Last week, Politico reported on a leaked draft of a Supreme Court opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade and return the question of abortion regulation to the states, ending the Court’s invention of a constitutional right to abortion. The draft opinion was greeted with predictable outrage from left-progressives, including those in organized labor.
Now, many people, especially those on the social-conservative right who are re-exploring aligning with organized labor, might not expect union bosses to be among the left-progressive leaders ready to jump on a leaked, not-finalized Supreme Court opinion, but they were. Examples include:
Liz Shuler, who ascended to the presidency of the AFL-CIO after the death of Richard Trumka, argued, “We must be able to control our own bodies—which has a direct impact on economic justice and the ability of working people to make a better life for themselves and their families.”
Mary Kay Henry, president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), denounced an “extremist, anti-woman majority of the Supreme Court” (that, it should be noted, is suspected to include Justice Amy Coney Barrett, a woman) for taking away “a woman’s fundamental right to an abortion.”
Jean Ross, president of National Nurses United, said the opinion “should be viewed as part of the broader far-right assault on gender-affirming health rights in this country, including the laws targeting trans youth and their families, attacks on LBGTQ individuals, and homophobic bans on the word ‘gay’ in education,” presumably a deceptive reference to Florida’s Parental Rights in Education legislation, frequently misnamed in “objective” press accounts.
I Told You So
These statements and other pro-abortion activities by organized labor, such as SEIU Healthcare Illinois/Indiana rallying with Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) and Planned Parenthood or the new Amazon Labor Union calling for protests in New York City, demonstrate that American labor unions are inseparable from social left-progressivism through an ideological practice known as “social justice unionism.” Back in 2021, we published a serial outlining how organized labor provided financial support to Washington State measures introducing Planned Parenthood–aligned sex education material into public school curriculums.
And what of the expressed hope of Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), that union organizations could provide a counterweight to “a requirement that the workers embrace management’s latest ‘woke’ human resources fad”? Well, I was skeptical, noting that “operatives who run the labor unions endorse woke H.R. fads. And to the extent they don’t, they support going even further.”
Now, I may enter into evidence the statement of Sara Nelson, head of the flight attendants’ union AFA-CWA and rumored candidate to challenge Shuler for the leadership of the House of Labor, last seen campaigning to extend the now-enjoined traveler mask mandate when it came up for renewal in March. Nelson explicitly called on her members’ bosses to engage in woke capitalism:
We call on airline management to stand with us and for equality, anti-discrimination, and mutual respect. It is not enough that corporations espouse these principles as core to their missions—now is the time to demonstrate this commitment to their employees and passengers. This is about our safety and our freedom. We cannot work if we are not safe.
Social justice unionism means that organized labor is an additional pressure point forcing capitalists to be woke, not a point of opposition. The reaction to the Supreme Court leak should prove that beyond doubt.
Michael is Research Director for Capital Research Center and serves as the managing editor for InfluenceWatch. A graduate of the College of William and Mary, he previously worked for a…+ MORE BY MICHAEL WATSON
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The lump of labor hypothesis—that there are only so many jobs “out there”—is a fallacy.
I recently took an airplane trip, departing from a medium-sized city. There must have been, oh, at least 100 Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employees who were officiating at the boarding process: checking our luggage, ensuring our shoes were removed, delving into our underwear, stealing our toothpaste, pushing us through those x-ray machines. There were literally hordes of them mucking about. (In 2020, the latest year for which such figures are available, the TSA employed more than 47,000 people and had an annual budget of approximately $7.7 billion.)
Why were they there? Years ago, matters were far more simple; you showed a boarding pass, and just got on the plane.
What changed? In a word, terrorists. They hijacked planes and used them in suicidal attacks during the 9-11 attacks in 2001. The TSA workers were there to ensure that no one smuggled any bombs on board, or interfered with flights in any other destructive manner.
Did these terrorists, inadvertently from their perspective of course, actually do us a favor? After all, thanks to the TSA, almost 50,000 American jobs were created. Were these folk not working for this government agency, perhaps they might all be unemployed. If so, our unemployment rate would be significantly higher than it is at present. Do we thus owe the terrorists a vote of thanks? Not, of course, for murdering innocent air travelers, but, at least, for helping out our economy?
No. Not one bit.
Rather, instead of partially hurting and partially helping us, they are actually doing damage to us in both regards. How so? This can easily be demonstrated. Suppose that there was never any such thing as terrorists, certainly not involving airplanes. There would then of course be no need for the TSA. (There is no need for them even now; this function would be better provided through private enterprise, but that is an entirely different matter.)
What, then, would all these people be doing? We cannot know for sure, but we can speculate. Presumably, they would be butchers, bakers, candlestick makers, farmers, fishermen, doctors, scientists, cooks, and bottle washers. In short, they would be producing more of these ordinary goods and services. Possibly, some of them would be breaking new ground, providing the rest of us with things we cannot now even imagine. Without terrorists in existence we could have had our cake and eaten it too: have just as much air safety as at present (or more! The TSA is hardly 100 percent efficient), plus a plethora of other wealth that these folk would be creating in other industries.
Economic logic demonstrates the truth of this claim. The economic pie is not fixed. The lump of labor hypothesis—that there are only so many jobs “out there”—is a fallacy. The people who were once TSA employees bring with them not only brains, arms, and heads with which to work, but also eyes and stomachs which lead to consumption. They supply labor and demand products. As long as we want more goods and services than we already have—that is, as long as there is still scarcity—there will be room for more employment and additional GDP.
Economic history also attests to the fact that the terrorists are hurting us twice over. When World War II ended, some 12 million soldiers left the armed forces and entered the labor force. They put down their guns and picked up their plows. One result of that was the post-war boom, with far greater productivity than before.
At one time in our history, some 98 percent of the population was needed on the nation’s farms. The present figure is more like 2 percent. From whence did all those new jobs arise? They did so from the fact that people wanted more than they already had and were willing to work to obtain additional wealth.
Yet another historical episode occurred when, due to the advent of the horseless carriage, vast unemployment took place amongst blacksmiths, whip and saddle makers, horse trainers, horseshoe manufacturers, and such. Again, a far more significant proportion of the labor force than now accounted for by the TSA shifted from these horse and buggy industries to completely different ones.
The terrorists have landed upon us a one-two punch in the gut. Danger in the air and poverty too.
Walter Edward Block is an American economist and anarcho-capitalist theorist who holds the Harold E. Wirth Eminent Scholar Endowed Chair in Economics at the J. A. Butt School of Business at Loyola University New Orleans. He is a member of the FEE Faculty Network.
https://libertyfirst.org/wp-content/uploads/logo_v6_225x110.png00DrRichSwier.comhttps://libertyfirst.org/wp-content/uploads/logo_v6_225x110.pngDrRichSwier.com2022-05-01 21:51:182022-05-01 21:51:18Why You Shouldn’t Celebrate the TSA for Employing 47,000 Workers
Earlier this year, a Labor Department survey showed that union membership continues to fall. In 2021, the number of union workers declined by 241,000, and private-sector union membership now stands at merely 6.1 percent — the lowest level since the federal government started tracking this data. This decline came despite a massive increase in the overall number of U.S. jobs, as businesses recovered from the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Such dramatic losses aren’t for lack of union efforts. The past year also saw major unionization campaigns at companies such as Amazon and Starbucks, following years of similar efforts at companies including Nissan, Volkswagen and other big employers. Yet, time and again, when given a choice, workers are saying no to union membership.
Unfortunately, these strong rebukes by workers don’t mean much to the most pro-union president in history. Biden has benefitted massively from the $1.8 billion organized labor spent in the 2020 election cycle and he is now trying to make it easier for unions to overrule and ignore workers’ wishes. Consider the policies that Biden has proposed and pursued in just over one year in office.
At the legislative level, he has fully endorsed the so-called PRO Act, a wholesale union wish list. This legislation would eliminate the 27-state right-to-work laws, forcing millions of workers to pay unions against their will just to keep their jobs. It also essentially would mandate “card check,” which could allow unions to organize employers by publicly intimidating employees. The legislation has dozens of provisions aimed at silencing workers and weakening their rights, making it easier for unions to get their way.
With the PRO Act stalled in Congress, Biden is pushing other policies through federal regulation and executive order. He has appointed union members to the federal labor regulator and fired the general counsel who was likely to resist pro-Big Labor mandates.
Biden also rolled back federal transparency requirements for unions, making it harder for workers considering a union to find out how, exactly, their dues money is being spent. And he has boosted funding for federal labor enforcement, essentially empowering regulators to pressure private companies into unionizing.
The president also has made it easier to unionize the federal workforce and private companies who work with the federal government. In an early move, he established a federal task force on unionization, which is pushing policies that would ease the way toward organizing federal agencies. And Biden has required that all major federal construction projects go to companies that are unionized.
What do all these policies have in common? In a word, coercion. They involve taking power from workers and giving it to unions. No wonder: When workers keep that power, they use it to reject unions.
There’s no question that force helps some unions gain members and money. Today, nearly one-third of union members live in California and New York, which have only 17 percent of America’s workers. These states have put many coercive pro-union measures into law. If such policies are nationalized, as Biden is attempting to do, the American economy increasingly will look like it does in those states — tilted in favor of unions and against workers.
Yet it’s worth noting that more and more workers are leaving California, New York and other union-dominated states. They’re moving to places that don’t give unions an unfair advantage, especially in the South and Midwest. And other states are taking note. Five states have ended compulsory union membership in the past decade. Since my home state of Michigan gave workers the freedom to choose whether to join a union, the birthplace of organized labor has dropped from fifth place in union membership to 12th. That happened even as Michigan has gained manufacturing jobs. It’s a similar story in other states.
When given the freedom to make their own choices, workers overwhelmingly side against unions. Respecting their rights is the best policy, yet the policies being pursued by the Biden administration would only limit worker freedom. It’s a pity that the most “pro-union” president in history is pushing policies that are so anti-worker.
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The AFL-CIO appears to recognize that the Jones Act is part of the US supply chain problem.
As reported by Politico earlier this week, the AFL-CIO’s Transportation Trade Department has authored a new statement on US maritime policy that features predictable enthusiasm for protectionist policies such as the Jones Act and cargo preference laws. More interesting, however, is the statement’s inclusion of language calling for a fleet of feeder vessels to transport cargo through the country’s coastal waters:
Creating a fleet of U.S.-built, U.S.-flag and crewed feeder vessels to carry a portion of America’s trade along our coasts to be offloaded in underutilized ports for transportation by truck and rail to their ultimate inland destination will not only strengthen the maritime industry and create jobs aboard ship and in our ports but will help mitigate against future shipping supply chain disruptions.
This passage is significant for at least two reasons. First, it acknowledges that the United States currently lacks such vessels connecting smaller ports to larger ports as part of a hub and spoke system. Second, it states that such a transportation option would help relieve supply chain disruptions by alleviating demands on overburdened truck and rail networks.
Thus, US policies that stand in the way of developing a network of coastal shipping—also known as short sea shipping or marine highways—contribute to the supply chain crisis.
As I’ve written before, one of those policies is the Jones Act. Simply put, requiring the use of vessels that are far most costly to build and operate than foreign ships is a significant disincentive to utilizing this method of transporting goods. The capital costs alone of acquiring such vessels—which must be constructed by US shipyards much less efficient than their foreign counterparts—were perceived by ocean carriers as the single largest obstacle to the implementation of short sea shipping in the United States according to a 2006 study.
As my colleague Scott Lincicome pointed out last September, this lack of coastal shipping has “worsened the current shipping situation by (1) putting additional pressure on inland transit (i.e., trucks and trains are used instead of ships that could travel between US ports); and (2) causing companies to avoid the Jones Act by “port hopping” up and down US coasts using larger, foreign‐flagged ships that take longer to offload and are prohibited from picking up additional cargo while they’re in port.”
Fortunately, the AFL-CIO may be catching on. Noting the lackluster state of US shipbuilding, the head of the organization’s Metal Trades Department stated in a December interview that foreign‐built ships may have to be purchased to help jumpstart marine highways. For that to happen, however, Congress would have to pass legislation waiving the Jones Act’s US-built requirement.
This legislative change wouldn’t solve all of the Jones Act’s problems but would mark an excellent first step in reducing the law’s burdens. Allowing an influx of new, less expensive ships would generate jobs for US mariners, business for smaller US ports, and even potential repair and maintenance work for US shipyards while reducing American highway and rail congestion and transportation costs.
Such change would be good for the environment too: reduced traffic means fewer emissions while ships are a more carbon‐friendly means of transporting goods than trucks or rail. Once realized, such benefits could spark an appetite for further liberalization and a paring back of maritime protectionism.
https://libertyfirst.org/wp-content/uploads/logo_v6_225x110.png00DrRichSwier.comhttps://libertyfirst.org/wp-content/uploads/logo_v6_225x110.pngDrRichSwier.com2022-04-18 09:51:502022-04-18 09:51:50Labor Unions [Quietly] Admit the Jones Act Is Contributing to America’s Supply Chain Problems
We need a labour market which supports families, argues Oren Cass, in a brilliant policy book.
Over the last two years, the overwhelming focus on the pandemic has obscured many other issues. It is easy to overlook the growing dissatisfaction with the economic status quo which existed prior to Covid.
Explanations for why there has been a populist revolt generally revolve around issues of immigration and cultural change, with debates over economic policy playing a supporting role.
Clearly, politics is changing. On issues like trade or government spending, the leftward shift by the Republican Party under Trump and the Conservative Party under Johnson has helped attract new voters in lower socio-economic groups.
Elsewhere, even though socialists and social democrats should be happy with the new mood in favour of greater state intervention, their electoral appeal is limited by the cult-like obsession with issues of race and gender, and so political coalitions are gradually being remade without any major shifts in policy taking place.
When it comes to explaining what has gone wrong in this area over recent decades, one book that really stands out is The Once and Future Worker by Oren Cass.
Cass’s influence in American policy circles has grown in recent years (Yuval Levin wrote that the book stands “in the very top ranks of sustained efforts to make some policy sense of the political realities of our era”) as the old “country club” element in Republican politics withers away, and he now runs his own think tank.
His central thesis is that both the Republicans and the Democrats are at fault for what Cass calls their “economic piety” – an approach which places too much emphasis on achieving growth in GDP as a means of enlarging (and then redistributing) the economic pie.
Politicians have emphasised the desires of the consumer over the interests of the producer, including when it comes to issues like immigration or trade policy, and their policies have necessitated the development of an ever-more expansive welfare state.
To counteract this, Cass puts forward a “Working Hypothesis,” which states “that a labour market in which workers can support strong families and communities is the central determinant of long-term prosperity and should be the central focus of public policy.”
Much of the book is devoted to explaining the difficulties which the current policies have created. As a direct result of government decisions when it comes to environmental policies and the minimum wage, it is now more expensive to employ low-skilled workers.
Those same workers find themselves competing against large numbers of low-wage workers from other countries, and the decline of America’s once-powerful trade unions and their increasing focus on liberal political causes have left workers badly disadvantaged.
Cass reminds his readers that the symptoms of this serious condition were evident long before the Great Recession, as wages for less-skilled workers had stagnated to the point where a man with only a high school degree could no longer support a family.
In this environment, huge numbers of able-bodied citizens dropped out of the workforce and came to rely on government assistance. The baleful consequences of this extended far beyond the realm of employment.
Readers familiar with the literature in this area will recognise some of the key works which the author cites.
Charles Murray’s Coming Apart showed how the white working class was transformed between 1960-2010, with labour participation rates, marriage rates and religious participation rates all plummeting; while Angus Deaton and Anne Case’s Deaths from Despair and the Future of Capitalismhighlighted the rapid increase in fatalities from alcoholism, drug addiction and suicide in recent years.
Virtually everyone acknowledges the problem, but the consensus around “economic piety” means that the Left has neglected production and focused too much on redistribution, often by way of an expanded welfare state.
Cass rejects the view that this is beneficial, and points to statistics showing how social spending has exploded in recent decades.
Since President Lyndon Johnson launched his Great Society initiative in the 1960s, the safety net has grown to the point where the US government spends US$20,000 annually for every person living in poverty, all to little avail.
Cass also takes aim at the increasingly-fashionable viewpoint that the way to fix this is by introducing a Universal Basic Income, lamenting that we “have reached a point where the rich think paying everyone else to go away represents compassionate thinking.”
In place of economic piety, Cass proposes a system he calls “productive pluralism” and lays out a proposal for what this would involve.
“Rather than taxing low-wage work to cut other tax rates and expand entitlements, we can do the reverse: we can provide a subsidy for low-wage work, funded with higher tax rates and reduced transfer payments,” he writes.
“Instead of organised labour piling burdens atop the ones that federal regulators already place on employment relationships, we can repurpose unions to help workers and employers optimise workplace conditions.
“We can expand the demand for more of the work that more Americans can actually do if we place the concerns of the industrial economy on an equal footing with those of, say, environmentalists. We can prepare Americans to work more productively if we shift some attention and resources from the college track to other tracks down which most people actually travel.”
In each area, Cass describes the steps which would need to be taken.
Wage subsidies paid by the government, for example, would help those on low incomes without leading to a reduction in the demand for labour – which is often the effect of minimum wage hikes.
Whereas the current emphasis on increasing GDP requires large scale unskilled immigration, Cass insists that we need to improve labour-market outcomes for low-wage workers, which would probably mean a reduced inflow.
Education policy is particularly important to Cass, as politicians (particularly left-leaning ones) suggest that more spending in this area and a “college for all” strategy will ameliorate much of what is wrong with the current socio-economic system.
As Cass explains, this has failed the broad swathe of workers who have not acquired college qualifications and probably never will. His remedy involves a renewed focus on educational tracking with increased vocational opportunities from the mid-teens on, and to bring this about he calls for a large reallocation of financial resources towards apprenticeships and other such programs.
Clearly, the author does not believe that poverty can be eradicated entirely, and he proposes ideas for how to improve social supports while also strengthening the mediating institutions which have been so weakened in recent times.
Cass praises Catholic charities which operate on the ground and make the necessary careful judgements about individual needs when supplying assistance to the underprivileged, while helping them to make the right steps to achieve independence.
The influence of Catholic social teaching is shown elsewhere in Cass’s work, as when he quotes Pope John Paul II’s words in describing how associations of workers as essential “not only in negotiating contracts, but also as ‘places’ where workers can express themselves.”
Cass’s views are far from dominant within the American Right, but they are growing in influence, and his allies such as the Catholic Senator Marco Rubio are increasingly adopting similar positions focusing on the importance of dignified work.
This is important, as this is ultimately an American book, focused on the American context.
The same can be said of important books by Yuval Levin, Charles Murray, Robert Putnam and many others, and it is unfortunate that the sort of detailed social and economic analysis which these authors provide is not to be seen in political debates in Europe and elsewhere.
The Once and Future Worker has universal implications, however, in that it charts a viable course for those who accept that the current economic and social system is untenable while also recognising that the socialist alternative is undesirable, and usually involves steps which would ignore the real root causes and exacerbate social ills.
Too many people have neglected the importance of fulfilling and gainful work to human flourishing. Oren Cass’s book is a wake-up call, and should be a blueprint for reform in the coming years.
James Bradshaw works for an international consulting firm based in Dublin, and has a background in journalism and public policy. Outside of work, he writes for a number of publications, on topics including… More by James Bradshaw.
https://libertyfirst.org/wp-content/uploads/logo_v6_225x110.png00DrRichSwier.comhttps://libertyfirst.org/wp-content/uploads/logo_v6_225x110.pngDrRichSwier.com2021-11-17 13:52:042021-11-17 13:52:04Hypnotised by race and gender, politicians have forgotten the working man
Every year, my school district hosts a beginning of the year meeting with every employee in the district. Amidst all the pomp are 15 minutes during which my school district provides a platform for the head of the local teachers union. He doesn’t say much, keeping it vague and general. He says the union works with the school board and other leaders to fight for both teachers and students.
He also spends time in the teachers’ lounge occasionally, handing out pamphlets. A note in defense of unions was left at a table in the lounge recently. It details accomplishments of unions past and the evils of corporations. This note and this speech are a nice review of a high school civics course, but they have one glaring flaw: they focus entirely on the past.
Contexts change. For instance, the necessity of stationed US troops in Germany has shifted since the Cold War. The same goes for unions at large as the US reaches historical levels of prosperity. We can appreciate the accomplishments of the past while still reconsidering the utility of unions in the present. There are of course defenses of unions within a modern context. That said, they are ultimately lacking. Here are seven reasons why we should support the dissolution of teachers unions in 2019.
They are advocacy groups as much as unions
Two years ago, while I was a first-year teacher, I mistakenly stumbled into a members-only meeting in my school’s library. Before being shooed away and denied a scone with coffee, I saw pamphlets in stacks next to the treats. One column was topped by a glowering Donald Trump over a dark red background like a Sith lord; the other had a smiling Hillary Clinton.
While teachers are stereotypically liberal, a survey done by Education Week found that 43 percent of educators define themselves as moderate, with a near equal number identifying as conservative or liberal. In 2016, 50 percent of teachers voted for Hillary Clinton and 29 percent for Donald Trump. Teachers are a moderate and politically diverse crowd.
That being said, in the past 28 years, teachers unions have given 96 percent of their funding to Democratic candidates. In the agenda from the National Education Association (NEA)’s most recent annual meeting, the business items include a commitment to:
Responding to the “heartless, racist, and discriminatory zero-tolerance [immigration] policies of the Trump administration”
Supporting Black Lives Matter
Opposing arming teachers in schools
The removal of Confederate leaders from school monuments
Posting a public list of individuals who have refused service to LGBTQ people
The postponement of the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh
The prohibition of private jails
Opposing charter schools and voucher programs
Describing and deconstructing “the systemic proliferation of a White supremacy culture and its constituent elements of White privilege and institutional racism”
Regardless of your views on all of these, there is a clear disparity between the agenda of the largest teachers union in the nation and the views of its teachers. Perhaps even more glaring, many of these issues have only a tangential relation to education, if that. While they speak of defending teachers, much of their energy is spent advocating for various, non-educational political initiatives.
They have more money in politics than just about everyone
Both Republicans and Democrats complain about money in politics. Both sides have their boogeyman: George Soros and the Koch Brothers. And yet, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, the NEA was the second largest contributor to political campaigns of any individual, corporation, or union in 2014. In 2016, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and NEA collectively gave $64 million in political contributions compared to only $11 million and $28 million by the Koch brothers and George Soros, respectively.
Their policy ideals won’t cut it
Unions fight for increased funding with the intent of raising teacher pay and purchasing better academic materials. Some research shows that it is beneficial. Other papers don’t. An analysis by Johns Hopkins finds a synthesis between the two, arguing that how school achievement is defined and how money is spent determine whether funding correlates with improvement. Until structural reforms are put in place to apply market pressure to the schools, any funding increase will be little more than waste.
At the first school I worked at, the book room had thousands of books, worth thousands of dollars, and I was one of the only teachers in our building who used them. My department had a supply closet filled with toys and gadgets no one used. There are curriculum teams and staff members collectively paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to create a curriculum that is either followed without fidelity or ignored entirely.
Per pupil spending, school achievement, and teacher pay give data to substantiate this claim. In current dollars, school spending has increased by roughly $3,000 per pupil since the early 1990s; yet teacher pay has declined or remained flat in most states, while student achievement on test scores has remained stagnant or even decreased in some states. Money is increasing, but it isn’t creating results.
More generally, teachers unions promote a strict pay scale that rewards any teacher for years taught—be they exceptional or mediocre or lousy—incentivizing longevity, not performance. They also make it nearly impossible to fire teachers, taking up to two years and $200,000 according to Stanford Professor Terry Moe. Social stances, funding, and strict pay scales just won’t do in the face of crumbling urban education.
They block meaningful reform
Unions block the reforms that will structurally change a broken system and in return, promise increased funding, which will, in turn, be drained away by the broken system. Namely, they oppose school choice, merit-based pay, standardized tests, and the Praxis, an entrance exam for teachers.
Educational reform has been stymied. Across the board, Republicans have advanced comprehensive reforms from charter schools to more stringent teacher evaluations and merit-based pay. After a blue wave, many fear that the growth it has enacted may be at an end.
They breed a culture of entitlement
I allow my students to set some classroom rules to provide a sense of ownership. One student expressed that he didn’t want a star or candy simply for following directions. It’s condescending, he said, to praise a student for the minimum. That assumes you only expect the minimum.
In my role, I watch many teachers teach, and not everyone necessarily deserves a star. I have heard teachers tell their kids to ask fewer questions. I have seen teachers celebrate over pregnant students. I have heard teachers speak of students using language one would expect from the villain in a Scorsese movie. All the while, teachers denigrate any test that shows stagnant scores or an administrator who questions their efficacy.
The unions tell us that we, the teachers, deserve our jobs and better pay regardless of the success of our students, but in reality, we deserve more money and respect only if we do our job well. To suggest anything else is a disservice to the profession.
They bargain for mediocre benefits
I was new to teaching and sat across from the school’s manager of our 403(b) plans. I asked if the school district would match my contribution. They don’t, because the district pays toward our pension. I rolled my eyes, and so did she.
Chad Aldeman, a former analyst at the Department of Education, explains the problem well. He says that “states are paying an average of 12 percent of each teacher’s salary just for debt costs. If states didn’t face these large debts, they could afford to give that money back to teachers in the form of higher salaries—an average of $6,801 for every public school teacher in America.
Under a 401(k) plan, any employee could choose to be frugal and invest more, as well as receive more from their employer and thereby more from their retirement plan. In education, teachers receive retirement benefits based on a formula, unable to invest any more than the predetermined amount.
That $6,800 dollars could go to much better use. For those of us who choose to save, we would end up with a retirement portfolio that would outdo most teacher pensions. Others may counter that some do not have the disposable income to save for themselves, but even in this case, those teachers should be allowed to keep their money and spend it on whatever medical bill or child care they need.
We can bargain for ourselves
Factory workers during the Industrial Revolution were expendable. They had no specialized skills or education with which they could bargain in a labor-flooded market. Conversely, teachers are a highly-skilled and educated workforce in a market where they are in short supply.
A friend of mine, one of the best teachers at our school, was falsely accused of hitting a student. Under convoluted district rules, the principal wanted to fire him. This teacher walked into the office with test scores, student testimonials, projects demonstrating mastery by some of our school’s most difficult students, and hallway video records that proved him innocent. We can bargain for ourselves.
As a rule, I try not to stand in opposition to things. It breeds resentment instead of changing minds and casts no vision for a way forward. I’m not against unions. I’m for teachers. For us to flourish financially and professionally, we need the freedom to bargain for ourselves, the respect that comes with accountability, and meaningful reform. Therefore, I stand with teachers—not union.
Daniel Buck is a public school teacher in Wisconsin with a graduate degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. On the side, he writes regular commentary about education and literature for publications like The Foundation for Economic Education, The Federalist, and Quillette. He is also the head columnist at Lone Conservative, a website dedicated to mentoring and publishing college-aged conservatives.
https://libertyfirst.org/wp-content/uploads/logo_v6_225x110.png00DrRichSwier.comhttps://libertyfirst.org/wp-content/uploads/logo_v6_225x110.pngDrRichSwier.com2021-11-10 07:51:432021-11-10 07:51:437 Reasons to Say Goodbye to Teachers Unions
The FDNY shuttered 26 fire companies citywide on Saturday due to staff shortages caused by the COVID-19 vaccination mandate, according to furious elected officials, who ripped the move as “unconscionable” — and warned it could have catastrophic consequences.
The shutdown came amid a pitched battle between City Hall, which on Monday will start enforcing a mandate that all city workers have at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and jab-resisting firefighters, many reportedly saying they were already sick with the coronavirus and therefore have “natural immunity.”
Nicole Malliotakis (R-SI, Brooklyn) said 26 companies shuttered — five in her district — and laid the blame on Mayor de Blasio.
“If someone dies due to a slower emergency response, it’s on Bill de Blasio and his overreaching mandates. I hope this fool fixes it ASAP!” she tweeted. Some residents rallied outside of the Ladder Company 149 in Dyker Heights to support the firefighters.
“Irresponsible bogus sick leave by some of our members is creating a danger for New Yorkers and their fellow Firefighters,” Nigro said. “They need to return to work or risk the consequences of their actions.”
No borough or neighborhood was spared, with the shuttered companies ranging from Engine Co. 55 in lower Manhattan, to Engine Co. 234 in Crown Heights, to Engine Co. 231 in Brownsville. Others included Ladder Co. 128 in Long Island City and Engine Co. 158 and Ladder Co. 78 on Staten Island, according to information provided by Malliotakis and Councilman Joe Borelli (R-SI), who cited the Uniformed Firefighters Association. Borelli said the list of 26 came from a FDNY alert dispatched to members.
FDNY spokesman Jim Long said the closings are not permanent, describing the companies as “temporarily out of service” and the situation as “fluid” since it was shifting firefighters to units where they were needed.
As of late Saturday afternoon, the FDNY could not provide an exact number of closings that the pols said were in effect as of 7:30 am Saturday.
“The situation remains fluid. We hire manpower to get the company back in service or relocate other units to the area for coverage,” Long said.
In anticipation of a shortage of firefighters, NYPD’s Emergency Service Unit has requested the help of volunteer firefighters from Long Island and upstate to back fill the lost positions, according to an email obtained by The Post.
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https://libertyfirst.org/wp-content/uploads/logo_v6_225x110.png00DrRichSwier.comhttps://libertyfirst.org/wp-content/uploads/logo_v6_225x110.pngDrRichSwier.com2021-11-01 09:51:472021-11-01 09:51:47Over Two Dozen FDNY Firehouses Shut Down Over Vax Mandate Staff Shortages
The real cause of supply chain shortages are the Unions which provide Stevedores to unload ships and Warehouse Workers at our major ports. Their contract exempts them from working on weekends and they already make well over $100,000 a year but have no fear – Beijing Joe Biden will influence them to start working 24 x 7 to clear up the backlog but, of course, with your tax dollars.
In the East Room of the White House last week, President Joe Biden announced the Executive Branch was taking decisive actions to resolve the supply chain issues plaguing the United States.
As media reports show, supply chain bottlenecks are leaving many people without essential goods, and are threatening to play Grinch with consumers this holiday season.
“I half-jokingly tell people ‘Order your Christmas presents now because otherwise on Christmas day, there may just be a picture of something that’s not coming until February or March,’” Scott Price, the international president for UPS, told the AFP wire service in September.
On Wednesday Biden announced he was addressing the problem of West Coast delays, saying the crucial ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach would soon be shifting to round-the-clock operations.
“After weeks of negotiation and working with my team and with the major union and retailers and freight movers, the Ports of Los Angeles announced today that it’s going to begin operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,” Biden said.
The president said that by moving to a 24-7 system, the US would be shifting to “what most of the leading countries in the world already operate on now, except us, until now.”
He then thanked union leaders shortly before his closing remarks.
“I particularly want to thank labor: Willie Adams of the Longshoremen and Warehouses Union, who is here today; the Teamsters; the rail unions from the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen; and the International Association of Mechan- — of Machinists; to the American Train Dispatchers Association; to Sheet Metal, Air, and Rail, and Transportation Workers Union, known as ‘SMART,’” Biden said.
A Story of Union Contracts
There is little debate that the supply chain issues are a serious problem, and shifting to a 24-7 operation may indeed help alleviate some of the supply chain issues—though the problem is unlikely to be solved so easily.
The obvious question, however, is this: why weren’t these ports already operating around the clock “like most of the leading countries in the world”?
The answer can be found in the very unions Biden thanked.
As Sean Higgins of the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) recently explained, there appears to be no state or federal regulation preventing around the clock work at these ports. It’s simply a union policy.
“The primary issue appears to be the unions, whose contract effectively dictates when work can be done,” Higgins explains.
It turns out that unions negotiated a sweetheart deal. It’s not just that, as the Los Angeles Timesnotes, union dock workers make $171,000 (plus free healthcare) a year on average. Or that union clerks do even better ($194,000 on average), and they themselves earn a far cry from foremen and “walking bosses” ($282,000). (Those fat compensation figures result in part from the fact that union bosses were able to negotiate holiday pay not just for federal holidays, but for everything from “Bloody Thursday” to the birthdays of union leaders such as Harry Bridges and Cesar Chavez.)
The wages are noteworthy, but the bigger problem for people depending on smoothly running supply chains are the restrictions on work hours the unions negotiated. Higgens notes the labor contract between the Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) creates an inflexible operating schedule:
[The] union contract limits the port to just three shifts in a day: two lasting eight hours and another lasting just five hours. All three go from Monday to Friday. These shifts overlap slightly but even if they didn’t, they would still only total 21 hours. Keeping the ports open for 24 hours would require the port to pay overtime every single day.
On top of that, the contract says that any work done on weekends or holidays is automatically time and a half too. So even if the port could offer shifts with a five-day work week that started on, say, Wednesday, it would have to pay those workers the equivalent of six days.
In other words, the contract makes it all but impossible for the port to remain operational for twenty-four hours a day and on weekends.
40% of All Shipping?
Now, the entire US supply chain problem doesn’t come down to the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, and the poorly negotiated union contract. But the importance of these ports is enormous.
Indeed, Biden himself notes that 40 percent of all shipping containers imported into the US come from these two ports—which have been idle some 60 hours every week during the biggest supply chain crisis in generations … because of a union contract.
To make matters worse, for years the union has blocked efforts to improve efficiency through automation.
“We were totally opposed to fully automated terminals and got the guarantees from our employers that they would not construct them during the life of our new package,” ILWU President Harrold Daggett noted two years ago after the union negotiated its contract.
This is known as “featherbedding,” a practice unions have perfected over ages that requires employees to implement time-consuming policies and procedures that increase labor costs and decrease productivity. As economist Henry Hazlitt once observed, these “make-work rules” reduce efficiency but “are tolerated and even approved because of the confusion on this point in the public mind.”
‘You Don’t Even Talk about That’
The reason the problem persists, Higgens says, is that people simply don’t want to create a political stir.
“You don’t even talk about that. You know, we don’t even try to influence that. But it’s really the root cause,” an anonymous carrier industry source reportedly told CEI.
There may be something to Higgens’s claim—if you’ve ever watched Martin Scorsese’s movie The Irishman, you know what I mean—but there’s a larger economic lesson to be learned.
As the economist George Reisman has observed, unions decrease productivity almost by their very nature.
[The] most serious consequence of the unions is the holding down or outright reduction of the productivity of labor. With few exceptions, the labor unions openly combat the rise in the productivity of labor. They do so virtually as a matter of principle. They oppose the introduction of labor-saving machinery on the grounds that it causes unemployment. They oppose competition among workers.
Granted, simply persuading ports to operate 24-7 around the clock (and no doubt covering the union costs) may solve some problems. But if Reisman’s observations are correct, Biden is seeking increased productivity and efficiency in the wrong place. Because of the incentive structure they operate under, unions are far better at leveraging power to negotiate sweetheart deals than boosting efficiency and productivity to improve the broader marketplace.
Indeed, just one day after Biden’s speech, union leaders were already making it clear they weren’t yet working around the clock—and had no timeline for doing so.
“It’s not a single lever we can pull today,” Gene Seroka, the Executive Director of the Port of Los Angeles, said in a media briefing. “There’s no timeline when suddenly we will wake up and everything will be 24/7.”
Jonathan Miltimore is the Managing Editor of FEE.org. His writing/reporting has been the subject of articles in TIME magazine, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, Forbes, Fox News, and the Star Tribune. Bylines: Newsweek, The Washington Times, MSN.com, The Washington Examiner, The Daily Caller, The Federalist, the Epoch Times.
https://libertyfirst.org/wp-content/uploads/logo_v6_225x110.png00DrRichSwier.comhttps://libertyfirst.org/wp-content/uploads/logo_v6_225x110.pngDrRichSwier.com2021-10-23 09:51:432021-10-23 09:51:43WATCH: Unions Mostly to Blame for Supply Chain Shortages But Biden Thanks Them
Sean Higgins is a research fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute specializing in labor and employment issues. As journalist, he covered the intersection of politics and economics for two decades, having been senior writer for the Washington, Washington correspondent for Investor’s Business Daily and a contributor to publications like Reason and National Review Online.”
TOPIC: Maybe Workers Just Aren’t That Into You, Unions!
Victor Avila is a Retired Supervisory Special Agent with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). ICE enforces federal laws governing border control, customs, trade, and immigration to promote homeland security and public safety. Victor is Recognized by ICE and HSI for his exemplary service and professional accomplishments while serving as Special Agent at the El Paso Field Office and as an Assistant Attaché assigned to the U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juarez and U.S. Embassies located in Spain, Portugal, and Mexico City.
https://libertyfirst.org/wp-content/uploads/logo_v6_225x110.png00Conservative Commandos Radio Showhttps://libertyfirst.org/wp-content/uploads/logo_v6_225x110.pngConservative Commandos Radio Show2021-04-13 08:57:122021-04-13 08:57:12PODCAST: Maybe Workers Just Aren’t That Into You, Unions!
Hans von Spakovsky is an authority on a wide range of issues – including civil rights, civil justice, the First Amendment, immigration, the rule of law and government reform — as a senior legal fellow in The Heritage Foundation’s Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies. His analysis and commentary have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Times, Politico, Human Events, National Review Online and Townhall. Along with John Fund, he is the co-author of Who’s Counting? How Fraudsters and Bureaucrats Put Your Vote at Risk and Obama’s Enforcer: Eric Holder’s Justice Department.
TOPIC: HR1/For the People Act imperils free and fair elections. Here are the worst 8 parts!
Maxford Nelsen is the director of labor policy for the Freedom Foundation. Max regularly testifies before local governments and state legislatures and submits formal comments to federal agencies considering regulatory actions affecting labor policy. His research has formed the basis of several briefs submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court. Max’s work has been published in local newspapers around the country and in national outlets like the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, The Hill, National Review and the American Spectator. He has also discussed his work in interviews featured on Fox News, PBS News Hour, One America News, and Newsmax. He is regularly interviewed on local radio and TV stations in the Pacific Northwest.
TOPIC: Unions and Democrats Attack the Right to Work
https://libertyfirst.org/wp-content/uploads/logo_v6_225x110.png00Conservative Commandos Radio Showhttps://libertyfirst.org/wp-content/uploads/logo_v6_225x110.pngConservative Commandos Radio Show2021-03-16 06:19:472021-03-16 06:19:47PODCAST: Unions and Democrats Attack the Right to Work
U.S. District Judge Drew E. Tipton grants order to restrain Biden administration from implementing its “Immediate 100-Day Pause on Removals” of illegal criminal aliens.
Judge Tipton wrote:
“This preliminary injunction shall remain in effect pending a final resolution of the merits of this case or until a further Order from this Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit or the United States Supreme Court.”
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State of Texas v. United States of America and Fiel Houston, et al., Intervenor-Defendants. 6:21-cv-00003
On January 20, 2021, Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary David Pekoske sent a memorandum to the leadership of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and Citizenship and Immigration Service (CIS). The memorandum instructed the agencies to ignore federal law by stopping all deportations and releasing detained illegal aliens into the general public. This would also cause local law enforcement agencies across the country to release detained illegal criminally charged aliens.
On January 26, 2021, United States District Judge Drew Tipton, a Trump appointee, granted a temporary restraining order sought by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, saying the state had demonstrated a likelihood of facing immediate harm from Biden’s pause. The court order will be in effect for 14 days while Judge Tipton considered a broader motion by the state for a preliminary injunction.
Florida Family Association sent out an email alert on January 27, 2021 titled: Federal judge blocks Biden’s order to stop deporting illegal criminal aliens. The email encouraged subscribers to send emails that expressed appreciation for his ruling and encouraged him to extend the restraining order.
On February 8, 2021, Judge Tipton extended the TRO until February 23, 2021 to allow both parties time to more fully prepare and submit their arguments. Florida Family Association sent out another email alert that encouraged subscribers to send emails that expressed appreciation for his ruling and encouraged him to extend the restraining order.
On February 23, 2021, Judge Tipton extended his order restraining the Biden administration from allowing illegal criminal aliens to walk free. The conclusion to his 105 page order states:
For the foregoing reasons, the Court GRANTS Texas’s Motion for Preliminary Injunction.
(Dkt. No. 62). Therefore, it is hereby ORDERED that:
1. Defendants and all their respective officers, agents, servants, employees, attorneys, and other persons who are in active concert or participation with them are hereby ENJOINED and RESTRAINED from enforcing and implementing the policies described in the January 20 Memorandum in Section C entitled “Immediate 100-Day Pause on Removals.”(Dkt. No. 2-2 at 4–5).
2. This preliminary injunction is granted on a nationwide basis and prohibits enforcement and implementation of the policies described in the January 20 Memorandum in Section C entitled “Immediate100-Day Pause on Removals” in every place Defendant shave jurisdiction to enforce and implement the January 20 Memorandum.
3. This preliminary injunction shall remain in effect pending a final resolution of the merits of this case or until a further Order from this Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit or the United States Supreme Court
This is great news!
Sadly, the following states filed a BRIEF FOR AMICI CURIAE that countered Texas’ lawsuit that seeks to restrain the Biden administration from allowing illegal criminal aliens to walk free:
The District of Columbia
It would appear that these states are okay with allowing illegal aliens with criminal convictions to be released into neighborhoods in their states.
What impact would Biden’s evil order have on Americans’ safety? Just consider these ICE Statistics reported in part from ice.gov:
Administrative and Criminal Arrests: In FY 2020, ICE ERO conducted 103,603 administrative arrests 90 percent of those arrested had criminal convictions or pending criminal charges at the time of arrest.
Removals: ICE ERO conducted 185,884 removals during FY 2020. The vast majority of ICE ERO’s interior removals – 92 percent – had criminal convictions or pending criminal charges, demonstrating ICE ERO’s commitment to removing those who pose the greatest risk to the safety and security of the United States.
Public safety would be destroyed as we know it if the Biden order allows close to 300,000 illegal aliens, more than 90 percent with criminal charges, to remain in towns across America every year. Biden should not be legally permitted to essentially repeal federal law by ordering ICE to stop enforcing it. If Biden wants that to happen then he needs congress to repeal the federal statute.
Florida Family Association will continue to follow this case and keep you posted.
https://libertyfirst.org/wp-content/uploads/logo_v6_225x110.png00Florida Family Associationhttps://libertyfirst.org/wp-content/uploads/logo_v6_225x110.pngFlorida Family Association2021-02-28 07:23:222021-02-28 07:23:22Judge Socks It To The Left
The Biden Administration’s assault on the energy industry is moving at lightning speed. What a disaster. President Trump warned everyone that this would happen if Joe Biden was elected POTUS.
Beijing Biden administration is a wrecking ball to America. Period. Whoever voted for these destroyers is guilty of “insurrection.”
Biden’s climate order halting drilling on federal lands will kill 58K jobs, oil group warns
By Fox News, January 28, 2021 Kathleen Sgamma, president of the Western Energy Alliance, argued on Thursday that President Biden’sorder to halt drilling on federal lands will kill 58,700 jobs in eight states in the West, “where over 97% of the federal production is found.”
Sgamma made the argument on “Fox & Friends” the morning after Biden announced his executive order which the president said, “directs the secretary of the interior to stop issuing new oil and gas leases on public lands and offshore waters.”
“We are going to start properly manage lands and waterways in ways that allow us to protect, preserve the full value that they provide for us for future generations,” President Biden added.
On Wednesday Western Energy Alliance, which represents 200 oil and natural gas companies, filed a lawsuit challenging Biden’s executive order banning oil and natural gas leasing on federal public lands, according to a news release. The release cited the complaint which, “challenges Biden’s order as exceeding presidential authority and constituting a violation of the Mineral Leasing Act, National Environmental Policy Act, and the Federal Lands Policy and Management Act.”
Sgamma pointed to a study from the American Petroleum Industry, which she noted revealed “about 10.3 million people directly or indirectly derive their wages and income from the oil and natural gas industry.”
She noted that the impact of President Biden’s executive order to halt drilling on federal lands would be “felt the most” in the West, “where there is about 700 million acres of federal land,” stressing that she was referring to “working landscapes in the west that are owned and managed by the federal government.”
She noted that Yosemite National Park and Yellowstone National Park were excluded because they are “protected areas.”
Biden signed a total of 17 executive orders within minutes of entering the Oval Office for the first time on Wednesday. The orders reversed a number of Trump administration policies and covered areas Biden identified as his priorities on the campaign trail, including climate change.
In addition to temporarily suspending oil and gas permits on federal lands and waters, Biden halted the Keystone XL oil pipeline project in the series of orders aimed at tamping down the U.S. fossil fuel industry and combating climate change.
In remarks made by Biden on Wednesday before signing executive actions on tackling climate change, the president pointed to “a key plank” of his Build Back Better Recovery Plan, which he noted “is building a modern, resilient climate infrastructure and clean energy future that will create millions of good-paying union jobs.”
“This notion that killing oil and natural gas is suddenly going to create jobs elsewhere is just a false one,” Sgamma said.
“The energy we use in the United States, over 70% of it comes from oil and natural gas so people still need to drive their cars, they need to heat their homes, they need to turn on the switch and have reliable electricity 24/7,” she continued.
REPORT: Joe Biden’s Proposal to Raise National Minimum Wage to $15 Could ‘Kill 3.7 Million Jobs’ https://t.co/OLDjwlu6cj
https://libertyfirst.org/wp-content/uploads/logo_v6_225x110.png00Pamela Gellerhttps://libertyfirst.org/wp-content/uploads/logo_v6_225x110.pngPamela Geller2021-01-30 07:45:112021-01-30 07:45:11Biden’s climate order HALTING drilling on federal lands KILLS 58K jobs
We should not be surprised by these egregious statements from John Kerry. Kerry is one of the most detestable politicians we have ever seen. He was an awful secretary of state. And he will cause significant economic damage to America as President Biden’s climate czar.
America has no greater enemy than the Democrat party of treason and destruction.
Rich, out-of-touch Dems lecture the thousands of blue-collar union members whose jobs are being deliberately destroyed by the Biden admin:
THIS IS REAL: John Kerry Says Fired Energy Workers Can Simply ‘Go Make Solar Panels’
By Sean Hannity, January 27, 2021
White House Climate Czar John Kerry spoke with reporters during a daily press briefing Wednesday; telling recently fired energy workers they can simply “go build solar panels” under the Biden administration.
“There are people who will hear this message that they will see an end to their livelihoods. What do you say to them?” asked on reporter. “What is your message to them right now?”
“What President Biden wants to do is make sure that those folks have better choices… That they can be the people to go to work to make the solar panels,” said Kerry.
“The same people can do those jobs!” he added.
John Kerry is asked what his message would be to oil and gas workers who "see an end to their livelihoods":
"What President Biden wants to do is make sure that those folks have better choices… That they can be the people to go to work to make the solar panels." pic.twitter.com/i9TYXlD9Jg
https://libertyfirst.org/wp-content/uploads/logo_v6_225x110.png00Pamela Gellerhttps://libertyfirst.org/wp-content/uploads/logo_v6_225x110.pngPamela Geller2021-01-29 04:12:342021-01-29 04:12:34John Kerry Says Of Fired Energy Workers ‘Let Them Make Solar Panels’
A new president was sworn in yesterday and despite our differences, we wish him well. President Biden has signaled he’ll embark on an ambitious agenda. Here are four fights we’ll be closely watching: The battle over borders. Biden immediately threw down the gauntlet with a big move on immigration. He announced plans to send to Congress a sweeping immigration bill that includes far-reaching amnesty provisions, a fast track for Dreamers, expanded access to the United States, and whiffs on border security. Conservative rejection was swift. “A mass amnesty with no safeguards and no strings attached is a nonstarter,” said Senator Chuck Grassley. Biden signed a flurry of first-day executive actions, including rescinding the travel ban, rolling back immigration enforcement, and halting construction on the border wall. The battle over Big Tech. As the world now knows, with days left in his presidency, Donald Trump was banned by Twitter, suspended by Facebook, and kicked off YouTube and Snapchat—an effective silencing of the president of the United States. Many other conservative voices have been silenced too. Judicial Watch’s own Tom Fitton was suspended from Twitter for an innocuous tweet about hydroxychloroquine—the exact same tweet that Tom had repeatedly posted and that Twitter had found in September to be not in violation of its rules. Big Tech’s concentration of power and impact on free speech has become too blatant to ignore. In 2021, watch for the battle over Big Tech to move to Congress and the courts. The battle over Trump. The former president has decamped to Florida but he is certain to stay in the news. He leaves a legacy of conservative judges, deregulation, and economic growth. His adversaries are circling with a second impeachment trial, a criminal investigation by the Manhattan district attorney, a federal tax probe, defamation lawsuits, and an assault on his worldwide business holdings. The harassment and troubles will not cease, but he remains a potent force in Republican politics. How will he use that power? The political world will be watching closely. The battle over Biden. With his son’s business dealings—including with the controversial Ukrainian energy firm Burisma—under FBI investigation, President Biden’s Justice Department faces pressure to hand off the probe to a special counsel, a development that will engulf the new administration in controversy. On the legislative front, as an old Washington hand, the new president knows that the window of opportunity closes fast. Next January, will President Biden have a record of legislative achievement, the pandemic erased, the economy growing? Or will he be seen as feckless and wavering, unable to achieve his goals, captive to his party’s left wing?
Time will tell.
The view from here: doubling down on a Senate impeachment trial while pursuing a politically risky immigration deal is not a smart start. COLUMN BY
https://libertyfirst.org/wp-content/uploads/logo_v6_225x110.png00Judicial Watchhttps://libertyfirst.org/wp-content/uploads/logo_v6_225x110.pngJudicial Watch2021-01-26 06:50:202021-01-26 06:50:202021 Forecast: Four Fights to Watch
“Trade unions are a school of communism.” – Vladimir Lenin “I believed at that time that Mr. Sorrell was a Communist because of all the things that I had heard and having seen his name appearing on a number of Commie front things. When he pulled the strike, the first people to smear me and put me on the unfair list were all of the Commie front organizations. I can’t remember them all, they change so often, but one that is clear in my mind is the League of Women Shoppers, The People’s World, The Daily Worker, and the PM magazine in New York. They smeared me.” – Walt Disney, testimony before the House Committee on Un-American Activities.
Labor leader Andy Stern has seen the future. There’s no freedom there, but he’s OK with that. Mr. Stern, a former president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), recently returned from a trip to China, where he had the opportunity to meet with “high-ranking” government officials, who outlined for the former labor leader the authoritarian regime’s long-term economic plan.
Mr. Stern was so enamored with what he saw in the Middle Kingdom that he praised the communist country’s state-planned economy in the pages of the Wall Street Journal and urged the United States to embark on a similar path. Among the more revolting passages of Mr. Stern’s love letter to Leninism:
“The conservative-preferred, free-market fundamentalist, shareholder-only model – so successful in the 20th century – is being thrown onto the trash heap of history in the 21st century. In an era when countries need to become economic teams, Team USA’s results – a jobless decade, 30 years of flat median wages, a trade deficit, a shrinking middle class and phenomenal gains in wealth but only for the top 1 percent – are pathetic. This should motivate leaders to rethink, rather than double down on an empirically failing free-market extremism.”
The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) represents most government workers. SEIU is “the second largest union of public service employees with more than 1 million local and state government workers, public school employees, bus drivers, and child care providers – including 80,000 early learning and child care professionals.” The SEIU website states:
We are the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), a union of about 2 million diverse members in healthcare, the public sector and property services who believe in and fight for our Vision for a Just Society: where all workers are valued and all people respected—no matter where we come from or what color we are; where all families and communities can thrive; and where we leave a better and more equitable world for generations to come.
Unions and Communism in Hollywood.
This has been a topic of interest to many. When did Communists first make an impact on Hollywood? Perhaps we should look at the forced unionization of Disney Studios in 1941. Jim Korkis, an internationally respected animation historian who in recent years has devoted his attention to the many worlds of Disney, in a December 20, 2019 Cartoon Research article titled In His Own Words: Herb Sorrell and the 1941 Disney Strike wrote:
[Herbert K.] Sorrell under Bridges’ guidance had led two violent strikes in the Bay Area that he later bragged were secretly funded by the Communists. Sorrell was later responsible in the mid-1940s for several strikes that paralyzed Hollywood and pitted him against Screen Actor’s Guild President Ronald Reagan.
Herb Sorrell learned of the concerns and fears of the staff at the Disney Studios and was instrumental in leading them out on strike against the studio on May 29th, 1941.
[ … ]
Walt told a newspaper columnist that he was “convinced that this entire mess was Communist inspired and led” and that “I’m not licked; I’m incensed” and that “I am thoroughly disgusted and would gladly quit and try to establish myself in another business if it were not for the loyal guys who believe in me…..I have a case of the D.D.s — disillusionment and discouragement.” Read more.
Walt Disney appeared before the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1947. He warned about how his company and America was at risk of a Communist take over. Watch:
A powerful actor known equally for his off-screen volatility and his on-camera intensity, Penn has staked out a position along, and sometimes over, the left flank of the political debate.
Abroad, he has visited Iran and Cuba and befriended Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez; at home, he has been more likely to show up with Ralph Nader than with mainstream Democrats. Penn’s causes have ranged from opposition to the 2003 Iraq invasion to support for gay rights.
Here’s what Brownstein wrote about Paul Newman:
Until his death in 2008, Newman remained a mainstay in liberal politics, part of the “Malibu Mafia” of Los Angeles donors who helped launch George McGovern’s insurgency in 1972, a prominent advocate of a nuclear freeze in the 1980s and part owner of the Nation magazine in the 1990s. He used the proceeds from his eponymous Newman’s Own food line to fund wide-ranging philanthropies.
For all his achievements, Newman once said that his greatest accomplishment was appearing on Richard Nixon’s enemies’ list.
And Michael J. Fox was also named in the top 20 activists by Brownstein:
In 2006, Fox effectively campaigned for several Democratic candidates who supported stem-cell research, most memorably appearing in an ad that helped Claire McCaskill win a Senate seat in Missouri. The ad, which dramatically featured Fox shaking uncontrollably, was instantly attacked by Rush Limbaugh, but the criticism backfired and compounded the ad’s impact.
Walt Disney Testimony Before House Committee Transcript
The Testimony of Walter E. Disney
Before the House Committee on Un-American Activities
24 October, 1947
[ROBERT E.] STRIPLING [CHIEF INVESTIGATOR]: Mr. Disney, will you state your full name and present address, please?
WALTER DISNEY: Walter E. Disney, Los Angeles, California.
RES: When and where were you born, Mr. Disney?
WD: Chicago, Illinois, December 5, 1901.
RES: December 5, 1901?
WD: Yes, sir.
RES: What is your occupation?
WD: Well, I am a producer of motion-picture cartoons.
RES: Mr. Chairman, the interrogation of Mr. Disney will be done by Mr.
THE CHAIRMAN [J. PARNELL THOMAS]: Mr. Smith.
[H. A.] SMITH: Mr. Disney, how long have you been in that business?
WD: Since 1920.
HAS: You have been in Hollywood during this time?
WD: I have been in Hollywood since 1923.
HAS: At the present time you own and operate the Walt Disney Studio at
WD: Well, I am one of the owners. Part owner.
HAS: How many people are employed there, approximately?
WD: At the present time about 600.
HAS: And what is the approximate largest number of employees you have had in the studio?
WD: Well, close to 1,400 at times.
HAS: Will you tell us a little about the nature of this particular studio, the type of pictures you make, and approximately how many per year?
WD: Well, mainly cartoon films. We make about twenty short subjects, and about two features a year.
HAS: Will you talk just a little louder, Mr. Disney?
WD: Yes, sir.
HAS: How many, did you say?
WD: About twenty short subject cartoons and about two features per year.
HAS: And some of the characters in the films consist of
WD: You mean such as Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs , and things of that sort.
HAS: Where are these films distributed?
WD: All over the world.
HAS: In all countries of the world?
WD: Well, except the Russian countries.
HAS: Why aren’t they distributed in Russia, Mr. Disney?
WD: Well, we can’t do business with them.
HAS: What do you mean by that?
WD: Oh, well, we have sold them some films a good many years ago. They bought the Three Little Pigs  and used it through Russia. And they looked at a lot of our pictures, and I think they ran a lot of them in Russia, but then turned them back to us and said they didn’t want them, they didn’t suit their purposes.
HAS: Is the dialogue in these films translated into the various foreign languages?
WD: Yes. On one film we did ten foreign versions. That was Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
HAS: Have you ever made any pictures in your studio that contained propaganda and that were propaganda films?
WD: Well, during the war we did. We made quite a few-working with different government agencies. We did one for the Treasury on taxes and I did four anti-Hitler films. And I did one on my own for air power.
HAS: From those pictures that you made, have you any opinion as to whether or not the films can be used effectively to disseminate propaganda?
WD: Yes, I think they proved that.
HAS: How do you arrive at that conclusion?
WD: Well, on the one for the Treasury on taxes, it was to let the people know that taxes were important in the war effort. As they explained to me, they had 13,000,000 new taxpayers, people who had never paid taxes, and they explained that it would be impossible to prosecute all those that were delinquent and they wanted to put this story before those people so they would get their taxes in early. I made the film, and after the film had its run the Gallup poll organization polled the public and the findings were that twenty-nine percent of the people admitted that had influenced them in getting their taxes in early and giving them a picture of what taxes will do.
HAS: Aside from those pictures you made during the war, have you made any other pictures, or do you permit pictures to be made at your studio containing propaganda?
WD: No; we never have. During the war we thought it was a different thing. It was the first time we ever allowed anything like that to go in the films. We watch so that nothing gets into the films that would be harmful in any way to any group or any country. We have large audiences of children and different groups, and we try to keep them as free from anything that would offend anybody as possible. We work hard to see that nothing of that sort creeps in.
HAS: Do you have any people in your studio at the present time that you believe are Communist or Fascist, employed there?
WD: No; at the present time I feel that everybody in my studio is one-hundred-percent American.
HAS: Have you had at any time, in your opinion, in the past, have you at any time in the past had any Communists employed at your studio?
WD: Yes; in the past I had some people that I definitely feel were Communists.
HAS: As a matter of fact, Mr. Disney, you experienced a strike at your studio, did you not?
HAS: And is it your opinion that that strike was instituted by members of the Communist Party to serve their purposes?
WD: Well, it proved itself so with time, and I definitely feel it was a Communist group trying to take over my artists and they did take them over.
CHAIRMAN: Do you say they did take them over?
WD: They did take them over.
HAS: Will you explain that to the committee, please?
WD: It came to my attention when a delegation of my boys, my artists, came to me and told me that Mr. Herbert Sorrell
HAS: Is that Herbert K. Sorrell?
WD: Herbert K. Sorrell, was trying to take them over. I explained to them that it was none of my concern, that I had been cautioned to not even talk with any of my boys on labor. They said it was not a matter of labor, it was just a matter of them not wanting to go with Sorrell, and they had heard that I was going to sign with Sorrell, and they said that they wanted an election to prove that Sorrell didn’t have the majority, and I said that I had a right to demand an election. So when Sorrell came, I demanded an election. Sorrell wanted me to sign on a bunch of cards that he had there that he claimed were the majority, but the other side had claimed the same thing. I told Mr. Sorrell that there is only one way for me to go and that was an election and that is what the law had set up, the National Labor Relations Board was for that purpose. He laughed at me and he said that he would use the Labor Board as it suited his purposes and that he had been sucker enough to go for that Labor Board ballot and he had lost some election-I can’t remember the name of the place-by one vote. He said it took him two years to get it back. He said he would strike, that that was his weapon. He said, “I have all of the tools of the trade sharpened,” that I couldn’t stand the ridicule or the smear of a strike. I told him that it was a matter of principle with me, that I couldn’t go on working with my boys feeling that I had sold them down the river to him on his say-so, and he laughed at me and told me I was naive and foolish. He said, you can’t stand this strike, I will smear
you, and I will make a dust bowl out of your plant.
CHAIRMAN: What was that?
WD: He said he would make a dust bowl out of my plant if he chose to. I told him I would have to go that way, sorry, that he might be able to do all that, but I would have to stand on that. The result was that he struck. I believed at that time that Mr. Sorrell was a Communist because of all the things that I had heard and having seen his name appearing on a number of Commie front things. When he pulled the strike, the first people to smear me and put me on the unfair list were all of the Commie front organizations. I can’t remember them all, they change so often, but one that is clear in my mind is the League of Women Shoppers, The People’s World, The Daily Worker, and the PM magazine in New York. They smeared me. Nobody came near to find out what the true facts of the thing were. And I even went through the same smear in South America, through some Commie periodicals in South America, and generally throughout the world all of the Commie groups
began smear campaigns against me and my pictures.
JOHN MCDOWELL: In what fashion was that smear, Mr. Disney, what type of smear?
WD: Well, they distorted everything, they lied; there was no way you could ever counteract anything that they did; they formed picket lines in front of the theaters, and, well, they called my plant a sweatshop, and that is not true, and anybody in Hollywood would prove it otherwise. They claimed things that were not true at all and there was no way you could fight it back. It was not a labor problem at all because-I mean, I have never had labor trouble, and I think that would be backed up by anybody in Hollywood.
HAS: As a matter of fact, you have how many unions operating in your plant?
CHAIRMAN: Excuse me just a minute. I would like to ask a question.
HAS: Pardon me.
CHAIRMAN: In other words, Mr. Disney, Communists out there smeared you because you wouldn’t knuckle under?
WD: I wouldn’t go along with their way of operating. I insisted on it going through the National Labor Relations Board. And he told me outright that he used them as it suited his purposes.
CHAIRMAN: Supposing you had given in to him, then what would have been the outcome?
WD: Well, I would never have given in to him, because it was a matter of principle with me, and I fight for principles. My boys have been there, have grown up in the business with me, and I didn’t feel like I could sign them over to anybody. They were vulnerable at that time. They were not organized. It is a new industry.
CHAIRMAN: Go ahead, Mr. Smith.
HAS: How many labor unions, approximately, do you have operating in your studios at the present time?
WD: Well, we operate with around thirty-five-I think we have contacts with thirty.
HAS: At the time of this strike you didn’t have any grievances or labor troubles whatsoever in your plant?
WD: No. The only real grievance was between Sorrell and the boys within my plant, they demanding an election, and they never got it.
HAS: Do you recall having had any conversations with Mr. Sorrell relative to Communism?
WD: Yes, I do.
HAS: Will you relate that conversation?
WD: Well, I didn’t pull my punches on how I felt. He evidently heard that I had called them all a bunch of Communists-and I believe they are. At the meeting he leaned over and he said, “You think I am a Communist, don’t you,” and I told him that all I knew was what I heard and what I had seen, and he laughed and said, “Well, I used their money to finance my strike of 1937,” and he said that he had gotten the money through the personal check of some actor, but he didn’t name the actor. I didn’t go into it any further. I just listened.
HAS: Can you name any other individuals that were active at the time of the strike that you believe in your opinion are Communists?
WD: Well, I feel that there is one artist in my plant, that came in there, he came in about 1938, and he sort of stayed in the background, he wasn’t too active, but he was the real brains of this, and I
believe he is a Communist. His name is David Hilberman.
HAS: How is it spelled?
WD: H-i-l-b-e-r-m-a-n, I believe. I looked into his record and I found that, number 1, that he had no religion and, number 2, that he had spent considerable time at the Moscow Art Theatre studying art direction, or something.
HAS: Any others, Mr. Disney?
WD: Well, I think Sorrell is sure tied up with them. If he isn’t a Communist, he sure should be one.
HAS: Do you remember the name of William Pomerance, did he have anything to do with it?
WD: Yes, sir. He came in later. Sorrell put him in charge as business manager of cartoonists and later he went to the Screen Actors as their business agent, and in turn he put in another man by the name of Maurice Howard, the present business agent. And they are all tied up with the same outfit.
HAS: What is your opinion of Mr. Pomerance and Mr. Howard as to whether or not they are or are not Communists?
WD: In my opinion they are Communists. No one has any way of proving those things.
HAS: Were you able to produce during the strike?
WD: Yes, I did, because there was a very few, very small majority that was on the outside, and all the other unions ignored all the lines because of the setup of the thing.
HAS: What is your personal opinion of the Communist Party, Mr. Disney, as to whether or not it is a political party?
WD: Well, I don’t believe it is a political party. I believe it is an un-American thing. The thing that I resent the most is that they are able to get into these unions, take them over, and represent to the
world that a group of people that are in my plant, that I know are good, one-hundred-percent Americans, are trapped by this group, and they are represented to the world as supporting all of those
ideologies, and it is not so, and I feel that they really ought to be smoked out and shown up for what they are, so that all of the good, free causes in this country, all the liberalisms that really are
American, can go out without the taint of communism. That is my sincere feeling on it.
HAS: Do you feel that there is a threat of Communism in the motion-picture industry?
WD: Yes, there is, and there are many reasons why they would like to take it over or get in and control it, or disrupt it, but I don’t think they have gotten very far, and I think the industry is made up
of good Americans, just like in my plant, good, solid Americans. My boys have been fighting it longer than I have. They are trying to get out from under it and they will in time if we can just show them up.
HAS: There are presently pending before this committee two bills relative to outlawing the Communist Party. What thoughts have you as to whether or not those bills should be passed?
WD: Well, I don’t know as I qualify to speak on that. I feel if the thing can be proven un-American that it ought to be outlawed. I think in some way it should be done without interfering with the rights of the people. I think that will be done. I have that faith. Without interfering, I mean, with the good, American rights that we all have now, and we want to preserve.
HAS: Have you any suggestions to offer as to how the industry can be helped in fighting this menace?
WD: Well, I think there is a good start toward it. I know that I have been handicapped out there in fighting it, because they have been hiding behind this labor setup, they get themselves closely tied up in the labor thing, so that if you try to get rid of them they make a labor case out of it. We must keep the American labor unions clean. We have got to fight for them.
HAS: That is all of the questions I have, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN: Mr. Vail.
R. B. VAIL: No questions.
CHAIRMAN: Mr. McDowell.
J. MCDOWELL: No questions.
JM: I have no questions. You have been a good witness.
WD: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN: Mr. Disney, you are the fourth producer we have had as a witness, and each one of those four producers said, generally speaking, the same thing, and that is that the Communists have made inroads, have attempted inroads. I just want to point that out because there seems to be a very strong unanimity among the producers that have testified before us. In addition to producers, we have had actors and writers testify to the same. There is no doubt but what the movies are probably the greatest medium for entertainment in the United States and in the world. I think you, as a creator of entertainment, probably are one of the greatest examples in the profession. I want to congratulate you on the form of entertainment which you have given the American people and given the world and congratulate you for taking time out to come here and testify before this committee. He has been very helpful. Do you have any more questions, Mr. Stripling?
HAS: I am sure he does not have any more, Mr. Chairman.
RES: No; I have no more questions.
CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much, Mr. Disney.
Source: Peary & Peary’s anthology, “The American Animated Cartoon,” copyright 1980, published by Dutton, ISBN 0-525-47639-3
https://libertyfirst.org/wp-content/uploads/logo_v6_225x110.png00Dr. Rich Swierhttps://libertyfirst.org/wp-content/uploads/logo_v6_225x110.pngDr. Rich Swier2021-01-25 08:25:072021-01-25 08:25:07VIDEO: In 1947 Walt Disney Testified Before Congress About Communists in America — He Was Right!
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