ask why the incentive wasn’t to give consumers a tax break on sales tax instead of giving a subsidy to Amazon. Or, if protecting and promoting local business is the objective, make Brick & Mortar retail sales tax free for Ohioans.

It begs credulity to think that Amazon will create 1,000 future jobs, given their push to automation.

Reconciling the Union Leadership minimum wage rhetoric

AFL-CIO leader warns labor could sit out 2016 fight over trade

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka threatens “no endorsement” for President, if Hillary supports the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal:

…that’s conceivable if both candidates weren’t interested in raising wages

They decided to pass something that was going to cost jobs and lower wages, and they’re going to have to answer to their constituencies for that whenever they face them.

So, unions oppose trade deals unless those deals would both create American jobs and raise American wages. Who would disagree?

Our trading partners, perhaps?

Speaking of wages vs. jobs, after leading the fight to get a minimum wage increase passed in Los Angeles, a California labor leader appears to contradict Trumka’s wage rhetoric: L.A. labor leaders seek minimum wage exemption for firms with union workers

On May 19th, Los Angeles City Council voted to increase the hourly minimum wage to $15.

But Rusty Hicks, who heads the county Federation of Labor and helps lead the Raise the Wage coalition, said Tuesday night that companies with workers represented by unions should have leeway to negotiate a wage below that mandated by the law.

“With a collective bargaining agreement, a business owner and the employees negotiate an agreement that works for them both. The agreement allows each party to prioritize what is important to them,” Hicks said in a statement. “This provision gives the parties the option, the freedom, to negotiate that agreement.”

In sum: To be free, you must join the collective.

Acknowledging that union members might lose jobs to lower-cost competition under a consistent set of rules, Mr. Hicks demands the privilege of being the lowest cost supplier. Reality-wise, Mr. Hicks would have the better of this argument with Mr. Trumka, except that it isn’t a disagreement at all. They both want to use government regulation to drive out competing labor.

So, if it would cost their members jobs to have a particular minimum wage, unions oppose minimum wage for their members. If it would cost their members jobs for other countries to have a lower minimum wage, they want to force higher labor costs on those other countries.

Maybe Trumka and Hicks should start thinking about what this – Robots Start to Grasp Food Processing – means to their membership.

I seem to remember another time where this type of disruption affected wages and jobs. Something about power looms? Some kid named Ned Ludd was said to be involved.

It seems to me, with the robotics threat generally looming on the horizon, that Trumka and Hicks are a bit shortsighted. Lower wages from foreign competition (for Trumka Chinese factory workers, for Hicks, the illegal immigrants in Southern California) are just practice for what’s coming to their members. It’s already started at McDonalds et. al., because they’re the early targets of the social justice cohort.

Now, Governor… about "Plan B"?

Michigan Proposal 1-15, the Taxpayer Spoils Division and Extortion Act(s) bipartisan effort to get voters to do the job legislators are paid to do has failed. Ribbentrop and Molotov could not be reached for comment.

The other good news is that a plan to fix Michigan roads without tax increases has been available for a long time – Road Funding: Time for a Change

Figures would have to be adjusted, of course, but the basic principles still apply.

#NO_MIProp1-15

Today is voting day. Stop Proposal 1. If you’re still undecided, read this. And this.

VOTE TODAY!

Update 10:28AM: Do you think this: Detroit Education Overhaul Would Cost Other Schools $50 Per Student, is in any way related to the $300 million allocated annually to the K-12 system by the Redistributive Tax Increase Constitutional Amendment Lansing wants approved today?

It’s not about roads, folks.