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OpenMarket: Labor and Employment

  • Florida Bill Shines Light on Union Subsidy

    March 6, 2019
    Taxpayer dollars should be used to benefit the general public, not special interest groups. Yet, the state of Florida doles out a massive subsidy to government unions on an annual basis. This subsidy is known as union release time and permits public employees to perform union business on the taxpayer dime.
  • What Do Economists Think about the Minimum Wage?

    March 5, 2019
    The playwright George Bernard Shaw once said that if you laid all the world’s economists end to end, they would not reach a conclusion. President Truman allegedly once asked for a one-handed economist, who would be unable to say “on the other hand…” Economists richly deserve such jokes. But there are still issues where economists overwhelmingly agree, regardless of politics, ideology, or methodology. One of those issues is the minimum wage.
  • Labor Officials Dragging Feet on Union Financial Transparency

    February 28, 2019
    The Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS), a division within the Department of Labor (DOL), has been generally inactive during the Trump administration, an unfortunate reality given the importance of the sub-agency’s mission: promote union democracy and financial integrity in labor unions.
  • Pension Obligation Bonds No Panacea for State Budget Liabilities

    February 27, 2019
    Illinois has a new governor and Chicago will soon have a new mayor—and the same old underfunded public pensions. Inheriting a predecessor’s debts is never fun, but the need to address them is unavoidable. The question is how, and there is both a right way and a wrong way.
  • Warren Buffett Warns about Unfunded Public Pension Liabilities—Again

    February 27, 2019
    Would you invest in a state with large unfunded pension liabilities? Warren Buffett likely wouldn’t. In a long interview with CNBC this week, the famed billionaire investor was asked by viewer, “How do you see the unfunded pension liabilities across the United States affecting our economy over the next 10 years?”
  • Real-World Effects of Pension Debt

    February 21, 2019
    Debates over public pension finance often have an abstract quality, taking place outside most people’s immediate concerns. Yet, the real-world effects can be quite tangible. That’s because underfunded pension plans can take up taxpayer dollars that could have gone to public services.
  • Unions Defend Job-Killing Regulation

    February 14, 2019
    A holdover Obama regulation is costing businesses billions of dollars and workers millions of job opportunities. A survey conducted by the International Franchise Association found that the Obama joint-employer standard already costs businesses between $17 billion and $33.3 billion annually. It also represents a roadblock to job creation, with between 194,000 and 376,000 potential jobs eliminated.
  • Amazon under Pressure to Accept Union

    February 6, 2019
    This week, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Amazon employees should unionize, and that the company should welcome losing a direct line of communication to their employees. Mayor Blasio also mentioned that labor policy was not discussed when he was wooing Amazon to New York City, but he felt “strongly if they came here, the pressure to unionize deeply would win the day.”
  • Jobs Numbers Continue Generally Positive Trend

    February 1, 2019
    The latest jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics suggest that the economy is continuing on a steady course, at least as far as employment goes.  Wage growth is stronger than the trend of the last few years, which may be the result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act allowing employers to pay their workers more.
  • Oregon Introduces Taxpayer-Funded Union Subsidy

    January 24, 2019
    Earlier this week, I took a look at legislation that has been enacted to undercut the Supreme Court’s decision last year in Janus v. AFSCME. Unfortunately, state legislatures are just getting started. Today, I’ll examine a bill introduced in Oregon.

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