Labor

Unemployment rate is meaningless

The headlines read that the unemployment rate has dropped to its lowest point since Obama took office. This is a case where a headline can be 100 percent true and completely wrong in its implications.

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Straight talk about the wage gap

Today, feminist groups and their allies in the White House and Congress will celebrate “Equal Pay Day,” a made-up holiday aimed at focusing attention on the so-called "wage gap," the notion that women only earn 77 cents for every dollar a man earns.

Of course we know that this is a gross exaggeration. This number comes from comparing full-time working women to full-time working men with no consideration for education, career choices, job markets or even time spent out of the workplace.

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Blind embrace of Democrats cost unions in Michigan

Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa Jr. says Michigan’s passage of a right-to-work law on Tuesday “basically betray[s] democracy.” Actually, it portrays democracy — and reasonably accurately.

For decades, Hoffa, his father, who also led the Teamsters, and almost all leaders of major unions have unabashedly and unashamedly aligned themselves with the Democratic Party. They provided foot soldiers for campaigns and money when necessary to pave the way for Democrats to win public office.

Those officeholders, in turn, rewarded them with union-friendly laws, expanded social services, high salaries and generous benefits for union members in the public and private sectors, as well as fostered a climate that enhanced — rather than challenged — the power of the leaders themselves.

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Paul Ryan, Newt Gingrich and Barack Obama stand with an American labor union (for NFL refs)!

Three cheers for the victory for American labor in the deal reached between management (NFL owners) and labor (the unionized regular NFL referees). Management opposed stronger working conditions and pension programs. Labor favored better working conditions and fairer pension programs for the real referees. Many anti-union Republicans supported the NFL referees union against an ill-advised lockout by management. Ryan, Gingrich and Obama supported the refs union. Romney was unclear. Considering my column this week, perhaps Mitt considers the NFL refs to be among the dependents, freeloaders and deadbeats he demeans.

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Big Labor’s Little Big Horn

Democrats are spinning the Wisconsin results, saying, "The exit polls show O is leading in the state, so it doesn’t matter." Of course, those same exit polls showed that the Big Labor Walker recall was too close to call, when it was a veritable blowout. So much for hanging your hat on exit polls.

The shocking realization for Big Labor out of the Wisconsin campaign is that its president was unwilling to expend any of his political capital at the moment of greatest need on its behalf. One has to wonder if this will hurt Obama’s ability to mobilize the shock troops of the Democratic Party in November. If it does, the failed Wisconsin recall will be devastating to Obama’s reelection bid nationally whether he wins the state in November or not.

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What Wisconsin means

Time moves in small increments but drags the past forth with it like a ghost. But the Wisconsin ruling yesterday brought America more harmoniously to its rising future. Two benchmarks proceed from the Ronald Reagan era. The first, most important, was that in the Reagan administration the ethnic people of the north, specifically European immigrants, many of them Catholic, and their European Jewish political allies, who came to America to work in factories in the 19th and early 20th centuries, made a historic shift from Democrat to Republican, leading Reagan to win 49 states in his second term. Southerners who had historically voted Democrat also made a so far permanent shift to the Republican Party to vote for Reagan. In that period the failed Patco strike in 1981 significantly changed the political culture. The old working masses, in supporting Reagan, approved the idea that union strikes might have been a necessary and proper strategy for factory workers in the pre-war period, but not for well-off, highly paid specialty workers in a new, varied economy.

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App-alling feminist technology

Anyone who thinks the feminist lobby is obsolete hasn't heard about the Equal Pay App Challenge.

The White House recently launched a new competition to create “innovative tools” to help propagate the myth of the wage gap — the notion that women earn only 75 cents for every dollar a man earns.

The challenge is not only to “educate users about the pay gap,” but also to “build tools to promote equal pay.” I have to admit, not all the goals of the competition are bad. In addition to advancing false numbers, the tool should help users through the process of negotiating — a skill, I agree, men do tend to be more naturally inclined toward. But the larger purpose of the challenge is to further the notion that women are a victim class in need of special government protections.

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Ledbetter anniversary

Sunday marks the three-year anniversary of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, a bill aimed at improving equality in the workplace. Contrary to what feminists would have you believe, however, protective laws like Lilly Ledbetter actually increase the cost of employing women — especially of childbearing age — by creating the threat of lawsuits and uncertainty.

In honor of this anniversary, perhaps, Working Mother Media and the National Partnership for Women and Families have launched an effort to urge Congress to mandate paid parental leave. As a working mother of three children, I sympathize with the problem; still, the effort is misguided and will ultimately hurt women.

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NLRB acting general counsel has an ego problem

The Washington Examiner reported that Judicial Watch has uncovered internal emails at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that reveal a petty, whiny acting general counsel, who is jealous of the publicity recess-appointed NLRB member Craig Becker has received.
 
The acting general counsel worries that he has not been getting due credit for the NLRB decision to attack Boeing Corp.’s building a second production line in the state of South Carolina, writing, “I didn’t read all of the meltwater articles, but some of the headlines tie Boeing to Craig. Unbelievable.”

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