Tag: Labor

California’s Pension Tsunami Swells as Pension Benefits Surge »

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) is the nation’s largest public pension fund. It also has massive unfunded liabilities, as much as $290 billion depending on the calculation method. Many are quick to blame the Great Recession and its low investment returns for the unfunded debts. But new data uncovered by the Sacramento...
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Political Hustle by Fast Food Workers »

Within the past week or so, the employees of fast food restaurants in several major U.S. cities went “on strike” for a day to demand a so-called living wage of $15 per hour, more than twice the current federal minimum hourly wage of $7.25. I will not rehearse the economic analysis of the minimum...
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Time for Taxpayer Protections on California Transportation Projects »

The new span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge is $5 billion over its original budget and nine years past its initial completion date. Such massive cost overruns and delays have shocked the public but one key question never gets asked, or answered: Why should taxpayers be on the hook for overruns? They shouldn’t,...
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Time To Unload the BART Gravy Train »

Last week’s Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) strike created the world’s largest parking lot, as 400,000 commuters who usually ride BART trains each day sat in cars and buses trying to move through the gridlocked Oakland/San Francisco Bay Area. Last Friday, the two striking unions agreed to return to work for 30 days while...
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Robert William Fogel (July 1, 1926—June 11, 2013) »

Robert Fogel died a few days ago. He was a prominent figure in the academic economic history profession for five decades, virtually from the time he burst onto the scene with the publication of a polished-up version of his Johns Hopkins Ph.D. dissertation, Railroads and American Economic Growth, in 1964. This book was the...
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Happy May Day »

It’s May Day—International Workers’ Day—a time for us to celebrate the workers of the world, who, as Marx told us, had nothing to lose but their chains and therefore would inevitably mount a worldwide revolution to throw off the hated capitalist system that had forged their chains. But something happened on the way to...
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TSA, the $1,022.95 Pocketknife, and Why Your Flight is Delayed »

A rancher* friend of ours—fancying himself a free man, self-sufficient, and disinclined to outsiders’ meddling—was stopped in airport security not too long ago, caught carrying a fancy pocketknife: the Mini Leatherman at right, in fact, a handy all-in-one tool just right for a working man. Not taking kindly to the suggestion that he give...
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Goodbye, “America’s Most Challenging High School.” Hello, Ebonics? »

The school rated “America’s Most Challenging High School” by the Washington Post is about to get an extreme makeover. With the surrounding Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) producing a drop-out rate double that for the rest of California, the American Indian Model Charter School clearly poses an embarrassment to the OUSD’s unionized teachers and...
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Labor Markets Are Still in Bad Shape »

The recent report that the standard (U-3) rate of unemployment fell to 7.7 percent last month seems to have stirred considerable joy in Mudville. But before we spend a lot of time shouting huzzahs, we might well bear in mind a few other data and, of course, recall that not so long ago, a...
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NLRB: A Rogue Agency? »

Earlier this week, I posted about the recent Court of Appeals decision finding that Obama violated the Constitution when making “recess appointments” when the Senate was not in recess. Well, over at Breitbart, there is an article on the response from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). At base, the NLRB has decided to...
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