labor unions

Capitalism, Jobs and the Wizard of Menlo Park

One of the most disturbing trends I’ve witnessed over these last few years is a coordinated attack from the left on the institutions and principles that make America great. Maybe nowhere has this been more evident than in the vitriol spewed by our eternal Campaigner-in-Chief and his dutiful Minions of Social Justice, all bemoaning the evils of capitalism, and the inequity of wealth distribution (although oddly, their desire for more equal distribution does not extend to income taxes, where the top one percent earn 19% of the income and pay 40% of all income taxes, while the bottom fifty percent that pay exactly zero).

Obama has set so many straw men on fire that he’s now the leading cause of global warming. He accused doctors of slicing out tonsils and amputating limbs just to bill a few more dollars to insurance companies. He’s accused business owners of not caring about their employees and only about their company’s bottom line. He accused the Chamber of Commerce, without proof, of using foreign money to buy elections. His NLRB threatened Boeing for opening a new, billion dollar plant in right-to-work South Carolina, and his wife urged young students not to go into the corporate world, but rather “work for the community” like her community organizer husband, as if bringing valued goods and services and the accompanying jobs and wealth into the community was not a worthwhile endeavor.

When did we reach the point where we extol the timid and the parasitic? Where wealth creation was bad, and the American Dream had been supplanted by a desire for European-style social welfare? We don’t even have to look back in history to see what a nightmare this is; we just have to turn on the news. The Greeks are rioting in the streets at the thought of giving up an ounce of their lavish social welfare benefits, and the European Union is at the brink of collapse as it struggles under the weight of its debt driven by these welfare state policies.

Anti-ObamaCare measure overwhelmingly passed in Ohio

If you listen to the media, Tuesday’s election were a mixed bag nationally and a disaster for Republican the ever crucial swing state of Ohio due to voters overturning limitations placed on collective bargaining rights for public-sector workers, which was passed by the legislature earlier this year.

Democrats and labor unions raised some $30 million trying to defeat the effort. Passage of the referendum is certainly bad news for Ohio taxpayers, who will no doubt be hit with the ever-expanding costs of public-sector salaries and benefits.

What has gone under-reported is that Ohioans voted overwhemling against the individiual mandate, a central piece of ObamaCare, by supporting a separate ballot measure:

Voters in Ohio approved a measure Tuesday night disapproving of President Obama’s healthcare law.

Multiple Choice Mitt strikes again!

Mitt Romney, who many believe is the inevitable Republican nominee, just keeps burning bridges with conservatives. We’ve explained them here over the course of the last year, so there is no need to go back over them.

But with labor unions becoming a target for many conservatives, and rightfully so, after the reasonable measures pushed by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker earlier this year and the Boeing debacle in South Carolina, it’s an incredibly dumb move to snub the party’s base. Yet Romney did just that yesterday by declining to endorse or even give a position on a ballot measure in Ohio that would limit the collective bargaining rights of public-sector workers:

Mitt Romney stopped in Ohio today, where polls show him competitive with Herman Cain in the March 2012 primary. He stopped by a Republican phone bank where volunteers were drumming up support for two ballot measures — one of them a national cause celebre for the left. Issue 2, if passed, would affirm the collective bargaining reform Republicans pushed through this year. The measure is on the ballot because unions want to beat it, and overturn the law, and polling suggests that they can. Issue 3, if passed, would prevent Ohio from participating in any health care mandate — federal, state, whatever.

Romney was at one of the nerve centers for the campaign to pass the Issues. CNN’s Peter Hamby asked a simple question: Did he support them?

Catching up on Wisconsin

The protests in Wisconsin against Gov. Scott Walker’s budget proposal that would require public-sector workers to pay more for benefits and pensions, though they’ll still be better off than private-sector workers, and reforms that would limit collective bargaining by public-sector unions are still receiving an incredible amount of attention.

In case you haven’t seen it, here is video a speech Gov. Walker gave last night explaining the reasons for the proposal. You can read the transcript here:

Walker, who has been falsely accused of favoring certain public-sector unions, has warned that unless the measures are passed to help ensure that the $3 billion budget deficit over the next two years can be cut, 6,000 public workers could lose their jobs.

Unions save jobs? Tell these guys that?

Unions. Once upon a time, they helped shape the American industrial landscape by increasing pay to reasonable levels and increasing safe working conditions. They can do a lot of good, but these days they don’t. In this case, they managed to run 1,000 jobs off. The people of Mississippi thank the Machinist Union for their help.

The Olin Corporation made two contract offers to the union. They turned them both down, with at least the second one having been voted on with the knowledge that Olin was at least considering a move. Many union members assumed it was a bluff. Apparently, they were wrong.

Joseph Rupp, the chairman, president and CEO of Clayton-based Olin, pointed the finger at the workers’ failure to accept a contract that guaranteed seven years of job security in exchange for reductions in vacation time, an elimination of a matching company contribution to retirement plans and other incentives.

“While I am disappointed that employees … chose to reject a proposal that would have allowed us to remain competitive in East Alton, we look forward to expanding our existing operations in Mississippi,” Rupp said in a prepared statement.

Seven years of job security? Talk about a sweet deal. Apparently though, they didn’t like the idea of the loss of monetary incentives instead. That was their right. Unfortunately, this is the result. POOF! No more job.

Of course, the union is arguing that Olin is wrong from the start:

The Machinists claim Olin’s bid to renegotiate their contract violated the terms of the three-year agreement it reached with the union in 2008.

Can the GOP Come Back?

Think about it! Four years ago, the Republican Party held the White House and both houses of Congress. Now, the Democrats have won the Presidency by a sizable margin, gained additional seats in the majority Democratic House, and could possibly hold a sixty-vote majority in the Senate—large enough to end any Republican initiated filibuster.

First of all, consider the magnitude of the Republican loss. What support shifted from four years ago?

Lois Lerner didn’t really care about Big Labor’s political expenditures, probably because Democrats were the beneficiaries

It’s a well-established fact that Lois Lerner had it out for conservative organizations. Under her leadership, the Internal Revenue Service’s tax-exempt division went out of its way to scrutinize right-leaning groups who were merely seeking to engage in the policy and political discussion. She even tried to coordinate with the Justice Department to prosecute tax-exempt groups that she believed were engaging in political activity. She

But when a complaint was filed in 2007 over the political expenditures of labor unions, Lerner, who called conservative activists “terrorists” and “assholes,” didn’t really seem to care about scrutiny, according to a report from The Daily Caller, despite discrepancies between IRS and Labor Department filings:

Lerner wrote, “We looked at the information you provided regarding organizations that report substantial amounts of political activity and lobbying expenditures on the DOL Form LM-2, but report little to no political expenditures on the Form 990 filed with the IRS.”

Today in Liberty: Hobby Lobby decision coming this morning, Obama taps ex-Procter & Gamble CEO to lead the VA

“The real division is not between conservatives and revolutionaries but between authoritarians and libertarians.” — George Orwell

— Obamacare contraceptive ruling expected this morning: The Supreme Court will release its decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores (formerly Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores) at 10 a.m. this morning. At issue in the case is whether Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate infringes upon religious beliefs of Hobby Lobby’s owner, David Green, who founded the business on Christian values. The Obama administration has exempted some religious organizations, including churches and schools, from the mandate. But businesses are still being forced to offer plans that cover birth control, even if it violates the beliefs on which they were founded. Though the Green family is opposed to abortion and considers certain contraceptives to be morally reprehensible, the case and others like it are about religious liberty. If the mandate stands, Hobby Lobby faces penalties totaling $26 million per year. Most observers, however, expect Hobby Lobby to succeed, though how far the Court will be willing to go remains to be seen, given the implications. We’ll have a story about the Hobby Lobby decision later this morning.

Today in Liberty: Mississippi Senate race heads to a runoff, fellow soldier says Bowe Bergdahl wanted to talk to the Taliban

“Everyone wants to live at the expense of the State. They forget that the State lives at the expense of everyone.” — Frederic Bastiat

— Mississippi Senate race headed to a runoff: The race literally came down to the wire, but neither Chris McDaniel, whom we interviewed in April, fell just short of the 50 percent he needed to avoid a runoff with Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS). At the end of the night, McDaniel had a 2,128 vote lead, taking 49.6 percent of the vote over Cochran’s 48.9 percent. A third Republican candidate, Thomas Carey, took 1.6 percent. “This is a historic moment in this state’s history. And because of your hard work, because of your dedication, we sit here tonight leading a 42-year incumbent. But our fight is not over,” McDaniel told enthusiastic supporters. “We’ll probably know tomorrow, but one way or the other I promise you this: whether it’s tomorrow or whether it’s three weeks from tonight, we will stand victorious in this race.” Cochran didn’t speak to supporters, but his campaign tweeted, “Dead heat! Less than 500 votes separate the two candidates. New campaign starts tomorrow. Three weeks to victory!” The dynamics of the June 24 runoff favor McDaniel. His voters are going to show up, while Cochran’s will be more likely to stay at home. Either way, if the end of the primary is any indication, the next three weeks in Mississippi are going to be brutal.

Today in Liberty: Obama to escalate U.S. intervention against Syria, Labor unions want employers to pick up Obamacare costs

“The role of government is to strengthen our freedom — not deny it.” — Margaret Thatcher

— NSA whistleblower says he was trained as a spy: NBC News is teasing its interview with Edward Snowden with a clip of the NSA whistleblower explaining that he wasn’t simply a low-level hacker and technical analyst. “I was trained as a spy in sort of the traditional sense of the word, in that I lived and worked undercover overseas — pretending to work in a job that I’m not — and even being assigned a name that was not mine,” Snowden told Brian Williams. “So when they say I’m a low-level systems administrator, that I don’t know what I’m talking about, I’d say it’s somewhat misleading.” Snowden was employed by Booz Allen, a defense and intelligence contractor, when he obtained documents and information about the NSA’s domestic surveillance programs, but he also worked directly for the CIA. The Snowden interview, his first with an American television network, will air tonight on NBC at 10 pm.

 


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