Category: Union Matters

How President Trump's Pick for U.S. Trade Representative Could Change the Trade Game

Scott Paul

Scott Paul Director, AAM

President Trump won the presidency, at least in part, because of his messaging on trade. Robert Lighthizer, Trump's pick for U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), is likely to be among the officials charged with helping Trump implement his trade agenda. On this episode of The Manufacturing Report, host Scott Paul and Scott Boos, senior VP of Government Affairs and Policy at the Alliance for American Manufacturing, discuss what we can expect from Lighthizer and the Trump trade team.

I'm Writing to Express My Approval of Trump's Budget Plan, Which is the Greatest of All Plans

Dear Senator,

As you know, Trump's budget plan was released, and he proposes making cuts to EVERY program and agency, and even completely eliminating some, except the ones with guns and tanks and stuff.

Some of the programs on the cutting block are the Labor Department (I think Trump thinks this relates to women giving birth), Housing Assistance (poor people should just live outside like animals), National Institutes of Health (only weaklings get diseases), the Education Department (children can just be taught by transgender bears trained by Betsy DeVos), and the Environmental Protection Agency (screw those people in West Virginia whose water is getting polluted and giving them cancer).

He is also proposing the elimination of the Corporation for National and Community Service, which would cripple if not destroy the AmeriCorps and SeniorCorps programs, two national service organizations that directly affect thousands of vulnerable people in the Pittsburgh area, in which I live, and hundreds of thousands around the country (hahaha losers). Meals on Wheels would also be targeted, because those elderly folks should just get off their diapered butts and get to the store and buy their own food with the money they don’t have like everyone else, am I right?

I hope by now you sense my sarcasm. Because everything about this plan is a flaming hot pile of garbage, and if any of these proposed cuts even gets entertained by my representatives and senators, I will find someone else to vote for when they’re up for re-election.

Sincerely disappointed,

Ms. Justice

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You can find Ms. Justice on Twitter here.

Please don’t say “overhaul” when you mean “cut.”

Jared Bernstein

Jared Bernstein Senior Fellow, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

I love my morning Budget Tracker update from Congressional Quarterly almost as much as I love my morning coffee. It provides that quick, efficient dive into the daily budget weeds that wonks like me crave (sorry, it’s behind a paywall).

So I was disheartened to see them fall into this trap that I’ve been pretty keyed up about of late (my bold):

Republican lawmakers made clear Wednesday that any efforts to overhaul entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare are now on the legislative back burner.

Readers are somehow required to know that “overhaul” means “cut.” This being the Budget Tracker, most readers probably know the translation, but this is not the time for squishy, ambiguous language.

I’m not sure when that time will come, but until then, people writing about these issues need to call it like it is.

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This was reposted from On the Economy.

The Manufacturing Report: Economist Rob Scott on why 3.4 million jobs were lost to China

Rob Scott from the Economic Policy Institute joins Scott Paul to talk about how lopsided trade with China led to the loss of 3.4 million jobs between 2001 and 2015. Nearly three-fourths of these jobs were in manufacturing. Closing the trade deficit is the first step in creating new U.S. factory jobs, Scott argues.

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Reposted from Soundcloud.

ACA Repeal Would Cost More than Just People’s Health

The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) this week released an interactive map that you can use to see how many jobs would be lost in your state if Congress repeals the Affordable Care Act. Because aside from 29.8 million people across the nation losing their health coverage, 1.2 million jobs would be lost too.

The ACA has helped millions of Americans afford their care. Without that support, these people will have less money to spend on things like food and rent. When you connect the dots, you see that “fewer dollars spent at grocery stores and other businesses means 1.2 million jobs would be lost.”

According to the EPI map, some of the hardest hit states that would suffer the most job losses are Kentucky, West Virginia, and New Mexico.

Kentucky is also one of the many states embroiled in tense emotions in regards to Obamacare with Sen. Mitch McConnell fully supporting its repeal. Citizens have been confronting the senator fiercely and speaking out about the devastating effects the repeal would have on their health, their families, and their communities.

Just like Trump’s new deportation rules could cost the economy trillions, nixing the ACA could do the same thing and have the same overwhelming economic impact.

 

Term Limit Supreme Court Justices

Hugh J. Campbell

Hugh J. Campbell Son of a steelworker, Philadelphia, Pa.

The Washington Post article Why it’s time to get serious about Supreme Court term limits focuses on the politicization resulting from the open SCOTUS seat after Antonin Scalia's death and that nearly every other country in the world subjects their high court justices to limited terms or mandatory retirement ages.

There is widespread support for term limits among the general public. In 2015, two-thirds of Americans supported a 10-year term limit on Supreme Court justices, according to a Reuters-Ipsos poll. Only 17 percent said they supported life tenure. Sixty-six percent of Democrats and 74 percent of Republicans supported the proposal - a strong, and rare, show of bipartisanship.

"The Constitution was written at a time when life tenure meant living into your 50s because that's what life expectancy was," legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, author of two books on the Supreme Court, has noted. "Thirty-year tenures are not what the framers had in mind."

Term Limits would mean a court that more accurately reflects the changes and judgments of the society.

Forcing Trump to make recess appointments would create SCOTUS term limits of as short as less than one year, thereby putting the proverbial “gun to the head” of the establishment to seriously consider a constitutional amendment which is necessary for supreme court justice term limits.


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Women -- and Men -- Marched in Valparaiso, Including USW Members

By Terry Steagall
USW Local 1010

The Women’s March in Chicago was being planned with an estimate of approximately 22.000 attendees. I  was going to attend, and I saw an article in the local newspaper that a 65-year-old woman, Charlotte Friedlund, decided to organize a Woman’s March in Valparaiso. I decided I should support the Women’s March in Valparaiso, since there would be more than enough support in Chicago.

Little did I know, the Women’s March in Chicago would reach 250,000 people! The march in Washington reached 500,000 people and the total would be two million people nationwide.

Well, I went to the Women’s March in Valparaiso, in a city of approximately 32,000 people and we had approximately 500 people surround the Porter County Court house on the Square from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m., on Saturday, in solidarity for women’s rights and human rights. We were loud, we were proud, we were peaceful and we sent a message to President Trump!

It’s time for America to “Stand Up and Fight Back”, because the Republicans have control of the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives.

More ...

Eliminate Closed Primaries

Hugh J. Campbell

Hugh J. Campbell Son of a steelworker, Philadelphia, Pa.

Our political parties left to their exclusionary desires get to set the agendas which all American voters must live with during the general election process. Is there little wonder that the United States has such low voter turnout rates and low trust in Congress? One antidote to the stranglehold the political parties have over Democracy is to open the primaries. Please click the petition Incoming Chairs of the DNC & RNC: Open the Primaries, NOW!

A patchwork of restrictive registration rules prevented 26.3 million independent voters from participating in the Presidential Primaries/Caucuses in 2016. The same restrictive rules prevented millions more registered Democrats and Republicans from voting for the candidate of their choice. Voters from New York to Arizona, whose tax dollars fund the primary process -- were denied the right to fully participate. It’s not hard to understand why voter turnout has hit a 20-year low, and 70% of all Americans now support open primaries.

By signing the petition Incoming Chairs of the DNC & RNC: Open the Primaries, NOW! you are sending a message to new DNC and RNC Chairs to break with the likes of Debbie Wasserman Schultz who was the poster-chair for closed primaries in every state!

The Majority of Non-Union Professionals Support Unionization

Even as the overall rate of union membership decreases each year, the same cannot be said for actual support of unions even among those who don’t wear a blue collar.

A recent national survey sponsored by the AFL-CIO’s Department of Professional Employees (DPE) found that the majority of non-union professionals support the idea of union representation in their workplaces.

The survey was conducted in October 2016, and poll takers interviewed 1,004 professional employees who are not currently represented by a labor union.  Over half of these workers said that they would support a union in their workplace and that union representation would improve their salaries as well as their health and retirement benefits.

Well, hot damn! Workers want to be treated with dignity? You don’t say!

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U.S. Trade and Tax Policies Conspire to Stymie U.S. Manufacturing

Hugh J. Campbell

Hugh J. Campbell Son of a steelworker, Philadelphia, Pa.

In Global economic forces conspire to stymie U.S. manufacturing, Brookings’ David Dollar contends that job loss in manufacturing derives primarily from technological change, not from trade. If this were truly the sole cause, why have virtually all our trading partner been able to better deal with these technological changes and avoid the increasing trade deficit that the U.S. political elite have inflicted on America’s working class?

The answer is our trading partners have domestic friendly trade and tax policies that enable them to better deal with the technological changes that have occurred.

Donald Trump achieved his Electoral College victory, in no small part, by vilifying the United States’ increasing trade deficit, just as progressives have for decade. The appointment of Dr. Peter Navarro to head the White House National Trade Council, which is welcomed by United Steelworkers (USW) International President Leo W. Gerard and other American labor leaders, is intended to reshape U.S. Trade Policy to promote domestic production and job creation, rather than as a foreign policy tool as it has been in the past.

Progressives should be on the lookout for and support Navarro’s initiatives to mitigate currency manipulation, border taxes on U.S. exports by our trading partners and tax benefits to corporations that incentivize the offshoring of U.S. jobs.

Expect both the mainstream media and think tanks like Brookings to be critical of Dr. Peter Navarro’s initiatives, since they can’t help being influenced by their advertisers and donors, who have been beneficiaries of the U.S. trade deficit.

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#DontTaxMyHealthcare

#DontTaxMyHealthcare

Union Matters

How President Trump's Pick for U.S. Trade Representative Could Change the Trade Game

Scott Paul

Scott Paul Director, AAM

President Trump won the presidency, at least in part, because of his messaging on trade. Robert Lighthizer, Trump's pick for U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), is likely to be among the officials charged with helping Trump implement his trade agenda. On this episode of The Manufacturing Report, host Scott Paul and Scott Boos, senior VP of Government Affairs and Policy at the Alliance for American Manufacturing, discuss what we can expect from Lighthizer and the Trump trade team.

More ...