Fred Siegel Explains It All, Part 5

Featured image Today voters in Chicago are at the polls voting in the mayoral runoff between “Rahmbo” Emanuel and a candidate much further to his left, Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, in what has been a surprisingly tight race.  Emanuel may very well lose, to someone who might make de Blasio look moderate by comparison.  One thing is certain: turnout will be very very low.  This is increasingly typical of urban politics today, and Fred »

Yes—Let Liberals Bail Out Detroit

Featured image Back in May I suggested, less than half facetiously, that if we are indeed to consider paying reparations for slavery, the Democratic Party should have to pick up the entire tab, for all of the obvious reasons. I was reminded of that idea when stumbling across the most interesting story on the front page of today’s New York Times: “Finding $816 Million, and Fast, to Save Detroit.” The details are »

Public employee unions not out of the woods yet

Featured image Conservatives hoped that the Supreme Court would take the opportunity presented by Harris v. Quinn to strike down a 1977 decision holding that full-fledged public employees “who choose not to join a public-sector union may nevertheless be compelled to pay an agency fee to support union work that is related to the collective-bargaining process.” The Supreme Court did not do so. This does not mean, however, that the 1977 decision »

Supreme misery for the left [or not]

Featured image The Supreme Court today issued its final two decisions of the term. One of them constitutes a clear defeat for the left. The other looks like a minor defeat. In the Hobby Lobby case, the Court held that closely held corporations cannot be required to provide contraceptive coverage to their employees. The five center-right Justices formed the majority for that proposition. In Harris v. Quinn, the Court, again with the »

Phony fight for 15

Featured image Bloomberg News reported last week on a protest near McDonald’s headquarters. The protest seemed to have something to do with the minimum wage: More than 100 McDonald’s (MCD) employees and some labor and clergy members were arrested after protesting for increased wages near the fast-food chain’s headquarters in Oak Brook, Illinois. The event, the latest in a series of demonstrations by workers demanding $15-an-hour pay and the right to form »

A modest proposal for the tax treatment of union dues [UPDATED]

Featured image A friend from California writes: I use software for my taxes and noticed for the first time when going through the Q & A that there’s a question about union dues related to deductions for job expenses. I’ve never paid union dues and have never paid much attention to this, but it raises a serious issue. Unions charge a member, say, $500 per year and spend much or most of »

A major setback for the UAW

Featured image VW workers in Tennessee have rejected the United Autoworkers Union bid to unionize them. They voted against UAW representation by 712 to 626. The vote was viewed as a test case for the UAW and for unionization of industrial workers in the South. Accordingly, the Detroit Free Press calls the result a “devastating defeat” for the union. Similarly, Reuters proclaims it “a stinging defeat that could accelerate the decades-long decline »

Democrats Pay Union Members to Protest World War II Vets

Featured image It appears that the Obama administration is violating the First Rule of Holes. Yesterday the administration looked awful when it “closed” and barricaded the World War II memorial on the Mall. The memorial is, by its nature, open. There is nothing to close. And the administration knows that every day, tour groups consisting of WWII vets, now mostly in their late 80s or early 90s, come to Washington to visit »

Have it their way

Featured image Where did the fast-food protests around the country come from? In case you missed them, they are taking place at various franchisees of Burger King, Domino’s, McDonald’s and Wendy’s near you in cities including Chicago, Detroit, Flint, Kansas City, Milwaukee, New York, and St. Louis. So report CBS News and the Los Angeles Times, among many others. The protesters seek to prevent franchisees from hiring entry level employees without marketable »

Buy American, Or Buy Union?

Featured image Old habits die hard. When people talk about the U.S. auto industry, they often think it still means G.M., Ford and Chrysler. In fact, more than a dozen automobile manufacturers make cars in the United States. The “big three” are different not because they make automobiles here, but because their work forces are unionized. Thus, when people talk about buying American cars, what they really mean, much of the time, »

Public Sector Unions Reeling In Wisconsin

Featured image Sean Higgins of the Washington Examiner had this story on Friday, but for some reason I haven’t seen it widely reported or commented on. Since Wisconsin stopped forcing public employees to pay union dues against their will, union membership in that state has plummeted: According a Labor Department filing made last week, membership at Wisconsin’s American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 40 — one of AFSCME’s four »

Unions’ Decline Continued in 2012

Featured image The numbers are out, and for unions they are grim. The Associated Press reports: Union membership plummeted last year to the lowest level since the 1930s as cash-strapped state and local governments shed workers and unions had difficulty organizing new members in the private sector despite signs of an improving economy. Government figures released Wednesday showed union membership declined from 11.8 percent to 11.3 percent of the workforce…. Overall membership »