The Economic Policy Institute has released their Best Charts of 2016. This one highlights how much more non-union workers would be earning if there were more union workers. This is the reason Right-to-Work hurts all workers, not just union members.
All workers would be better off in terms of wage levels had the right of workers to associate and bargain collectively not been severely eroded in recent decades. Between 1979 and 2013, the share of private-sector workers in a union fell from about 34 percent to 10 percent among men, and from 16 percent to 6 percent among women. This decline in union density has eroded wages for nonunion workers at every level of education and experience, costing billions in lost wages. For the 32.9 million full-time nonunion women working in the private sector and the 40.2 million full-time men working in the private sector, there is a $133 billion loss in annual wages because of weakened unions. This translates to real weekly wage losses for workers. Women would be making $13.80 more a week and men would be making $52.39 more a week, had union density (the share of workers in similar industries and regions who are union members) remained the same as in 1979.
Unions keep wages high for nonunion workers for several reasons. Union agreements set wage standards that nonunion employers follow. And a strong union presence prompts managers to keep wages high to prevent workers from organizing or leaving. Unions also set industry-wide norms, influencing what is seen as a “moral economy.”
Though not shown in the graph, working-class men have felt the decline in unionization the hardest. Specifically, nonunion men lacking a college degree would have earned 8 percent, or $3,016, more in 2013 if unions had remained as strong as they were in 1979.
From the Funny Times…
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch brings us Missouri Republicans Loading Up On Tax Break Proposals. There sure are some interesting concepts being advanced by the party of the wrinkled trunk. I particularly enjoyed this proposal…
Rep. Lyndall Fraker, R-Marshfield, wants to offer a sales tax exemption on initiation fees or dues on private country clubs.
“It’s just really hitting some of these clubs really hard,” Fraker said.
Fraker acknowledges that tax credits do take a toll on the state budget.
This is indeed the kind of proposal that comes from a “change” election. In this case Republican Fraker is fighting to shave off some of the hardship some rich folks feel when paying their country club dues. I’m sure most Missourians are OK with this. After all, most folks can afford to buy a few more school supplies or fundraisers to make up for the lost revenue that the country club deduction costs the state.
Of course, another way of looking at this issue comes to mind. Instead of offering tax credits for rich folks to offset the expense of those pesky private country club dues, I propose a Right-to-Country Club. This law would allow members and former members to use country club facilities, the bar, the sauna, the golf course, the caterer, and other services and then be able to invoke their Right-to-County Club and not pay for any of these services.
Let’s be clear, all Americans should have the right to hang out at the country club of their choice – whether they pay dues or not.
If my proposal sounds familiar, it should. The very same Republican Party that is pushing for tax breaks for rich folks country club dues have already pre-filed Right-to-Work legislation. RTW would require unions to provide representation and bargaining services to anyone that choose to work at a unionized facility, while allowing the member or non-member to avoid paying for any of those services.
The fact is that asking an organization to provide services without compensation is ridiculous and obviously incompatible with a market economy.
What is good for the golden goose is good for the gander. Republicans like Joseph Alferman, Dave Schatz, and Kirk Matthews that support Right-to-Work should also embrace my Right-to-Country Club. I promise when Right-to-Country Club comes to the floor of the House for a vote, I will be there. I will also give these legislators all the credit for my idea.
Infrastructure seems to be one of the few points in common between R’s and D’s. Of course, there are differences in approach and even result so let’s throw this one out for consideration. How about building roads that create energy? Talk about an all of the above policy solution!
Eco Watch has the story of the World’s First Solar Road In France…
According to the Guardian, about 2,000 motorists will drive on the roadway during a test period of two years to see if the project can generate enough energy to power street lights for the 3,400-resident village. The panels consists of extremely thin yet durable panels of polycrystalline silicon that can transform solar energy into electricity.
The panels are designed to withstand all types of traffic, including heavy-duty vehicles and in terms of efficiency, Wattway claims its panels have a 15 percent yield, compared to 18-19 percent for conventional photovoltaic panels.
The French government plans to eventually pave 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) of its roads with solar panels.
“The maximum effect of the program, if successful, could be to furnish 5 million people with electricity, or about 8 percent of the French population,”
PoliticusUSA puts forth an interesting idea with Republicans Set Themselves Up For Disaster As Trump Swing Voters Want Liberal Policies…
Nearly 40% of white voters without a college degree switched from Obama to Trump based on campaign promises that are the opposite of the Republican agenda. When these voters catch on to the fact that they were lied to, it will be a disaster for the Republican Party.
Nate Cohn of The New York Times reported, “The exit polls also show all of the signs that Mr. Trump was winning over Obama voters. Perhaps most strikingly, Mr. Trump won 19 percent of white voters without a degree who approved of Mr. Obama’s performance, including 8 percent of those who “strongly” approved of Mr. Obama’s performance and 10 percent of white working-class voters who wanted to continue Mr. Obama’s policies. Mr. Trump won 20 percent of self-identified liberal white working-class voters, according to the exit polls, and 38 percent of those who wanted policies that were more liberal than Mr. Obama’s.”
Compare the desire for more liberal policies with what Trump and the Republican Congressional majority will be acting on in January:
1). A repeal of the ACA that will take healthcare away from 30 million Americans.
2). A massive tax cut and deregulation agenda that will benefit the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations.
3). The eliminating of Obama administration action that expanded overtime pay rules.
4). The privatization of Social Security and Medicare.
White working class voters who switched from Obama to Trump were bombarded with wall to wall cable news coverage of Trump promising better health care for all, good blue collar jobs, lower taxes, and that he wouldn’t touch Social Security and Medicare. A voter who gets their information primarily from television would get the impression that Trump is offering up an appealing fairly liberal agenda targeted to them.
I was shopping at the Orscheln’s in Pacific today and bought two pairs of socks from Fox River. These are the best socks I have ever worn and they come with the added benefit of providing employment and opportunity to both the folks that make the socks in America and all those that work in the supply chain.
Crooks and Liars describes the time-worn techniques used by Donald Trump, ant other historical figures, to manipulate the media. Do you recognize any of these tactics?
Historically, tyrants have tried to control the press using 4 techniques that, worryingly, Donald Trump is already using.
1. Berate the media and turn the public against it. Trump refers to journalists as “dishonest,” “disgusting” and “scum.” When Trump lies-claiming, for example, “massive voter fraud” in the election, and that he “won in a landslide”-and the media call him on those lies, Trump claims the media is lying. Even televised satires he labels “unfunny, one-sided, and pathetic.”
2. Limit media access. Trump hasn’t had a news conference since July. (His two predecessors had news conferences within days of being declared president.) He’s blocked the media from traveling with him, and even from knowing with whom he’s meeting. His phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, which occurred shortly after the election, was first reported by the Kremlin.
3. Threaten the media. During the campaign, Trump threatened to sue the New York Times for libel in response to an article about two women who accused him of touching them inappropriately years ago, and then another that revealed part of his 1995 tax returns. He says he plans to “open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money.”
4. Bypass the media and communicate with the public directly. Trump tweets incessantly, issues videos, and holds large rallies-all of which further enable him to lie directly to the public with impunity.
Several years ago, we interviewed author Steve Coll about a book he wrote exposing the government-unto-itself known as ExxonMobil. Now, with its CEO and chief political strategist, Rex Tillerson, nominated for Secretary of State, we thought a reminder of what we learned then remains in order.
Political scientist Alan Abramowitz, who correctly predicted the election result, says Trump may not have much of a honeymoon, given that his unfavorable ratings are higher than any previous person to win the White House.
Another political scientist, Dante Chinni, talks with Bill Press about how Trump got out every one of his voters in a rapidly decreasing demographic base and how Clinton left enough voters at home to swing the election.
Why in the world would Trump tap Perry to be Energy Secretary.
Crooks and Liars brings us this mind-blowing renditioin of “Hallelujah”…
The lyrics aren’t Leonard Cohen’s original lyrics here, but it’s still a haunting and amazing rendition of the tune.
Kaylee Rodgers, a student who has autism and ADHD, sang the solo part for the famous tune during her school choir concert at Killard House School in Donaghadee, Northern Ireland, and the performance went viral. She sang an alternative version of the song featuring lyrics by contemporary Christian rock band Cloverton.
Tracy Rodgers, Kaylee’s mother, told the BBC that Kaylee’s music teacher, Lloyd Scates, played a huge part in nurturing her special talent.
“She always loved singing, but it wasn’t until she started at Killard House School that she really came into her own,” she told BBC. “[Mr. Scates is] like her safety blanket ? he’s amazing.”
Killard House principal Colin Millar told ITV that Kaylee was very shy when she started at the school. She “wouldn’t really read out in class,” he said. So “to stand and perform in front of an audience is amazing … It takes a lot of effort on Kaylee’s part.”
What I love most about this video is just how gorgeous her voice is. The fact that she’s got autism and ADHD and overcame them both enough to stand there and grace us with it is testimony to her innate, beautiful, talent.