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OpenMarket: September 2012

  • Today's Links: September 24, 2012

    September 24, 2012
    OPINION DANA GOLDSTEIN: "The Apprentice" "Volkswagen opened its first American plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., in 2010, and executives knew from the start they wanted to launch a German-style apprenticeship program alongside it. The plant employs 3,000 people building the Passat, Motor Trend’s 2012 “car of the year.” Volkswagen saw a shortage of mid-skill machinists, workers who perform maintenance on robotic welders and other state-of-the-art manufacturing tools. The three-year apprenticeship program, Volkswagen Academy, is a partnership between VW and Chattanooga State Community College. Built to address that need for regular plant...
  • State Pension Bailout Threat

    September 24, 2012
    The state pension underfunding crisis has grown so severe that it has prompted most U.S. states to cut benefits, according to calculations by The Wall Street Journal and Boston College's Center for Retirement Research. However, cuts to date have only put a $100 billion dent in a nationwide funding gap of $900 billion. Clearly, states need to do more to lower their pension liabilities. Government employee unions are bound to oppose further proposals to curb benefits or increase employee contributions toward their pensions. For lawmakers in some states, this will make reform a harder sell. In the case of Illinois, Governor Pat Quinn (D) seems willing to give in to union demands from the get-go. In his 2012 budget proposal, he raised the idea of...
  • CEI's Battered Business Bureau: The Week In Regulation

    September 24, 2012
    82 new regulations, from Indian casinos to bailouts for fruit tree owners.
  • State Capitalism Or Corporatism? Italy's Carmaker Conundrum

    September 23, 2012
    Italy’s iconic car manufacturer, Fiat, announced Saturday its plans to keep its production base in Italy after months of threatening to leave for more business-friendly and less-regulated Eastern European countries. In fact, Fiat has already been offshoring -- and its Polish assembly plants are more than three times as productive than their Italian counterparts. CEO Sergio Marchionne has become a prominent figure in Italian media recently, as he has denounced Italy’s poor business environment (the second-worst of all OECD high-income countries) and advocated liberalization reform on numerous occasions. As part of Fiat’s...
  • Chicago strike shows unions corrupt teachers, harm students

    September 22, 2012
    The Washington Examiner Americans like teachers. We like to think of public school teachers as kindly, idealistic men and women nurturing rows of attentive, wide-eyed youths with the knowledge and values they will need to become informed, productive citizens. This image is doubtless reinforced by memories of our own favorite teachers -- the ones who made that extra effort to help us understand a subject, an idea or a book that changed our lives for the better. We rightly remember such teachers with fondness and...
  • Junk Science Is Worse For Your Health Than Egg Yolks

    September 21, 2012
    We all know that eggs contain a lot of fat and cholesterol. While that does not make them “bad,” most of us realize that if you eat eggs or any other food to excess you will likely suffer some negative health effects. But are egg yolks as bad as cigarettes for heart health? That’s question that’s been making headlines in recent months after the publication of a study that asserts this idea. Unfortunately, most of journalists reporting on the story did not bother to actually read the paper, which has major flaws that cast serious doubt on the conclusion -- something the authors of the paper note when they call for further study into their hypothesis. Yet the presses roll on, leading a lot of readers to question whether or not they should change their diet based on what seems like new data. Even more worrying than individuals altering their eating habits is the likelihood that...
  • Regulation Roundup

    September 21, 2012
    Seatbelts for dogs, surveillance cameras for surveillance cameras, plus more.
  • Teacher Unions Celebrate Another Victory For The “Greater” Good

    September 21, 2012
    While teacher unions are succeeding in bankrupting Chicago, the teacher unions of Wisconsin are trying to bankrupt the entire state in the name of getting what they “deserve.” All in one week, the Chicago teacher unions halted the education of 350,000 students by striking for increased compensation, the right to not be evaluated via student standardized tests, and control over teacher-hiring for Chicago’s failing school system. In Wisconsin a teachers union convinced a Circuit Judge to overturn a portion of Governor Scott Walker’s collective bargaining reform law, also known as his “Budget Repair Bill.” As reported by the Associated Press, Circuit Judge Juan Colas reasoned in his ruling...
  • PATTERSON AND BROWN: Unions stack the deck against job creation

    September 21, 2012
    By Matt Patterson and Chrissy Brown, The Washington Times If you build it, jobs will come. That’s what Marylanders are being promised in the push to build a new casino, the state’s sixth, in Prince George’s County. County Executive Rushern L. Baker III, for example, claims that “the expansion of gaming into Prince George’s County is about the thousands of new jobs, millions of dollars in revenue to the state and county, and growing the travel and tourism industry in Prince George’s County.” There’s no...
  • The European Central Bank's Losing Game Of Chicken

    September 21, 2012
    European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi is losing a game of chicken with the Euro Area’s distressed peripheral countries. Earlier this month, Draghi announced that the ECB would buy an “unlimited” amount of Euro Area sovereign bonds provided that the distressed party follows austerity conditions set forth by the European Stability Mechanism (ESM). But countries like Spain, Italy, Portugal, and Greece are content to continue evading painful reform while eeking-out bailout funding from the Eurozone core. Since the financial crisis hit European shores in early 2009, the ECB maintained that it would not bailout indebted sovereigns or banks. Such is consistent with the central bank’s mandate...

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