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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Right To Work Is Freedom To Work--UAW Continues To Lose And They Deserve To

CEI's Patterson: Right-to-Work Laws Represent 'Common Sense'

Friday, 20 Sep 2013 07:30 AM
By Dan Weil and David Nelson
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Matt Patterson, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, is a strong advocate of states with right-to-work laws.

These laws allow someone working at a company that's unionized to refrain from joining the union and paying union dues.

"That's just called common sense, that's just called freedom of association," Patterson told Newsmax TV in an exclusive interview.

"Right-to-work laws are very important from a liberty perspective, and they're also very important from an economic growth perspective. Right-to-work states attract a lot of businesses because unions have less power there."

So everyone benefits but unions, which is why they fight the laws so hard, Patterson says.

There's nothing wrong in principle with the idea of someone joining a union in hopes of a pay raise, Patterson says.

"If you're one person and you get a higher wage, then that's obviously good for you, until the union has driven up labor costs for the entire facility to the point where the plant is no longer productive or profitable," Patterson said.

At that point, the plant will close or move, he says. "There was a Volkswagen plant in Pennsylvania back in the 1980s. It operated for about 10 years, and there was a UAW [United Auto Workers union] presence at the plant."

The union led multiple strikes, causing so much trouble that VW shuttered the plant. "And when they closed that plant down, it devastated the community in New Stanton, Penn," Patterson said.

"So 20 years later, when Volkswagen decides to open up a new facility in the United States, no coincidence they chose a southern, right-to-work state [Tennessee], where the UAW did not have a presence."

Now the UAW is trying to organize at that Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tenn. The plant makes Passat sedans. The UAW is trying to get in because the plant is very successful, Patterson says.

"It's sort of a nice, shiny morsel for them," he said. "They've basically cannibalized the Detroit auto industry, so for the UAW to continue existing as a viable entity, it needs to organize in southern, foreign-owned plants like the Volkswagen facility in Chattanooga."

The UAW has tried to organize at other foreign-owned plants in the south for the last 10 years, but has failed, Patterson says. "Chattanooga is the one foreign-owned plant in the south where they had a good chance of getting in."

Foreign-owned auto companies have opened plants throughout the South, including Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, and Texas, because of the absence of unions, Patterson says.

"In other words, they can keep production costs lower because there's no United Auto Workers union to drive up labor costs," he said. "These plants are the source of thousands of jobs both directly and indirectly throughout the entire region."

© 2013 Moneynews. All rights reserved.

Bernacke Afraid To Make Tough Decision, Indication Of How Bad Economy Is

WSJ: Bernanke's Decision Against Tapering Shows 'Failure of Nerve'

Friday, 20 Sep 2013 11:33 AM
By Dan Weil
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Wall Street Journal editors aren't too impressed with the Federal Reserve's decision Wednesday to refrain from tapering its quantitative easing (QE).

One of the justifications for not tapering cited by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke was that long-term interest rates have shot up in anticipation of tapering, notes a Journal editorial.

That anticipation came from Bernanke's own comments in May and June that a cutback in QE could be coming soon.

"For him now to shrink at the market reaction he must have anticipated to his tapering guidance suggests a large failure of nerve," the editorial says. "It also undermines the credibility of the Fed's future policy guidance."

The real problem lies with Fed policy, according to The Journal editors.

"The Fed's monetary exertions haven't worked as planned," they write.

"Near-zero interest rates and bond purchases helped the economy amid the 2008-2009 panic, but after nearly five years, the undeniable reality is that they haven't delivered faster growth."

Bernanke won't admit failure. "So his contradictory retort is essentially that these policies have worked, but because they haven't worked well enough, they must be continued," the editorial states.

"For Mr. Bernanke to blink even as he is heading out the Fed door shows how difficult it will be to return to monetary normalcy. If he begins tapering before he steps down, he might at least force his successor as chairman to think hard before changing course."

Marc Faber, publisher of the Gloom Boom & Doom Report, thinks the Fed is now in a "QE unlimited" mode, and he doesn't see that as a good thing.

"They [Fed officials] don't understand that if you print money, it benefits a handful of people, not even 3 percent of the population," he told Bloomberg TV.

Related Stories:
Appaloosa's Tepper: Fed Is Looking for Growth, Growth and Growth Instead of Taper

Fed's Bullard: October Taper Is Still Possible, Depending on Data
© 2013 Moneynews. All rights reserved.

Kids Need Parents Not Friends


While popular comedian Louis C.K. has built a reputation for riffing on profane topics, he’s also consistently and incredibly honest with his audience.
And when he sat down with late-night host Conan O’Brien to discuss the problem of kids using digital devices too much, Louis C.K. said a number of things that likely got parents in the crowd (and watching on TV) sending back loud applause Thursday.
“I just don’t let em have it,” Louis C.K. told O’Brien about the smart phone epidemic. “Yeah, it’s easy. Just say, ‘No, you can’t have it; it’s bad for you.’”
Comedian Louis C.K. Offers Refreshing Take on What Kids Really Need from Adults (Among Other Insights)
(Credit: TBS via YouTube)
When the child responds, “But I want it!” Louis C.K. offers, “I don’t care what you want.”
He followed that simple wisdom with what may have been his the statement of the evening: “I’m not there to make them happy.”
O’Brien, laughing with the audience, replied “that’s a terrific philosophy.”
Comedian Louis C.K. Offers Refreshing Take on What Kids Really Need from Adults (Among Other Insights)
(Credit: TBS via YouTube)
Louis C.K. explained, “I’m not raising children; I’m raising the grownups they’re going to be. I have to raise them with the tools to get through a terrible life. That’s the way I look at it.”
On the issue of some parents struggling to deny their children the technology that seemingly all the other kids have, fearing their kids will feel “weird,” Louis C.K. noted, “let your kid go and be a better example.”
“I think these things are toxic, especially for kids,” he observed, referencing smart phones. “They’re bad.”
He added that kids who use them all the time “don’t look at people when they talk to them and they don’t build up empathy.”
He also reasoned that it’s harder for children to work out mean streaks when they’re traded in person because they see their adversaries’ reactions, which tells them what they’ve just said is hurtful.
However, he noted, texting mean comments results in no visible opposing reaction, so it’s easier for kids to carry out.
“You need to build an ability to just be yourself and not be doing something,” he said. “That’s what the phones are taking away. To just sit there. That’s being a person.”
But Louis C.K. wasn’t done.
Comedian Louis C.K. Offers Refreshing Take on What Kids Really Need from Adults (Among Other Insights)
(Credit: TBS via YouTube)
Describing a very funny anecdote of hearing the Bruce Springsteen song “Jungleland” on his car radio and feeling very nostalgic, he offered a rather profound treatise on our collective inability to face sadness and our constant need to fill up downtime on social media to fight feeling alone.
“Underneath everything in your life, there’s that forever empty…that knowledge that it’s all for nothing, and you’re alone. It’s down there,” he said. “Life is tremendously sad just by being in it.”
When Louis C.K. heard “Jungleland” on the radio, rather than giving in to the temptation to repair his loneliness and sadness by texting friends, he said he instead pulled over to the side of the road and cried.
For what he discovered next, check out the eye-opening clip from TBS, via YouTube:
(H/T: Mediaite)

Gunman :Loses Battle With Intended Victim


A North Carolina man wasn’t supposed to fight back when another man pulled a gun on him.
But Charles Edward Parker, 38, didn’t feel like being a victim that day. He said he actually wrestled the gun from his assailant and shot him in the leg.
The accused aggressor, Ever Enciso Castaneda, 25, was arrested and faces charges of misdemeanor assault by pointing a gun and misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon, theHickory Record reported.
Tables Turned: Armed Would Be Assailant Suddenly Becomes Disarmed Would Be Assailant
Ever Enciso Castaneda (WSOC-TV)
Oddly enough, Parker said he had just met Castaneda for the first time earlier that day at a local Jack in the Box. The two started talking and then decided to walk to a nearby gas station to some beer, Investigator Dustin Nowatka with the Hickory Police Department said.
They bought the beer and then headed back to Castaneda’s home. That’s when Parker said he got a bad feeling about the entire situation and decided to bail. Then things turned serious.
“I hate to have to do this to you,” Castaneda reportedly said as he pulled a gun on Parker.
The would-be victim said he jumped into action, wrestling the gun away from his assailant. Parker said he fired a warning shot at the ground, but that didn’t deter the previously armed stranger.
So Parker put a round in Castaneda’s leg.
Police were quickly called to the scene by neighbors who saw the fight and heard the shots. When law enforcement officials arrived, they found Parker holding the .38-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun they said Castaneda had planned to use on him.
Tables Turned: Armed Would Be Assailant Suddenly Becomes Disarmed Would Be Assailant
Ever Enciso Castaneda, 25, has “38″ tattooed on his chin. He was shot with a .38-caliber Smith & Wesson (WSOC-TV)
Castaneda was taken to a hospital where he told investigators that he was shot by a man in his neighborhood. He refused to tell them anything else. The hospital released Castaneda on Monday and police arrested him Wednesday morning. He posted a $500 secured bond.
Parker’s story was quickly verified by police after they reviewed surveillance footage of the area. The 38-year-old North Carolina man was not charged in the incident.
An investigation into the shooting is ongoing.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Trader Joes's Puts The Best Spin On A Bad Situation--Health Insurance Changing Dramatically

Trader Joe’s Explains Why It’s Cutting Health Benefits For Part Timers

File photo of an Obamacare pamphlet at a Tea Party rally in Littleton
Jessica Rinaldi / Reuters
Trader Joe’s announcement last week that it would do away with health insurance options for its part-time employees drew strong reactions from some.
The Huffington Post, which originally obtained the internal memo outlining the retailer’s plans, quoted one employee who called her health coverage one of the best things about the job. “I can say that when I opened and read the letter yesterday my reaction was pure panic, followed quickly by anger,” she reportedly said.
The full impact of lost private insurance options under Obamacare is not so simple, however. In an email published (by all appearances) in full byThe Washington Post Monday, Trader Joe’s responds to the concerns of someone who wrote to corporate about the coverage employees stand to lose. The retailer’s explanation offers a convenient window into how the health insurance landscape is set to change under Obamacare.
Rather than provide affordable options for purchasing health insurance to part timers (those working less than 30 hours weekly), as Trader Joe’s does now, as of January the company will simply cut them a $500 check to help cover the costs of obtaining coverage under the new exchanges forming under the rubric of the Affordable Care Act.
This, in a nutshell, is Trader Joe’s reasoning, quoted from the email:
Stated quite simply, the law is centered on providing low cost options to people who do not make a lot of money. Somewhat by definition, the law provides those people a pretty good deal for insurance … a deal that can’t be matched by us — or any company. However, an individual employee (we call them Crew Member) is only able to receive the tax credit from the exchanges under the act if we do not offer them insurance under our company plan.
The email offers the example of a single mom making $18 an hour working 25 hours a week who currently pays $166.50 per month for her Trader Joe’s coverage. With the tax credits under the ACA, the message says, she can get nearly identical insurance for roughly half that under an Obamacare health insurance exchange. Add to that the $500 she’ll get in January and the bleak picture of lost benefits starts to change rather dramatically.
The message acknowledges that for some part timers—namely those who, for whatever reason, report real income above the threshold for receiving subsidies to buy insurance (400% of the poverty line)—the benefits change will mean higher insurance costs. And, the message says, for 77% of Trader Joe’s employees — presumably those working more than 30 hours per week — there will be no change in insurance coverage options.

Read more:

ObamaCrapCare Strikes Workers At Home Depot and Trader Joe's


(Reuters) – Home Depot Inc is shifting medical coverage for part-time workers to new public marketplace exchanges ahead of new benefits requirements under the U.S. Affordable Care Act, a spokesman said on Thursday.
The world’s largest home improvement retail chain announced its move shortly after a similar announcement from Trader Joe’s Co, a popular privately held grocery chain.
Home Depot Forces 20,000 Part Time Employees Into Obamacare
A customer wheels purchases from The Home Depot store in Glendale, Calif., Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2006. The company’s earnings report was expected to be released Tuesday afternoon. The Home Depot Inc. said Tuesday its second-quarter profit rose 5.3 percent, it will resume same-store sales reporting and it is investing another $350 million in improving its business. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
Home Depot’s change would affect roughly 20,000 part-time workers who previously had chosen the limited liability medical plan the company offered, spokesman Stephen Holmes said.
After December 31, companies can no longer offer those plans under the health law, also known as Obamacare.
“We’re going to shift them over to the public exchanges, where there are more options,” Holmes said.
The public exchanges being set up under the law will allow individuals to buy government-subsidized healthcare based on income. Enrollment begins on October 1.
Until now, many restaurants and retailers offered workers limited liability plans that often provided less than $5,000 in coverage.
Home Depot’s plans for part-time workers provided coverage of up to $20,000 depending on the plan and were administered by Aetna Inc.
Experts have said exchanges would provide more comprehensive coverage that may not cost more because government tax credits will help some workers offset premiums.
Some employers are opting to offer coverage through private health insurance changes.
Walgreen Co, the largest U.S. drugstore, and more than a dozen other large employers have said they would offer their employee insurance for 2014 through the Aon Hewitt Corporate Health Exchange.
Home Depot employs about 340,000 people and will continue to offer healthcare benefits to full-time employees, who will be paying more for that coverage next year due to higher healthcare costs, Holmes said.
(Reporting by Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles; Additional reporting by Phil Wahba; Editing by David Gregorio and Tim Dobbyn)

White House Staffers Name Obama Very Accurately

Peggy Noonan: WH Staffers Nickname President 'Obam-me'

Image: Peggy Noonan: WH Staffers Nickname President 'Obam-me'
Friday, 20 Sep 2013 11:54 AM
By Dan Weil
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White House staffers have adopted a new and unflattering nickname for their boss:"Obam-me," Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan says she heard in chats with a few senators.

And how did the staffers come up with that name?

"Because it's all about him and his big thoughts," Noonan writes in a column. "I guess the second-term team is not quite as adoring as the first."

Noonan, a former speechwriter for Ronald Reagan, joins a wide swath of Republicans who have complained about the president's apparent self-absorption.

Just this week he was taken to task for going ahead with a speech attacking the GOP on the economy just as news of the Washington Navy Yard slaughter was coming out.

Former GOP congressman Joe Scarborough said Obama seemed "bored or disconnected or out of touch or something," adding, "He's president of the United States. He should be smart enough."

The Weekly Standard's Stehen Hayes called the decision to press on with the speech "small and petty."