man reading wsj

Do CEOs Make 335 Times More Than Average Workers? by Mark J. Perry

Manufacturing Ammo for Class Warfare.

The AFL-CIO released its annual report on CEO pay last week (see details here and here), and has calculated a CEO-to-worker-pay ratio of 335-to-1 for 2015, based on the average total compensation package for S&P 500 CEOs of $12.4 million last year, and average annual pay of $36,875 for America’s 99 million rank-and-file workers.

Here are some observations on the AFL-CIO’s questionable methodology that is uses every year to calculate an inflated CEO-to-worker pay ratio (see this related CD post from last May), and an analysis of how a complete confiscation of CEO pay would affect average worker pay.

Dubious Math for Worker Pay

In its 2016 report, the AFL-CIO reports that the average nonsupervisory rank-and-file worker made $36,875 annually in 2015 based on “average nonsupervisory worker pay according to Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2015 data.”

No other details are provided, but the $36,875 annual average worker pay calculated by the AFL-CIO is apparently based on an hourly wage of $21.04 for the average nonsupervisory worker in 2015 (BLS data here), an average workweek of only 33.7 hours (BLS data here) for the average rank-and-file nonsupervisory worker, and an assumption of 52 weeks of work per year ($21.04 per hour x 33.7 hours per week x 52 weeks ≈ $36,875).

Here’s an important statistical issue: Every year the AFL-CIO does an apples-to-oranges comparison of: a) total CEO compensation for only 500 CEOs working full-time to b) the cash wages only for 99 million rank-and-file workers, who work less than 35 hours per week on average, and are therefore mostly part-time workers.

But you would never know that from the AFL-CIO’s website because the details of average worker pay are never really explained, and I guess nobody has ever bothered to check and find out that the AFL-CIO is using average annual worker pay for mostly part-time employees who only work 33.7 hours per week on average.

Questions: a) How would the AFL-CIO’s CEO-to-worker pay ratio change if we calculate average worker pay for full-time workers, b) how would the ratio change if we compare the average pay for a rank-and-file workers who work the same number of hours that a typical CEO works, e.g. 45, 50 or 60 hours per week, and c) how would the ratio change if we compare total compensation of both CEOs and rank-and-file workers working full-time?

The chart above summarizes how the CEO-to-worker pay ratio would change, here are the details:

a. Assuming a 40-hour workweek for a rank-and-file worker at an hourly wage $21.04 and average annual pay of $43,763, we would get a CEO-to-worker pay ratio of 283-to-1.

b. Assuming a 45-hour workweek for rank-and-file workers at an hourly wage $21.04 (and 5 weekly hours of overtime at $31.56 an hour) and average annual pay of $51,969, the CEO-to-worker pay ratio would be 239-to-1.

c. Assuming a 50-hour workweek for rank-and-file workers at an hourly wage $21.04 (and 10 weekly hours of overtime at $31.56 an hour) and average annual pay of $60,174, we would get aCEO-to-worker pay ratio of 206-to-1.

d. Assuming a 60-hour workweek for rank-and-file workers at an hourly wage $21.04 (and 20 weekly hours of overtime at $31.56 an hour) and average annual pay of $76,585, the CEO-to-worker pay ratio would be 162-to-1 (or less than half of the AFL-CIO’s reported ratio of 335-to-1).

e. Assuming a 40-hour workweek for full-time rank-and-file workers at $21.04 an hour, and adding the monetary value of employer-provided benefits of $9.59 per hour (based on the 45.6% average that benefits represent as a share of hourly earnings according to the BLS), and total compensation of $63,719, we would get a CEO-to-worker compensation ratio of 195-to-1.

If we further considered a 50 or 60 hour workweek and fringe benefits for rank-and-file workers for an even more accurate apples-to-apples comparison, the CEO-to-worker pay ratio starts approaching 100-to-1, which is a far cry from the AFL-CIO’s 335-to-1 ratio that will be generating sensationalized media coverage in the coming weeks.

Confiscation and Redistribution of CEO Pay

And what’s the whole point of the AFL-CIO’s annual reports on CEO-to-worker pay ratio? The sub-title of the AFL-CIO’s 2015 Executive Paywatch websitepretty much sums it up: “High paid CEOs and the low wage economy.” The AFL-CIO’s message seems to be that if CEOs weren’t being so generously over-compensated then the rank-and-file workers would be doing much better and making higher wages. For example, according to the AFL-CIO in 2014:

America is supposed to be the land of opportunity, a country where hard work and playing by the rules would provide working families a middle-class standard of living. But in recent decades, corporate CEOs have been taking a greater share of the economic pie while workers’ wages have stagnated.

The AFL-CIO has fallen here for the zero-sum, fixed pie fallacy, one of the most common economic mistakes that falsely assumes that one party can gain only at the expense of another. But let’s assume that there is a “fixed pie of wages” and do some confiscation and redistribution of CEO compensation to see how that would affect average rank-and-file worker pay.

Question: If the CEOs of the S&P 500 companies received $12.4 million on average last year, then as a group, those 500 CEOs received about $6.20 billion in total compensation in 2015. If the AFL-CIO could wave a magic wand and confiscate that entire amount and redistribute $6.20 billion to the current 99 million rank-and-file workers, what would each one get?

Answer: An annual increase in pay of about $63 for each rank-and-file worker before taxes, or about $1.20 more per week, or 3.5 cents per hour. In other words, complete confiscation and redistribution of S&P 500 CEO compensation would make almost no difference for the average rank-and-file worker.

Bottom Line

The AFL-CIO can only get a distorted and inflated CEO-to-worker pay ratio of 335-to-1 with an apples-to-oranges analysis that compares the total annual compensation of a small, select group of CEOs heading America’s largest multi-national corporations, who probably typically work 50-60 hours per week or more, to the average annual cash wages of part-time rank-and-file employees who work less 34 hours per week on average.

Once we make a more statistically valid apples-to-apples comparison, the CEO-to-worker pay ratio falls in half from the AFL-CIO’s 335-to-1 ratio to only 162-to-1 if we assume a 60-hour work week for the average worker (to be comparable to the workweek of an average CEO), and the ratio falls to less than 200-to-1 once we consider total compensation for both CEOs and full-time rank-and-file workers. Further, even if we could confiscate 100% of the compensation of all S&P 500 CEOs, the typical rank-and-file worker would probably get less than $1 per week in after-tax earnings. Big deal.

Just like last year, the CEO-to-worker pay ratio reported by the AFL-CIO gets my annual “Biggest Blindly Accepted Statistical Fairy Tale of the Year Award.” Well no, it’s actually a tie with the gender wage gap myth and the incessantly repeated “77 cents on the dollar” statistical falsehood. What’s disappointing is that much of the mainstream media seem to blindly accept both of these statistical falsehoods without ever challenging the “statistical legerdemain” that are used to produce and perpetuate these statistical myths.

One exception was this excellent article last year by IBD’s John Merline (“Do CEOs Make 300 Times What Workers Get? Not Even Close“) who concluded:

What’s not understandable is why the mainstream press keeps repeating the massively inflated 300-to-1 number without noting the statistical legerdemain that produced it.

This article is reprinted with the permission of the American Enterprise Institute.

Mark J. Perry

Mark J. Perry

Mark J. Perry is a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and a professor of economics and finance at the University of Michigan’s Flint campus.

Telsa Motors

Telsa Motors Misuses B-1 Visas to Import Cheap Labor

NumbersUSA reports:

2016.05.17_TeslaMotorsA new investigative report showed that Tesla Motors’ contract company, Eisenmann, paid a smaller Slovenian company, Vuzem, to hire foreign workers through the B-1 visa program. The companies misrepresented the foreign workers in order to obtain the visas so they could import cheaper, foreign labor instead of hiring American workers.

The B-1 visa allows foreign workers to enter the U.S. for temporary and limited work purposes, such as to join a conference or to supervise or train U.S. workers in a specialized skill. The visa does not permit the worker to perform hands-on jobs that U.S. workers can do and under this visa a worker cannot receive payment from a U.S. company. The visa can last up to six months and there is no set cap for the number of visas allowed each year, 6.2 million B-1/B-2 visas were issued in 2014.

The B visa, along with the L-1 visa, could displace thousands of American workers and depress wages if the United States ratifies the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement.

Gregor Lasnik, a Slovenian worker hired by Vuzem, has a pending lawsuit against Tesla Motors, Eisenmann, and Vuzem after being injured while helping to build Tesla’s new Fremont plant.

According to court documents Lesnik’s visa application included a letter written by Robert Keller, Eisenmann’s Chicago area-based U.S. purchasing manager, to the U.S. consulate stating that Lesnik would be working for a European subcontractor and had “specialized knowledge” to help build a new paint shop for BMW in South Carolina. The letter also assured that that Lesnik’s employment would “in no way adversely affect the employment of citizens of the United States.”

The visa application also included a hotel reservation in a South Carolina and titled Lesnik as a, “supervisor of electrical and mechanical installation”, even though he had been an unemployed electrician in his country and spoke only a little English. After being approved for the B-1 visa Lesnik was told he would actually be going to California and helping to build Tesla’s new plant.

This misrepresentation on B-1 visa applications has become a common problem, Infosys, an IT firm, was fined $34 million in 2014 for circumventing B-1 regulations among other offenses.

Overseas contractors use the B-1 visa to import foreign workers that will work long hours for low wages, even though it violates visa and labor laws. Lesnik says he was making the equivalent of $5 an hour while working on the Tesla plant. An American company had lost the Tesla contract bid due in part to higher labor costs.

“We have concluded that there is widespread abuse of the B-1 visa in the Bay Area,” said Michael Eastwood, assistant district director of the San Jose area office of the U.S. Department of Labor.

“It’s the wonderful world of unregulated visas,” said Daniel Costa, an immigration law and policy researcher at the Economic Policy Institute.

All three companies refused to comment on the pending legal case. Tesla and Eisenmann deny responsibility since Lesnik was directly hired by Vuzem.

Read more on this story at The Mercury News.

made in america

One Company Proudly Bringing Back the ‘Made in America’ Label

“The American manufacturing industry has been an icon for over a century – accounting for nearly 35% of the American economy and nearly $6 trillion dollars of GDP. Recently, we put together a video over at Liberty Tabletop that highlights many of the environmental and economic statistics American manufacturing has to offer,” states Phoebe Parlade, content manager for Liberty Tabletop.

Is it again time for consumers to buy only Made in America products?

Here is the video Parlade refers to which tells a chilling story that Made in America is not what it used to be:

Liberty Tabletop website notes:

Cheap products, imported from overseas, which so many Americans have bought in recent decades have not only cost jobs, and seen millions of overseas workers slave away in horrific conditions on unlivable wages, but are a big factor in the the shipping industry contributing to almost 5% of the whole world’s pollution.

Every time an American citizen buys an imported product, our trade deficit widens. Forbes calls it the ‘destroyer of jobs’. Every year, because we import more than we export, 3% of our economy and wealth is lost overseas. That doesn’t sound like much, but it soon adds up. Over the last 39 years we’ve lost 8 TRILLION dollars. All of that translates into lower wages, lower profits, weaker markets and more unemployment at home when we don’t support American made products.

There’s more than just the money we’ve lost forever, though. The health and safety of foreign workers is much less of a consideration in many developing manufacturing economies. Not only the health and safety of the workers though, your health and safety is put at risk too. We’ve seen radioactive steel and poisonous drywall as well as poisonous flooring imported to the US in recent decades. Our home-grown manufacturers share your values, and obey our laws, and are subject to some of the strictest, and most rigorous rules in the developed world. I know which spoon I’d rather feed my baby with!

Read more.

RELATED ARTICLE: Resource Guide: Buy American, Buy Union-Made

poor neighborhood california

California’s Statewide $15 Minimum Wage Will Horribly Backfire for Poorer Cities by Mark J. Perry

I wrote earlier this month about one of the potentially fatal flaws of California’s recently enacted $15 an hour statewide minimum wage: a one-size-fits-all uniform $15 minimum wage for the entire state of California is really a “one-size-fits-none” minimum wage, given the huge variations in the cost of living around the country’s most populous state.

While a high-wage, high cost-of-living city like San Francisco might be able to absorb a $15 minimum wage without experiencing significant negative employment effects, that same $15 wage could inflict serious economic damages and result in job losses for many of the state’s 500 cities that are in low-wage, low cost-of-living areas.

To help understand how the “one-size-fits-all” approach of a $15 an hour state minimum wage will have a disproportionately adverse impact on low-cost communities in California, the table below displays the “living hourly wages” for California’s 26 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), based on data from MIT’s Living Wage Calculator for the year 2014 (most recent year available).

According to the MIT website, the cost-of-living adjusted living wages are the “hourly rates that individuals must earn [in a given MSA] to support their family [and cover basic family expenses], if they are the sole provider and are working full-time (2,080 hours per year).” Living wages for adult workers with 1 to 3 children are also displayed in the table.

The living wage data shown above reveal huge differences in the cost-of-living between low-cost California MSAs like Yuba City, El Centro, Chico, and Merced (living wages are below $10 an hour) and high-cost cities like San Francisco and San Jose, where the cost-of-living adjusted living wage is 38% higher.

If $15 an hour is an appropriate minimum wage for San Francisco, it should be less than $11 an hour in MSAs like Yuba City and El Centro, where the cost-of-living is significantly lower. It’s also important to note that all four of those low-cost MSAs had jobless rates above the state average in February, and three of them (all except Chico) had double-digit unemployment rates in February, with El Centro having the distinction of once again being the MSA with the highest jobless rate in the entire country at 18.6%.

Therefore, many MSAs in California (like Yuba City, El Centro, Chico and Merced) not only have costs-of-living way below the state average, but they also have jobless rates that are way above the state average, and it’s those MSAs that will be adversely impacted by the imposition of a uniform state minimum wage of $15 an hour.

Bottom Line: As I concluded before, even supporters of a $15 an hour minimum wage in California would have to concede that a one-size-fits-all, uniform $15 an hour state minimum wage, without any adjustments for the significant differences in the cost-of-living across the Golden State, will disproportionately affect unskilled and limited-experience workers in low-cost MSAs like Yuba City and El Centro, and also in hundreds of other low-cost, low-wage cities (that are not part of an MSA) throughout the state.

In other words, a one-size-fits-all minimum wage for all 500 cities in California is really a “one-size-fits-none” minimum wage, and will inflict very serious and long-lasting economic damage in most parts of the state outside of the large metro areas on the coast (LA, San Francisco, and San Diego).

The clumsy, top-down, ham-handed approach of government imposed wage controls like a $15 an hour statewide minimum wage in California, without allowing for any adjustments to accommodate the significant differences in cost-of-living and labor market conditions, is one of the main reasons the Golden State’s risky experiment with a $15 wage will likely backfire and be “not-so-golden” in practice.

In contrast, one of the significant advantages of market-determined wages is that they can naturally and automatically adjust to the market conditions of local areas. For example, we might expect that the starting wages for national chains like McDonald’s (1,165 stores in California) and Starbucks (2,000 locations) would vary around the state of California based on local labor market conditions and the local cost-of-living, and would be higher in San Francisco than in cities like El Centro.

But a government mandated price control like the $15 an hour uniform minimum wage in California that outlaws adjustments to fit the customized needs of the 500 individual city-level labor markets in the state is a public policy destined to fail — especially in the state’s low-wage, low cost-of-living cities with high jobless rates that are the most vulnerable to the “one-size-fits-none” awkwardness and clumsiness that is the $15 statewide minimum wage in California.

Related: See my article with AEI colleague Andrew Biggs titled “A National Minimum Wage Is a Bad Fit for Low-Cost Communities.

Bonus Question: I included the living wages above that MIT calculated would be necessary to support an adult-headed household with either one, two or three children so that I could feature the question posed below by Georgetown University professor Jason Brennan at the Bleeding Heart Libertarians blog in his post titled “Some Questions for Living Wage Advocates” (h/t Don Boudreaux):

If you believe employers owe employees a living wage, do you think that an employer has a moral duty to pay an employee more just because [he or] she has more children?

Reprinted with the permission of the American Enterprise Institute.

Mark J. PerryMark J. Perry

Mark J. Perry is a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and a professor of economics and finance at the University of Michigan’s Flint campus.

miner helmet shovel

“Creating Jobs” Will Hurt the Economy by T. Norman Van Cott

How many jobs would the Keystone Pipeline project create? Political reporter Tom Murse points out that the answer is a matter of dispute. “Supporters argue that the Keystone XL pipeline would create tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of new jobs.” But critics “claim those numbers are wildly inflated,” Murse writes.

Both sides assume a higher number would make the project better for the economy. Both sides have it backwards.

Home Economics

The value of work is easy to grasp at the most domestic level: your own home.

Being a homeowner isn’t easy. Among other things, you always seem to have more chores to do than time to do them. The chores are not ends in themselves. Rather, they are means to an end — in this case, making a home and yard more livable or aesthetically pleasing.

Opting to do a chore yourself — “insourcing” in current parlance — isn’t costless. You lose the opportunity to enjoy the fruits of your other labors. For example, you could tackle different chores, spend more time with your family, or work extra hours in the marketplace, increasing your income. Hiring someone else to do the chore — that is, “outsourcing” — isn’t costless, either. It means you can’t buy other things. Costs represent sacrificed alternatives.

The rule when it comes to home ownership isn’t rocket science. Tackle those chores whose ends you value more than their cost. If your water softener breaks, and you value having softened water more than what it would cost either you or the plumber to repair it, then hire the plumber if his cost is less than what it costs you to fix it yourself. (Don’t forget to count the work time you’ll be giving up to act as your own plumber.)

By outsourcing the repair work, you will have “lost a job,” but your standard of living will be higher. By how much? The difference between your cost and the plumber’s cost.

Added household chores — that is, “gaining jobs” — are anything but a blessing. Chores represent hurdles between you and that more livable, aesthetically pleasing home and yard. Each job represents something you’re going to have to give up before your house is the way you want it. “Gaining jobs” to achieve a given objective is synonymous with worsening your situation, not improving it.

The Rule Writ Large — The Case of the Keystone Pipeline

What is rocket science for many is the ability to recognize that the rule for individual households extends to the national household, as we can see in the case of the Keystone Pipeline controversy. The project, which has been a political football for several years, would transfer oil from Canada to the Texas Gulf Coast. The project’s desirability is associated with the number of jobs required for the pipeline’s construction and maintenance. The more jobs created, the more desirable the pipeline, it would seem.

All involved in the discussion fail to apply lessons for individual households to the national household. Pipeline jobs are part of the cost of getting oil from Canada to the Texas Gulf Coast. They are not part of the benefits. The fewer jobs created, the better. Indeed, in the best of all worlds, there would bezero jobs required to transfer oil from Canada to the Texas Gulf Coast. That way, we could get the oil transferred without having to give up anything!

Pipeline proponents who note a large number of required jobs are unwittingly arguing against the project, just as opponents who cite a small number of jobs are unwittingly arguing in its favor.

Beyond the Pipeline

This failure to apply the simple rules for individual households is not restricted to the Keystone Pipeline issue. It pervades economic, business, and political discussions. Government programs come packaged with estimates of the number of new jobs the programs will supposedly create. The more jobs, the merrier. That’s the political refrain. Likewise, state and local economic development bureaucrats tout the number of jobs associated with business relocations or expansions.

One has to wonder whether those who peddle this more-jobs nonsense apply it to their own households. I bet not. Fewer chores, not more, make their homes more enjoyable. National households are no different. Or as Adam Smith put it in his classic, The Wealth of Nations, that which “is prudence in the conduct of every private family, can scarce be folly in that of a great kingdom.”

T. Norman Van CottT. Norman Van Cott

T. Norman Van Cott, professor of economics, received his Ph.D. from the University of Washington in 1969. Before joining Ball State in 1977, he taught at University of New Mexico (1968-1972) and West Georgia College (1972-1977). He was the department chairperson from 1985 to 1999. His fields of interest include microeconomic theory, public finance, and international economics. Van Cott’s current research is the economics of constitutions.

ghostbusterslogo

We Pay Millions to ‘Ghost Teachers’ Who Don’t Teach by Jason Bedrick

The Philadelphia school district is in a near-constant state of financial crisis. There are many factors contributing to this sorry state — particularly its governance structure — but it is compounded by fiscal mismanagement. One particularly egregious example is paying six-figure salaries to the tune of $1.5 million a year to “ghost teachers” that do not teach. Pennsylvania Watchdog explains:

As part of the contract with the School District of Philadelphia, the local teachers union is permitted to take up to 63 teachers out of the classroom to work full-time for the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers. The practice, known as “release time” or “official time,” allows public school teachers to leave the classroom and continue to earn a public salary, benefits, pension and seniority.

These so-called ghost teachers perform a variety of jobs for the PFT, serving as either information officers for other teachers or carrying out the union’s political agenda.

“Teachers should be paid to teach,” attorney Kara Sweigart, who is arguing ghost teacher lawsuits for the Fairness Center, a free legal service for employees who feel they’ve been wronged by their unions, told Watchdog.

“At a time when school districts are hurting financially, districts should be devoting every tax dollar to support students,” she said, “not to pay the salaries of employees of a private political organization.”

According to public salary data available through Philadelphia city agencies, the school district is paying 16 ghost teachers $1.5 million this year. All of them are making at least $81,000.

PFT Vice President Arlene Kempin, who has been on release time since 1983, is among the highest paid at $108,062. Union head Jerry Jordan, who has also been on release time for more than 30 years, is earning $81,245, according to district payroll logs. The 16 ghost teachers on the books this year are making an average salary of almost $98,000.

The “ghost teacher” phenomenon is far from unique to Philly or even the education sector. Such “release time” subsidies for ghost teachers, policemen, firefighters, and bureaucrats of all stripes are common features of public-sector union contracts nationwide. Last month, a Yankee Institute report found that Connecticut provided unions with $4.1 million to subsidize 121,000 hours union-related activities, “the equivalent of more than a year’s worth of work for 50 full-time employees.” Meanwhile, the Goldwater Institute in Arizona is in the midst of a lawsuit against the city of Phoenix for unconstitutionally providing millions of dollars in release-time subsidies.

According to the most recent report from the federal Office of Personnel Management, the federal government paid more than $157 million in 2012 for federal employees to work for their unions for a total of 3,439,449 hours. And those are just the direct costs.

In his book, Understanding the Teacher Union Contract: A Citizen’s Handbook, former teacher union negotiator Myron Lieberman explained how difficult it is to account for the full amount of subsidies that taxpayers provide to the unions:

Most school board members are not aware of the magnitude of these subsidies. In school district budgets, the subsidies are never grouped together under the heading “Subsidies to the Union.” Instead, the subsidies are included in school district budgets under a variety of headings that may or may not refer to the union…

School districts pay for these subsidies from a variety of line items in the district budget: payments to substitute teachers, teacher salaries, and pension contributions, among others.

In most situations, the union subsidy is lumped together with other expenses paid for under the same line item; for example, the costs of hiring substitutes for teachers who are on released time for union business may be included in a budget line for substitutes that also covers substitutes for other reasons, such as replacing teachers on sick leave, personal leave, maternity/paternity leave, and so on.

Taxpayer dollars allocated for education should be spent on items and activities that assist student learning, not to promote the interests of private organizations (especially when their interests often collide with the interests of students). Union work should be paid out of funds the unions collect through dues and donations, not funds expropriated from unwilling and unwitting taxpayers.

Cross-posted from Cato.org.

Jason Bedrick

Jason Bedrick

Jason Bedrick is a policy analyst with the Cato Institute’s Center for Educational Freedom.

sanders building trades union

Building Trades Unions to Sanders: Stop ‘the rhetoric and misguided attacks’

WASHINGTON, D.C. /PRNewswire/ — The following statement was issued today by North America’s Building Trades Unions in response to Sanders surrogate Ben Jealous’ comments to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on construction workers.

“The rhetoric and misguided attacks from the Sanders campaign and its surrogates continues to sink to new lows. A speech before 3,000 Building Trades union members was characterized by top Sanders campaign surrogate Ben Jealous as a nefarious meeting with “donors.” The fact is, the proud men and women of the Building Trades are voters, and the only thing they have donated or contributed is their love of the country as they ply their craft building and rebuilding communities across this great nation.

“The Building Trades were honored to welcome Secretary Clinton and call on the Sanders campaign to stop the gimmicks and the desperate vitriol and get back to what truly matters to voters. What mattered to the hard hats in the room today was hearing a positive vision and dedication to the hard work to move this country forward by the next President of the United States, Hillary Rodham Clinton.”

ABOUT NORTH AMERICA’S BUILDING TRADES UNIONS

North America’s Building Trades Unions is an alliance of 14 national and international unions in the building and construction industry that collectively represent over 3 million skilled craft professionals in the United States and Canada. Each year, our unions and our signatory contractor partners invest over $1 billion in private sector money to fund and operate over 1,900 apprenticeship training and education facilities across North America that produce the safest, most highly trained and productive skilled craft workers found anywhere in the world.

Visit www.Facebook.com/NorthAmericasBuildingTradesUnions or on Twitter @BldgTrdsUnions.

man doing tax returns

A Tax on Income Attacks Life Itself by Jeffrey Tucker

The least of the problems with income tax is that it takes your money. The really big problem is that the income tax takes your life. It gives the government direct access to the things you own and sets up the political-bureaucratic sector to be the final arbiter of what you can and cannot consider to be yours.

Illustrating this point is the bitter realization that the IRS considers it completely legal to demand access to your electronic communications whenever it wants. This news came about in 2013 because of a Freedom of Information Act request filed by the American Civil Liberties Union.

The filing unearthed a 2009 memo that stated outright: “The Fourth Amendment does not protect communications held in electronic storage, such as email messages stored on a server, because Internet users do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in such communications.”

Forget search warrants and legal processes. In the interest of getting its share, the government can have it all on demand. This assertion was made again in 2010 by the IRS’s chief counsel: The “Fourth Amendment does not protect emails stored on a server” and there is “no privacy expectation” on email.

A Century of Intrusions

This assertion openly contradicts a 2010 legal decision from the Sixth US Circuit Court of Appeals. United States v. Warshak said that the government must obtain a probable cause warrant before forcing people and providers to cough up email archives. Granted, even that’s not much protection. Government always has its “probable cause.”

Good for the ACLU for making an issue of this. But at some level, it’s all beside the point. The problem isn’t the legal process that allows the government to do what it wants; the problem is that government has a hook into personal income that allows powerful people to have their way with the whole of your life.

As we look back at the history, we can see that the income tax enabled a century of intrusions into our lives. It’s been 100 years of a form of imposition that no American in most of the 19th century could have ever imagined or tolerated.

The income tax is what enabled Prohibition, for example. Without the ability to monitor and adjudicate how people made money, the power of enforcement would not have been there at all. (Remember that Al Capone was not convicted for bootlegging, but for tax evasion.)

It is what made possible the central planning of the New Deal. The government’s presumption that it owns the first fruits of labor gave rise to wage controls and mandatory participation in the Social Security system. It allowed the central planners to push aside young workers and tell them that they aren’t allowed to be part of the workforce. It allowed the introduction of the minimum wage that continues to shut out whole sectors of society.

And look what happened during World War II. The price controls on wages and salaries – made possible only because the income tax gave government a fiduciary interest – inspired companies to start offering health-care benefits as part of the compensation package.

That practice was intensified over the decades until it became mandatory. That practice is a major source of the health care problems we have today. So there we have it: There is a direct link from Obamacare today back to the income tax of 100 years ago.

The Root of All Evil

Frank Chodorov, author of the enduring masterpiece, was right to call the income tax the “root of all evil.” We look back to history and are in awe that anyone ever had the full right to earn whatever money he or she wanted to and to never have to tell the government about it. But that was the way it was for the dominant part of American history.

That’s the system once called freedom.

It’s striking when you realize just how completely unnecessary the income tax is for the funding of government. What if we cut back government spending by exactly the amount the income tax collects? That would take us back in time to 2006. Was the government really too small back then? Would society really collapse if we went back to a government we had just ten years ago?

Yes, the government likes our money and always wants more of it. But more crucially, the government uses the income tax as a primary means of controlling not just our money, but the whole of our lives. That’s the real purpose of the income tax and why the government will fight for its preservation to the end.

Right now, many Americans are sweating it out to get their taxes done in time for the filing deadline. It would be immeasurably hard without the brilliant companies that have put together software programs – updated constantly! – that make what would otherwise seem impossible rather easy. This is the type of thing that free enterprise and the private sector do. They help us to have better lives.

But government? What does it do? It takes. It snoops. It controls. It destroys.

Jeffrey A. TuckerJeffrey A. Tucker

Jeffrey Tucker is Director of Digital Development at FEE and CLO of the startup Liberty.me. Author of five books, and many thousands of articles, he speaks at FEE summer seminars and other events. His latest book is Bit by Bit: How P2P Is Freeing the World.  Follow on Twitter and Like on Facebook. Email.

trump rally rodchester new york

At the Donald Trump Rally: ‘Let’s talk about Rochester’

When Trump mentioned Bausch & Lomb and Kodak, I was reminded about seeing the adults in the neighborhood leave early in the mornings and come home from these workplaces, as well as factories like Bond’s, Hickey-Freeman, and Rochester Products.  Most of these have either closed or downsized; workers in foreign countries now do the jobs my parents and relatives did. The neighborhood I grew up in began its downward slide with the 1964 riots.  With the loss of manufacturing jobs, working class families fled not only the neighborhoods but Rochester itself.  In my old “14621” neighborhood, the modest houses with neatly kept yards now feature trash and boarded-up windows.

Full Speech: Donald Trump Rally in Rochester, New York:

at the donald

I had some apprehension about going to the Donald Trump rally in Rochester, New York, on Sunday, April 10, after seeing the footage of the violence at the March 11 rally in Chicago.

Even before entrapped Trump supporters had gotten beyond George Soros-supported thugs blocking their way out of the University of Illinois at Chicago arena, and before they could fix their smashed car windows enough to drive home, all three of the other remaining candidates—Marco Rubio, John Kasich, and Ted Cruz—weighed in.  The New York Times reported that while all three “condemned the disruptions,” they claimed that Trump was responsible for the “tenor.”  Cruz said that Trump “affirmatively encourages violence.”  Kasich said Trump created a “toxic environment.” Rubio waffled, but implied that Trump’s language was in part responsible for the violence.

Since then, media outlets bent on eliminating Trump have ramped up their “discourse” against not only Trump but his supporters.  Libertarians have called them “cultists” in “thrall to a vicious culture,” corrupted by a “‘sense of entitlement.’”  Their communities, devastated by the loss of their industries, “deserve to die,” wrote Kevin Williamson. Weepy Mormon convert Glenn Beck, who has laid hands on Cruz as an anointed leader, proclaimed that “no real Christian” would vote for Trump.  Attitudes have ranged from pity to contempt.

Videos of a 78-year-old man who punched a protester giving the finger and an African American Air Force sergeant hitting a long-haired ne’er do well have been played over and over, as have a couple of Trump’s off-hand comments.

So, I wondered if the billionaire from Queens would say anything that would lead to fisticuffs.

I did not see that and I was relieved.

The media did not see that and was disappointed.

The day of the rally was one of those cold and dreary spring days that I remembered from growing up in Rochester, when I insisted on walking through the snow to Easter mass in my patent leather shoes.

I drove past the hangar on Scottsville Road at around 11:15 a.m. and saw about 150 people lined up.  Doors opened at noon and Trump was scheduled to speak at 3:00.  I had driven in from Clinton, so I went to get some lunch at the Dunkin Donuts down the road. When I got to the hangar about an hour later, it was almost full.

Yes, there were a lot of white men, many of them wearing attire indicating they were military veterans.  A lot of them looked like they could be off-duty policemen.  There were quite a few college-age people, among them Asian men who looked like they could have been attending the Rochester Institute of Technology down the road.  Some of the guys wore jackets emblazoned with the names of motorcycle clubs.  One 40-ish woman in front of me displayed tattoos on her hands that crept up under her winter coat.  Two men in front of me were discussing the price of ammunition at Wal-Mart.  Standing next to me was a black couple who looked like they had just left church with their two boys, around seven and ten.  Everyone stood shoulder-to-shoulder on the concrete floor of an airplane hangar for over two hours to hear Trump.  The mood was upbeat. The father next to me entertained his younger son with a hand game.  A guy in the front was waving around a paperback copy of one of Trump’s books to the beat of the music.

In spite of the freezing temperature, the cavernous hangar was heating up with all the people, and doors opened about an hour after I got there.  A short time later the top hatch of an old military plane opened up and Trump volunteer coordinator Carl Paladino hoisted up an American flag and an Airborne flag.   The crowd erupted in cheers of “USA, USA!”

When Paladino came to the podium later and began with “God bless America,” the crowd again cheered. He talked about how people in Washington want to control the media, how “unbelievable” it was that they would discuss a brokered convention, using arcane rules.  “How can people be so out of touch with reality?” he asked and followed with references to Obama’s disregard of the rules and the Constitution.  A few shouts erupted from protestors embedded on the fringes.  From my place in the middle of the crowd I could not hear their words but learned later that they were laced with profanity.  These pathetic yells were drowned out by “USA! USA!”

Paladino continued, saying that the American people are tired of “wimps,” “appeasers,” and “apologists,” alluding to Paul Ryan, John Boehner, and Barack Obama.  He talked about veterans getting “the respect they deserve” by requiring that all those in the government use a VA card.  He attacked New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s restrictive gun laws (the S.A.F.E. Act) and his misuse of Hurricane Sandy relief funds intended to help the “little guy,” for an advertising campaign that helped him in the election.  When he said, “build the wall,” a cheer went out.  He ended by saying, “God bless America and God bless Donald Trump on his adventure.”

Pastor Mark Burns then used his oratorical skills to denounce Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton (who he said belongs in jail, echoing some of the slogans on t-shirts in the crowd), Obama (blaming him for the San Bernardino attack), “Lying Ted,” special interests, the media, GOP puppets like Romney and Rubio, and the slur against “New York values” from Ted Cruz.  He talked about how hard New York has been hit by lost manufacturing jobs and fighting back “harder.”

He also attacked the racial divisiveness encouraged by Obama and Clinton. “Declare to the world,” he intoned, “all lives matter.  A-a-ll lives matter.  There are no white people.  There are no black people. The only colors that matter are red, white, and blue.”  He was right about the media misrepresentation.  One headline indicated that he had claimed that “black people don’t exist” Donald Trump, he said, was watching the crowd on TV.

When Trump came on, and began, “Let’s talk about Rochester,” the crowd was ready.  The points were familiar to those who follow this election, and they primarily involved economic issues and safety.  He addressed fracking, the budget deficit, the Iran deal, Common Core, and the Second Amendment. He sounded the familiar themes about NAFTA, Asian currency, China, and the lost science and manufacturing jobs.  In Rochester, 4,000 jobs have been lost in six months.  Bausch and Lomb has moved out and Xerox is outsourcing.  Trump promised that SentrySafe, which is moving manufacturing to Mexico, would face a stiff tariff when it tried to sell its products here.  He promised large tax cuts for the “most forgotten,” the middle class, ending TPP and the need for smart negotiators in free trade.  “I love free trade,” he said, but “we lose to China, Mexico, Canada. . . everybody.”  Trump presents himself as a skilled deal-maker and called not only Kerry and Obama “incompetent” but also the Republicans elected to Congress in 2010 who voted for the Omnibus bill that funds illegal aliens, Obamacare, and refugees.  Boehner “gave away all the cards,” when he said “‘we will not shut down’” Washington, Trump charged.

Trump segued into the dishonesty of the press, blasting the New York Times, the Washington Post, and especially the Boston Globe for its fake apocalyptic front page about a Trump presidency and for those who misleadingly report in empty arenas after rallies.  Pointing to the press area on the platform in the back, he said, “Look who I brought to Rochester.  Turn around.”

The crowd did.  Some shook fists; a few held up middle fingers.

Trump speaks in an associative style and his slam of the press included the selection of German chancellor Angela Merkel as Time Magazine’s Person of the Year, which led him to charge that “We are the world’s policemen,” and then to ask, “Who are better than our policemen?”  In response to cheers, he said, “I love these people.”  He used the word “love” several times.

He talked about a rigged and “crooked system.”  In a point of commonality, Trump and Bernie Sanders have energized both parties, bringing in record numbers of primary voters.  This has not translated into delegates all the time (as happened to Trump in Louisiana).  It’s supposed to be “You vote and the vote means something,” Trump asserted.

While he brags, Trump speaks to the forgotten middle class, the wage earners, those who believe in “America first,” a phrase he uses.  Noting that people on buses had to be turned away, he apologized to the people in the buses, but promised “I’ll come back.”  He apologized for not being able to seat us.  Noting the positive mood he said these are the safest rallies.  “Our people protect each other.  We have to love one another.”

Commenting on the safety in the rallies, he predicted that the headlines would be about protestors.

Oddly, even his braggadocio has an element of sincerity. When he started talking about immigration on June 16, it “hit a button,” and now Ted Cruz is talking about building a wall, he said.   He said he wrote about Osama bin Laden in his book, The America We Deserve, published in 2000.  He implied that we would still have the World Trade Center towers had others heeded his warnings.

He said that when Obama announced the withdrawal from Iraq, the “enemy said he can’t be that stupid.  But he adhered to the date,” and now Iran is taking over Iraq and Yemen.  They want Saudi Arabia.

The middle class or former middle class has been beaten down by the Obama administration in the last seven years, and has certainly not found champions in the Republicans they elected to Congress.  No one has talked about “winning” like Trump has.

He called his campaign “a movement,” but “not a movement of hate.  It’s a movement of love.”  While such words may come off as odd in print or in a sound bite, at the rally they came off as sincere and spontaneous.

The mood carried over even as our exit was delayed by a long jam at the exit as buses loaded up.  But even after standing on their feet for several hours, no one got testy.

The two dozen protestors on the other side of the road, with signs telling us, “bigots go home,” looked like a miserable, hateful bunch in contrast.

I walked alongside the road back to my car and passed a young WROC reporter who intoned about the protestors and “clashes.” I heard him say, “As far as we know, there have been no arrests, yet.”   A story on WHEC began, “Thousands of people gathered outside the Trump rally at Rochester International Airport, many of them protestors.”  The story focused on a few dozen misfits among tens of thousands and quoted their allegations that Trump supporters screamed at them and tried to start fights.  I saw nothing of the sort. Trump was right about that.

Reporters had come looking for a certain story, the story of Trump opponents.  I saw the same narrative play out with tea party rallies, where ordinary citizens enjoyed patriotic music and speeches with their families, and police officers and sanitation workers enjoyed easy days.

The only anger at the Trump rally was directed at the media.

After spending the night at my aunt’s house, I left Rochester the following morning.  In my car, I listened to WHAM’s Bob Lonsberry Show.  Callers were still in the afterglow of the rally.  Todd Baxter, former chief of police for suburban Greece, said he had attended and recognized about 30 off-duty police officers in the crowd.  Another caller said he liked Trump’s positions on ending Common Core and Obamacare.

These are things that the other Republican candidates have talked about, and with more elegance. Cruz, especially, seems to have a grasp on the issues from a Constitutional perspective.  But for me, his statements have been ringing hollow since his comments about the aborted Chicago rally.

I also recognized the something missing about the other candidates in another part of the radio caller’s comments.  He noted that Trump mentioned Rochester “four times. Four times!”

I think it was more than that.

I remembered a man striking up a conversation with me as I had walked into the hangar, towards security.  The man said he voted Republican but had gone to Hillary Clinton’s rally and wanted to go to all the rallies in the area.  “The candidates usually ignore us,” he said.  After we passed through security I lost him in the crowd of 7,000. But when the radio caller spoke with feeling about how Trump had repeated the name “Rochester” I was reminded.

When Trump mentioned Bausch & Lomb and Kodak, I was reminded about seeing the adults in the neighborhood leave early in the mornings and come home from these workplaces, as well as factories like Bond’s, Hickey-Freeman, and Rochester Products.  Most of these have either closed or downsized; workers in foreign countries now do the jobs my parents and relatives did. The neighborhood I grew up in began its downward slide with the 1964 riots.  As was common then, rioting was attributed to bad “social conditions.”  But lax law-and-order and increased welfare spending only encouraged the troublemakers.  With the loss of manufacturing jobs, working class families fled not only the neighborhoods but Rochester itself.  In my old “14621” neighborhood, the modest houses with neatly kept yards now feature trash and boarded-up windows.

Kevin Williamson in a particularly vicious article about the disaffected white middle class asserts that such neighborhoods and towns “deserve to die.” I and tens of thousands of Trump supporters in Rochester disagree.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image of Donald Trump in Rochester, New York is courtesy of ABC News.

globalism

List of 20 cities targeted by globalists/immigration activists for Muslim resettlement

A reader sent this article from a Partnership for a New American Economy (Bloomberg, Rupert Murdoch etc) working with federal contractor ‘Welcoming America’ (archive here) to target cities (some counties/states) ripe for flooding with migrants of all sorts.

Marriott wants maids! One of the fat cats working to bring in immigrant labor to compete with Americans is Bill Marriott, Chairman of the Marriott Corp. and one of the leaders of this propaganda effort. I avoid Marriott hotels in my travels.

bill-marriott-225x225

Bill Marriott, Chairman of the Marriott Corp.

I wrote about them here  at RRW before (and here at American Resistance), but am finding that since new readers arrive every day, I need to occasionally repeat vital information.

Here are the cities selected where open borders activists and other local groups will be given grants to soften up the community to accept the joys of multiculturalism being brought to them largely by nine federal resettlement contractors.  Watch for propaganda campaigns that involve some elected officials in local government.

And, ask yourselves why these financial fat cats care so much!  The answer: it is all about cheap immigrant labor and the free flow of it around the world for big corporations represented by these fat cat globalists.

They must tamp down the resistance they are meeting from average working Americans who don’t want to pay for their greed through job losses for Americans and taxpayer-funded welfare goodies to immigrants!

Watch for the PR media campaign in these cities:

  • Akron and Summit County, OH
  • Anchorage, AK
  • Birmingham, AL
  • Brownsville, TX
  • Columbus, OH
  • Detroit, MI
  • Fargo, ND
  • Houston, TX
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • Kansas City, KS/MO
  • Lancaster, PA
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Macomb County, MI
  • Nashville, TN
  • New Orleans, LA
  • Phoenix, AZ and Arizona State
  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • San Jose, CA
  • Salt Lake County, UT
  • Upstate NY Region (Syracuse/Buffalo, NY)

Continue reading here.

We are up against a lot of BIG MONEY hiding behind a veneer of humanitarianism.  It would be so interesting to see who these globalists are supporting in Election 2016!

By the way, Grover Norquist works closely with this cabal, see here.

RELATED ARTICLE: Illegal African migrants, rescued at sea, riot, want to move northward in Europe

european police in body armor

Do European Labor Laws Lead to Terrorism? by Alex Tabarrok

Why are there poor Muslim ghettos in Europe but not in the United States?

In Belgium, high unemployment and crime-ridden Muslim ghettos have fomented radicalism, but as Jeff Jacoby writes:

Muslims in the United States … have had no problem acclimating to mainstream norms. In a detailed 2011 survey, the Pew Research Center found that Muslim Americans are “highly assimilated into American society and … largely content with their lives.”

More than 80 percent of US Muslims expressed satisfaction with life in America, and 63 percent said they felt no conflict “between being a devout Muslim and living in a modern society.”

The rates at which they participate in various everyday American activities — from following local sports teams to watching entertainment TV — are similar to those of the American public generally. Half of all Muslim immigrants display the US flag at home, in the office, or on their car.

Jacoby, however, doesn’t explain why these differences exist. One reason is the greater flexibility of American labor markets compared to those in Europe.

Institutions that make it more difficult to hire and fire workers or adjust wages can increase unemployment and reduce employment, especially among immigrant youth. Firms will be less willing to hire if it is very costly to fire. As Tyler and I put it in Modern Principles, how many people will want to go on a date if every date requires a marriage?

The hiring hurdle is especially burdensome for immigrants given the additional real or perceived uncertainty from hiring immigrants. One of the few ways that immigrants can compete in these situations is by offering to work for lower wages. But if that route is blocked by minimum wages, or requirements that every worker receive significant non-wage benefits, unemployment and non-employment among immigrants will be high — generating disaffection, especially among the young.

Huber, for example, (see also Angrist and Kuglerfinds:

Countries with more centralized wage bargaining, stricter product market regulation and countries with a higher union density, have worse labour market outcomes for their immigrants relative to natives even after controlling for compositional effects.

The problem of labor market rigidity is especially acute in Belgium, where the differences between native and immigrant unemployment, employment and wages are among the highest in the OECD. Language difficulties and skills are one reason, but labor market rigidity is another, as this OECD report makes clear:

Belgian labour market settings are generally unfavourable to the employment outcomes of low-skilled workers. Reduced employment rates stem from high labour costs, which deter demand for low-productivity workers…

Furthermore, labour market segmentation and rigidity weigh on the wages and progression prospects of outsiders. With immigrants over-represented among low-wage, vulnerable workers, labour market settings likely hurt the foreign-born disproportionately. …

Minimum wages can create a barrier to employment of low-skilled immigrants, especially for youth. As a proportion of the median wage, the Belgian statutory minimum wage is on the high side in international comparison and sectoral agreements generally provide for even higher minima. This helps to prevent in-work poverty … but risks pricing low-skilled workers out of the labour market (Neumark and Wascher, 2006).

Groups with further real or perceived productivity handicaps, such as youth or immigrants, will be among the most affected.

In 2012, the overall unemployment rate in Belgium was 7.6% (15-64 age group), rising to 19.8% for those in the labour force aged under 25, and, among these, reaching 29.3% and 27.9% for immigrants and their native-born offspring, respectively.

Immigration can benefit both immigrants and natives but achieving those benefits requires the appropriate institutions especially open and flexible labor markets.

This post first appeared at Marginal Revolution.

Alex TabarrokAlex Tabarrok

Alex Tabarrok is a professor of economics at George Mason University. He blogs at Marginal Revolution with Tyler Cowen.

watch with ben franklin fee

How the Minimum Wage Can Kill Job Growth without Eliminating Current Jobs by David R. Henderson

Jonathan Meer and Jeremy West have found that increases in the minimum wage destroy jobs, not so much by destroying current jobs as by reducing the growth rate of new jobs.

That makes sense if employers’ investments in capital are even partially irreversible, that is, if some costs of capital investment are sunk, as seems plausible.

Here’s a simple numerical example to illustrate the point.

Imagine that an employer is contemplating investing $100K in the price and installation of a piece of machinery that he expects to last 5 years. Assume for simplicity that once it is bought and installed, the salvage value is zero. (Numbers greater than zero work also, but complicate the analysis, with no additional insight.)

Assume that the current minimum wage is $7 an hour and that the employer contemplates hiring a worker for a standard work year of 2,000 hours. At that wage rate, he can find a suitable worker. Assume that there are no other components of the pay package and that there are no other costs of production. Assume that the employer expects to be able to sell the annual output from the machine/worker combination for $37,000. Assume, for simplicity, a zero real interest rate. (That, by the way, is often a bad assumption but in recent years, it is not far off.)

If the employer expects no increases in wages over the next 5 years, will he make the investment? Yes.

The reason is that his costs over the 5 years are $100K for equipment and $70K for labor, for a total of $170K. His revenues are $185K. Net profit: $15K.

But now imagine that after 2 years of operating profitably, the employer faces a minimum wage of $10 an hour.

Had he known this in advance, he would have known that his cost of labor over the 5 years would have been $14K + $14K + $20K + $20K + $20K = $88K. So his total costs would have been $188K. Compare that to the $185K of revenue and the employer would not have invested.

But the employer has invested. The equipment cost is sunk. Will the employer continue? Yes, he will. The reason: he now compares $20K of annual labor cost to $37K of annual revenue and finds that it is worthwhile to continue.

So he will not lay off the labor.

However, other potential employer/investors facing the same numbers will not make the investment. So whatever growth rate of jobs there would have been will not come about. The growth rate will be lower.

Cross-posted from Econlog.

David R. HendersonDavid R. Henderson

David Henderson is a research fellow with the Hoover Institution and an economics professor at the Graduate School of Business and Public Policy, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California. He is editor of The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics (Liberty Fund) and blogs at econlib.org.

RELATED ARTICLE: After Huge Minimum Wage Hike, What California’s Economic Future Could Look Like

NDP-Logo

Canada’s New Democratic Party Supports of Boycotting Israel

Last month, the Canadian House of Commons voted 229-51 for of a resolution calling upon the government to denounce the virulently anti-Israel BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanction) movement. The Conservative opposition to the Trudeau government introduced this anti-BDS resolution, and the ruling Liberal Party supported it. The New Democratic Party (NDP), however, voted against it, with some NDP members saying that they did so not because they supported BDS, but solely on free speech grounds.

An NDP MP, Charles Angus, suggested in a parliamentary session that the principle of free speech was at stake in supporting the anti-BDS motion. He said: “I note that last August the United Church of Canada, which represents two million Protestants, supported the divestment movement…This has nothing to do with my colleague’s claim that it is delegitimizing the State of Israel. This was a choice it made.”

Why would the United Church of Canada (UCC) make that choice? Solely on free speech grounds? Then why did it refer to Israel as “the thief,” “the occupier,” and “the aggressor” in their 26-page working group report on a bogus fact-finding mission to Israel? (Only three people constituted this “working group” that went on this “mission,” yet they presented themselves as a “working group” that represented the UCC. I have personally spoken to many pastors in the UCC who are against this and felt that the UCC had been were infiltrated by an agenda that was muscled into the church without their knowledge and against their will.)

NDP MP Angus went on to say: “My Conservative colleagues are asking Parliament to stand up in the House and condemn individuals in this country for their right to debate…We are being asked…to deny and condemn individual students for debating politics.”

On the other hand, Liberal foreign affairs minister Stéphane Dion said: “The Liberals do not support this boycott movement, because we do not believe it is conducive to achieving peace in the Middle East.”

That’s much more realistic. BDS is an aggressive movement forced upon universities by Islamists on campuses globally and in Canada through the Muslim Student Association, which do indeed debate politics, as NDP MP Angus stated: the Muslim Student Association has direct ties to terrorism and the Muslim Brotherhood. BDS is clearly a delegitimization of the state of Israel. Constitutionally, it can be disingenuously presented as needing to be protected under a right to free expression, but it is not ultimately about the freedom of expression. The BDS movement is about the branding of Israel wrongfully. Israel is a state that is threatened with obliteration while BDS and other anti-Israel propagandists accuse it unjustly of everything from apartheid to crimes against humanity.

In light of that fact, voting against the anti-BDS motion, as the NDP did, is not, in fact, a free speech or free expression issue. It is an anti-Israel/antisemitic issue which is disguised as an issue of the freedom of expression or the right to one’s own opinion. What other nation on the face of the earth faces threats to its existence in the face of ongoing attacks? None. Not even states that regularly carry out severe abuses against their own citizens and engage in the persecution of religious minorities. Only Israel.

The idea that the NDP actually opposes the BDS movement, while simply supporting the freedom of expression, is extremely dubious claim on other grounds as well. For example, during the debate on this resolution, NDP MP Hélène Laverdière asked whether by adopting the motion, she would be condemning the Ontario arm of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), which endorsed BDS.

One CUPE local site features this anti-Israel propaganda: an article entitled, “Raid on the Gaza Flotilla Israel’s Attack on Us All.” This CUPE article asserts that “Israel is on a “collision course” with international standards of decency, solidarity, and respect for human rights.” How, pray tell, did the Canadian Union of Public Employees ever think it was part of its duties to get involved in Israel’s business?

For the record, on the CUPE  site it states: “CUPE is a founding partner of the NDP. We are proud to be New Democrats.”

Because we value the freedom of expression, BDS is able to flourish stop in our democracy, but the NDP’s opposition to the anti-BDS motion is motivated by an agenda that is far more ominous than a simple determination to defend the freedom of speech, given the NDP’s history and its partnership with CUPE.

Christine Williams is an award-winning broadcast journalist; advisor to Canada’s Office of Religious Freedoms; and Public Affairs/Media Consultant, International Christian Embassy Jerusalem–Canada.

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trump soros

Trump under attack by 187 organizations directly funded by George Soros

There have been many articles written about George Soros and his collectivist activism. Soros is a business magnate, investor, philanthropist, and author who is of Jewish-Hungarian ancestry and holds dual citizenship. He is chairman of Soros Fund Management. Discover the Networks has published a comprehensive list of organizations funded by Soros and his Open Society Institute.

Some of these groups have actively opposed Donald Trump for president and may be part of the recent levels of violence and chaos seen at his rallies. Many of the groups favor: open borders, amnesty, giving illegals voting rights, Muslim migration and social justice.

You may learn more about Soros and his causes from these two articles:

Organizations that, in recent years, have received direct funding and assistance from George Soros and his Open Society Institute (OSI) include the following. (Comprehensive profiles of each are available in the “Groups” section of DiscoverTheNetworks.org):

  1. Advancement Project: This organization works to organize “communities of color” into politically cohesive units while disseminating its leftist worldviews and values as broadly as possible by way of a sophisticated communications department.
  2. Air America Radio: Now defunct, this was a self-identified “liberal” radio network.
  3. All of Us or None: This organization seeks to change voting laws — which vary from state to state — so as to allow ex-inmates, parolees, and even current inmates to cast their ballots in political elections.
  4. Alliance for Justice: Best known for its activism vis a vis the appointment of federal judges, this group consistently depicts Republican judicial nominees as “extremists.”
  5. America Coming Together: Soros played a major role in creating this group, whose purpose was to coordinate and organize pro-Democrat voter-mobilization programs.
  6. America Votes: Soros also played a major role in creating this group, whose get-out-the-vote campaigns targeted likely Democratic voters.
  7. America’s Voice: This open-borders group seeks to promote “comprehensive” immigration reform that includes a robust agenda in favor of amnesty for illegal aliens.
  8. American Bar Association Commission on Immigration Policy: This organization “opposes laws that require employers and persons providing education, health care, or other social services to verify citizenship or immigration status.”
  9. American Bridge 21st Century: This Super PAC conducts opposition research designed to help Democratic political candidates defeat their Republican foes.
  10. American Civil Liberties Union: This group opposes virtually all post-9/11 national security measures enacted by the U.S. government. It supports open borders, has rushed to the defense of suspected terrorists and their abettors, and appointed former New Left terrorist Bernardine Dohrn to its Advisory Board.
  11. American Constitution Society for Law and Policy: This Washington, DC-based think tank seeks to move American jurisprudence to the left by recruiting, indoctrinating, and mobilizing young law students, helping them acquire positions of power. It also provides leftist Democrats with a bully pulpit from which to denounce their political adversaries.
  12. American Family Voices: This group creates and coordinates media campaigns charging Republicans with wrongdoing.
  13. American Federation of Teachers: After longtime AFT President Albert Shanker died in in 1997, he was succeeded by Sandra Feldman, who slowly “re-branded” the union, allying it with some of the most powerful left-wing elements of the New Labor Movement. When Feldman died in 2004, Edward McElroy took her place, followed by Randi Weingarten in 2008. All of them kept the union on the leftward course it had adopted in its post-Shanker period.
  14. American Friends Service Committee: This group views the United States as the principal cause of human suffering around the world. As such, it favors America’s unilateral disarmament, the dissolution of American borders, amnesty for illegal aliens, the abolition of the death penalty, and the repeal of the Patriot Act.
  15. American Immigration Council: This non-profit organization is a prominent member of the open-borders lobby. It advocates expanded rights and amnesty for illegal aliens residing in the U.S.
  16. American Immigration Law Foundation: This group supports amnesty for illegal aliens, on whose behalf it litigates against the U.S. government.
  17. American Independent News Network: This organization promotes “impact journalism” that advocates progressive change.
  18. American Institute for Social Justice: AISJ’s goal is to produce skilled community organizers who can “transform poor communities” by agitating for increased government spending on city services, drug interdiction, crime prevention, housing, public-sector jobs, access to healthcare, and public schools.
  19. American Library Association: This group has been an outspoken critic of the Bush administration’s War on Terror — most particularly, Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act, which it calls “a present danger to the constitutional rights and privacy rights of library users.”
  20. The American Prospect, Inc.: This corporation trains and mentors young leftwing journalists, and organizes strategy meetings for leftist leaders.
  21. Amnesty International: This organization directs a grossly disproportionate share of its criticism for human rights violations at the United States and Israel.
  22. Applied Research Center: Viewing the United States as a nation where “structural racism” is deeply “embedded in the fabric of society,” ARC seeks to “build a fair and equal society” by demanding “concrete change from our most powerful institutions.”
  23. Arab American Institute Foundation: The Arab American Institute denounces the purportedly widespread civil liberties violations directed against Arab Americans in the post-9/11 period, and characterizes Israel as a brutal oppressor of the Palestinian people.
  24. Aspen Institute: This organization promotes radical environmentalism and views America as a nation plagued by deep-seated “structural racism.”
  25. Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now: This group conducts voter mobilization drives on behalf of leftist Democrats. These initiatives have been notoriously marred by fraud and corruption.
  26. Ballot Initiative Strategy Center: This organization seeks to advance “a national progressive strategy” by means of ballot measures—state-level legislative proposals that pass successfully through a petition (“initiative”) process and are then voted upon by the public.
  27. Bill of Rights Defense Committee: This group provides a detailed blueprint for activists interested in getting their local towns, cities, and even college campuses to publicly declare their opposition to the Patriot Act, and to designate themselves “Civil Liberties Safe Zones.” The organization also came to the defense of self-described radical attorney Lynne Stewart, who was convicted in 2005 of providing material support for terrorism.
  28. Black Alliance for Just Immigration: This organization seeks to create a unified movement for “social and economic justice” centered on black racial identity.
  29. Blueprint North Carolina: This group seeks to “influence state policy in North Carolina so that residents of the state benefit from more progressive policies such as better access to health care, higher wages, more affordable housing, a safer, cleaner environment, and access to reproductive health services.”
  30. Brennan Center for Justice: This think tank/legal activist group generates scholarly studies, mounts media campaigns, files amicus briefs, gives pro bono support to activists, and litigates test cases in pursuit of radical “change.”
  31. Brookings Institution: This organization has been involved with a variety of internationalist and state-sponsored programs, including one that aspires to facilitate the establishment of a U.N.-dominated world government. Brookings Fellows have also called for additional global collaboration on trade and banking; the expansion of the Kyoto Protocol; and nationalized health insurance for children. Nine Brookings economists signed a petition opposing President Bush’s tax cuts in 2003.
  32. Campaign for America’s Future: This group supports tax hikes, socialized medicine, and a dramatic expansion of social welfare programs.
  33. Campaign for Better Health Care: This organization favors a single-payer, government-run, universal health care system.
  34. Campaign for Youth Justice: This organization contends that “transferring juveniles to the adult criminal-justice system leads to higher rates of recidivism, puts incarcerated and detained youth at unnecessary risk, has little deterrence value, and does not increase public safety.”
  35. Campus Progress: A project of the Soros-bankrolled Center for American Progress, this group seeks to “strengthen progressive voices on college and university campuses, counter the growing influence of right-wing groups on campus, and empower new generations of progressive leaders.”
  36. Casa de Maryland: This organization aggressively lobbies legislators to vote in favor of policies that promote expanded rights, including amnesty, for illegal aliens currently residing in the United States.
  37. Catalist: This is a for-profit political consultancy that seeks “to help progressive organizations realize measurable increases in civic participation and electoral success by building and operating a robust national voter database of every voting-age American.”
  38. Catholics for Choice: This nominally Catholic organization supports women’s right to abortion-on-demand.
  39. Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good: This political nonprofit group is dedicated to generating support from the Catholic community for leftwing candidates, causes, and legislation.
  40. Center for American Progress: This leftist think tank is headed by former Clinton chief of staff John Podesta, works closely with Hillary Clinton, and employs numerous former Clinton administration staffers. It is committed to “developing a long-term vision of a progressive America” and “providing a forum to generate new progressive ideas and policy proposals.”
  41. Center for Community Change: This group recruits and trains activists to spearhead leftist “political issue campaigns.” Promoting increased funding for social welfare programs by bringing “attention to major national issues related to poverty,” the Center bases its training programs on the techniques taught by the famed radical organizer Saul Alinsky.
  42. Center for Constitutional Rights: This pro-Castro organization is a core member of the open borders lobby, has opposed virtually all post-9/11 anti-terrorism measures by the U.S. government, and alleges that American injustice provokes acts of international terrorism.
  43. Center for Economic and Policy Research: This group opposed welfare reform, supports “living wage” laws, rejects tax cuts, and consistently lauds the professed achievements of socialist regimes, most notably Venezuela.
  44. Center for Reproductive Rights: CRR’s mission is to guarantee safe, affordable contraception and abortion-on-demand for all women, including adolescents. The organization has filed state and federal lawsuits demanding access to taxpayer-funded abortions (through Medicaid) for low-income women.
  45. Center for Responsible Lending: This organization was a major player in the subprime mortgage crisis. According to Phil Kerpen (vice president for policy at Americans for Prosperity), CRL “sh[ook] down and harass[ed] banks into making bad loans to unqualified borrowers.” Moreover, CRL negotiated a contract enabling it to operate as a conduit of high-risk loans to Fannie Mae.
  46. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: Reasoning from the premise that tax cuts generally help only the wealthy, this organization advocates greater tax expenditures on social welfare programs for low earners.
  47. Center on Wisconsin Strategy (COWS): Aiming to redistribute wealth by way of higher taxes imposed on those whose incomes are above average, COWS contends that “it is important that state government be able to harness fair contribution from all parts of society – including corporations and the wealthy.”
  48. Change America Now: Formed in December 2006, Change America Now describes itself as “an independent political organization created to educate citizens on the failed policies of the Republican Congress and to contrast that record of failure with the promise offered by a Democratic agenda.”
  49. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington: This group litigates and brings ethics charges against “government officials who sacrifice the common good to special interests” and “betray the public trust.” Almost all of its targets are Republicans.
  50. Coalition for an International Criminal Court: This group seeks to subordinate American criminal-justice procedures to those of an international court.
  51. Common Cause: This organization aims to bring about campaign-finance reform, pursue media reform resembling the Fairness Doctrine, and cut military budgets in favor of increased social-welfare and environmental spending.
  52. Constitution Project: This organization seeks to challenge the legality of military commissions; end the detainment of “enemy combatants”; condemn government surveillance of terrorists; and limit the President’s executive privileges.
  53. Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund: Defenders of Wildlife opposes oil exploration in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. It condemns logging, ranching, mining, and even the use of recreational motorized vehicles as activities that are destructive to the environment.
  54. Democracy Alliance: This self-described “liberal organization” aims to raise $200 million to develop a funding clearinghouse for leftist groups. Soros is a major donor to this group.
  55. Democracy 21: This group is a staunch supporter of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, also known as the McCain-Feingold Act.
  56. Democracy Now!: Democracy Now! was created in 1996 by WBAI radio news director Amy Goodman and four partners to provide “perspectives rarely heard in the U.S. corporate-sponsored media,” i.e., the views of radical and foreign journalists, left and labor activists, and ideological foes of capitalism.
  57. Democratic Justice Fund: DJF opposes the Patriot Act and most efforts to restrict or regulate immigration into the United States — particularly from countries designated by the State Department as “terrorist nations.”
  58. Democratic Party: Soros’ funding activities are devoted largely to helping the Democratic Party solidify its power base. In a November 2003 interview, Soros stated that defeating President Bush in 2004 “is the central focus of my life” … “a matter of life and death.” He pledged to raise $75 million to defeat Bush, and personally donated nearly a third of that amount to anti-Bush organizations. “America under Bush,” he said, “is a danger to the world, and I’m willing to put my money where my mouth is.”
  59. Demos: This organization lobbies federal and state policymakers to “addres[s] the economic insecurity and inequality that characterize American society today”; promotes “ideas for reducing gaps in wealth, income and political influence”; and favors tax hikes for the wealthy.
  60. Drum Major Institute: This group describes itself as “a non-partisan, non-profit think tank generating the ideas that fuel the progressive movement,” with the ultimate aim of persuading “policymakers and opinion-leaders” to take steps that advance its vision of “social and economic justice.”
  61. Earthjustice: This group seeks to place severe restrictions on how U.S. land and waterways may be used. It opposes most mining and logging initiatives, commercial fishing businesses, and the use of motorized vehicles in undeveloped areas.
  62. Economic Policy Institute: This organization believes that “government must play an active role in protecting the economically vulnerable, ensuring equal opportunity, and improving the well-being of all Americans.”
  63. Electronic Privacy Information Center: This organization has been a harsh critic of the USA PATRIOT Act and has joined the American Civil Liberties Union in litigating two cases calling for the FBI “to publicly release or account for thousands of pages of information about the government’s use of PATRIOT Act powers.”
  64. Ella Baker Center for Human Rights: Co-founded by the revolutionary communist Van Jones, this anti-poverty organization claims that “decades of disinvestment in our cities” — compounded by “excessive, racist policing and over-incarceration” — have “led to despair and homelessness.”
  65. EMILY’s List: This political network raises money for Democratic female political candidates who support unrestricted access to taxpayer-funded abortion-on-demand.
  66. Energy Action Coalition: Founded in 2004, this group describes itself as “a coalition of 50 youth-led environmental and social justice groups working together to build the youth clean energy and climate movement.” For EAC, this means “dismantling oppression” according to its principles of environmental justice.
  67. Equal Justice USA: This group claims that America’s criminal-justice system is plagued by “significant race and class biases,” and thus seeks to promote major reforms.
  68. Fair Immigration Reform Movement: This is the open-borders arm of the Center for Community Change.
  69. Faithful America: This organization promotes the redistribution of wealth, an end to enhanced interrogation procedures vis a vis prisoners-of-war, the enactment of policies to combat global warming, and the creation of a government-run heath care system.
  70. Feminist Majority: Characterizing the United States as an inherently sexist nation, this group focuses on “advancing the legal, social and political equality of women with men, countering the backlash to women’s advancement, and recruiting and training young feminists to encourage future leadership for the feminist movement in the United States.”
  71. Four Freedoms Fund: This organization was designed to serve as a conduit through which large foundations could fund state-based open-borders organizations more flexibly and quickly.
  72. Free Exchange on Campus: This organization was created solely to oppose the efforts of one individual, David Horowitz, and his campaign to have universities adopt an “Academic Bill of Rights,” as well as to denounce Horowitz’s 2006 book The Professors. Member organizations of FEC include Campus Progress (a project of the Center for American Progress); the American Association of University Professors; the American Civil Liberties UnionPeople For the American Way; the United States Student Association; the Center for Campus Free Speech; the American Library AssociationFree Press; and the National Association of State Public Interest Research Groups.
  73. Free Press: This “media reform” organization has worked closely with many notable leftists and such organizations as Media Matters for AmericaAir America RadioGlobal ExchangeCode PinkFairness and Accuracy in Reporting, the Revolutionary Communist PartyMother Jones magazine, and Pacifica Radio.
  74. Funding Exchange: Dedicated to the concept of philanthropy as a vehicle for social change, this organization pairs leftist donors and foundations with like minded groups and activists who are dedicated to bringing about their own version of “progressive” change and social justice. Many of these grantees assume that American society is rife with racism, discrimination, exploitation, and inequity and needs to be overhauled via sustained education, activism, and social agitation.
  75. Gamaliel Foundation: Modeling its tactics on those of the radical Sixties activist Saul Alinsky, this group takes a strong stand against current homeland security measures and immigration restrictions.
  76. Gisha: Center for the Legal Protection of Freedom of Movement: This anti-Israel organization seeks to help Palestinians “exercise their right to freedom of movement.”
  77. Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect: This group contends that when a state proves either unable or unwilling to protect civilians from mass atrocities occurring within its borders, it is the responsibility of the international community to intervene — peacefully if possible, but with military force if necessary.
  78. Global Exchange: Established in 1988 by pro-Castro radical Medea Benjamin, this group consistently condemns America’s foreign policy, business practices, and domestic life. Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Global Exchange advised Americans to examine “the root causes of resentment against the United States in the Arab world — from our dependence on Middle Eastern oil to our biased policy towards Israel.”
  79. Grantmakers Without Borders: GWB tends to be very supportive of leftist environmental, anti-war, and civil rights groups. It is also generally hostile to capitalism, which it deems one of the chief “political, economic, and social systems” that give rise to a host of “social ills.”
  80. Green For All: This group was created by Van Jones to lobby for federal climate, energy, and economic policy initiatives.
  81. Health Care for America Now: This group supports a “single payer” model where the federal government would be in charge of financing and administering the entire U.S. healthcare system.
  82. Human Rights Campaign: The largest “lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender” lobbying group in the United States, HRC supports political candidates and legislation that will advance the LGBT agenda. Historically, HRC has most vigorously championed HIV/AIDS-related legislation, “hate crime” laws, the abrogation of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, and the legalization of gay marriage.
  83. Human Rights First: This group supports open borders and the rights of illegal aliens; charges that the Patriot Act severely erodes Americans’ civil liberties; has filed amicus curiae briefs on behalf of terror suspect Jose Padilla; and deplores the Guantanamo Bay detention facilities.
  84. Human Rights Watch: This group directs a disproportionate share of its criticism at the United States and Israel. It opposes the death penalty in all cases, and supports open borders and amnesty for illegal aliens.
  85. I’lam: This anti-Israel NGO seeks “to develop and empower the Arab media and to give voice to Palestinian issues.”
  86. Immigrant Defense Project: To advance the cause of illegal immigrants, the IDP provides immigration law backup support and counseling to New York defense attorneys and others who represent or assist immigrants in criminal justice and immigration systems, as well as to immigrants themselves.
  87. Immigrant Legal Resource Center: This group claims to have helped gain amnesty for some three million illegal aliens in the U.S., and in the 1980s was part of the sanctuary movement which sought to grant asylum to refugees from the failed Communist states of Central America.
  88. Immigrant Workers Citizenship Project: This open-borders organization advocates mass immigration to the U.S.
  89. Immigration Advocates Network: This alliance of immigrant-rights groups seeks  to “increase access to justice for low-income immigrants and strengthen the capacity of organizations serving them.”
  90. Immigration Policy Center: IPC is an advocate of open borders and contends that the massive influx of illegal immigrants into America is due to U.S. government policy, since “the broken immigration system […] spurs unauthorized immigration in the first place.”
  91. Independent Media Center: This Internet-based, news and events bulletin board represents an invariably leftist, anti-capitalist perspective and serves as a mouthpiece for anti-globalization/anti-America themes.
  92. Independent Media Institute: IMI administers the SPIN Project (Strategic Press Information Network), which provides leftist organizations with “accessible and affordable strategic communications consulting, training, coaching, networking opportunities and concrete tools” to help them “achieve their social justice goals.”
  93. Institute for America’s Future: IAF supports socialized medicine, increased government funding for education, and the creation of an infrastructure “to ensure that the voice of the progressive majority is heard.”
  94. Institute for New Economic Thinking: Seeking to create a new worldwide “economic paradigm,” this organization is staffed by numerous individuals who favor government intervention in national economies, and who view capitalism as a flawed system.
  95. Institute for Policy Studies: This think tank has long supported Communist and anti-American causes around the world. Viewing capitalism as a breeding ground for “unrestrained greed,” IPS seeks to provide a corrective to “unrestrained markets and individualism.” Professing an unquestioning faith in the righteousness of the United Nations, it aims to bring American foreign policy under UN control.
  96. Institute for Public Accuracy: This anti-American, anti-capitalist, anti-Israel organization sponsored actor Sean Penn’s celebrated visit to Baghdad in 2002. It also sponsored visits to Iraq by Democratic Congressmen Nick Rahall and former Democrat Senator James Abourezk
  97. Institute for Women’s Policy Research: This group views the U.S. as a nation rife with discrimination against women, and publishes research to draw attention to this alleged state of affairs. It also advocates unrestricted access to taxpayer-funded abortion-on-demand, stating that “access to abortion is essential to the economic well-being of women and girls.”
  98. International Crisis Group: One of this organization’s leading figures is its Mideast Director, Robert Malley, who was President Bill Clinton’s Special Assistant for Arab-Israeli Affairs. His analysis of the Mideast conflict is markedly pro-Palestinian.
  99. J Street: This anti-Israel group warns that Israel’s choice to take military action to stop Hamas’ terrorist attacks “will prove counter-productive and only deepen the cycle of violence in the region”
  100. Jewish Funds for Justice: This organization views government intervention and taxpayer funding as crucial components of enlightened social policy. It seeks to redistribute wealth from Jewish donors to low-income communities “to combat the root causes of domestic economic and social injustice.” By JFJ’s reckoning, chief among those root causes are the inherently negative by-products of capitalism – most notably racism and “gross economic inequality.”
  101. Joint Victory Campaign 2004: Founded by George Soros and Harold Ickes, this group was a major fundraising entity for Democrats during the 2004 election cycle. It collected contributions (including large amounts from Soros personally) and disbursed them to two other groups, America Coming Together and the Media Fund, which also worked on behalf of Democrats.
  102. Justice at Stake: This coalition calls for judges to be appointed by nonpartisan, independent commissions in a process known as “merit selection,” rather than elected by the voting public.
  103. Latino Justice PRLDF: This organization supports bilingual education, the racial gerrymandering of voting districts, and expanded rights for illegal aliens.
  104. Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law: This group views America as an unremittingly racist nation; uses the courts to mandate race-based affirmative action preferences in business and academia; has filed briefs against the Department of Homeland Security’s efforts to limit the wholesale granting of green cards and to identify potential terrorists; condemns the Patriot Act; and calls on Americans to “recognize the contribution” of illegal aliens.
  105. League of United Latin American Citizens: This group views America as a nation plagued by “an alarming increase in xenophobia and anti-Hispanic sentiment”; favors racial preferences; supports the legalization of illegal Hispanic aliens; opposes military surveillance of U.S. borders; opposes making English America’s official language; favors open borders; and rejects anti-terrorism legislation like the Patriot Act.
  106. League of Women Voters Education Fund: The League supports taxpayer-funded abortion-on-demand; supports “motor-voter” registration, which allows anyone with a driver’s license to become a voter, regardless of citizenship status; and supports tax hikes and socialized medicine.
  107. League of Young Voters: This organization seeks to “empowe[r] young people nationwide” to “participate in the democratic process and create progressive political change on the local, state and national level[s].”
  108. Lynne Stewart Defense Committee: IRS records indicate that Soros’s Open Society Institute made a September 2002 grant of $20,000 to this organization. Stewart was the criminal-defense attorney who was later convicted for abetting her client, the “blind sheikh” Omar Abdel Rahman, in terrorist activities connected with his Islamic Group.
  109. Machsom Watch: This organization describes itself as “a movement of Israeli women, peace activists from all sectors of Israeli society, who oppose the Israeli occupation and the denial of Palestinians’ rights to move freely in their land.”
  110. MADRE: This international women’s organization deems America the world’s foremost violator of human rights. As such, it seeks to “communicat[e] the real-life impact of U.S. policies on women and families confronting violence, poverty and repression around the world,” and to “demand alternatives to destructive U.S. policies.” It also advocates unrestricted access to taxpayer-funded abortion-on-demand.
  111. Malcolm X Grassroots Movement: This group views the U.S. as a nation replete with racism and discrimination against blacks; seeks to establish an independent black nation in the southeastern United States; and demands reparations for slavery.
  112. Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition: This group calls for the expansion of civil rights and liberties for illegal aliens; laments that illegal aliens in America are commonly subjected to “worker exploitation”; supports tuition-assistance programs for illegal aliens attending college; and characterizes the Patriot Act as a “very troubling” assault on civil liberties.
  113. Media Fund: Soros played a major role in creating this group, whose purpose was to conceptualize, produce, and place political ads on television, radio, print, and the Internet.
  114. Media Matters for America: This organization is a “web-based, not-for-profit … progressive research and information center” seeking to “systematically monitor a cross-section of print, broadcast, cable, radio, and Internet media outlets for conservative misinformation.” The group works closely with the Soros-backed Center for American Progress, and is heavily funded by Democracy Alliance, of which Soros is a major financier.
  115. Mercy Corps: Vis a vis the Arab-Israeli conflict, Mercy Corps places all blame for Palestinian poverty and suffering directly on Israel.
  116. Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund: This group advocates open borders, free college tuition for illegal aliens, lowered educational standards to accommodate Hispanics, and voting rights for criminals. In MALDEF’s view, supporters of making English the official language of the United States are “motivated by racism and anti-immigrant sentiments,” while advocates of sanctions against employers reliant on illegal labor seek to discriminate against “brown-skinned people.”
  117. Meyer, Suozzi, English and Klein, PC: This influential defender of Big Labor is headed by Democrat operative Harold Ickes.
  118. Midwest Academy: This entity trains radical activists in the tactics of direct action, targeting, confrontation, and intimidation.
  119. Migration Policy Institute: This group seeks to create “a North America with gradually disappearing border controls … with permanent migration remaining at moderate levels.”
  120. Military Families Speak Out: This group ascribes the U.S. invasion of Iraq to American imperialism and lust for oil.
  121. Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment: This group is the re-branded Missouri branch of the now-defunct, pro-socialist, community organization ACORN.
  122. MoveOn.org: This Web-based organization supports Democratic political candidates through fundraising, advertising, and get-out-the-vote drives.
  123. Ms. Foundation for Women: This group laments what it views as the widespread and enduring flaws of American society: racism, sexism, homophobia, and the violation of civil rights and liberties. It focuses its philanthropy on groups that promote affirmative action for women, unfettered access to taxpayer-funded abortion-on-demand, amnesty for illegal aliens, and big government generally.
  124. NARAL Pro-Choice America: This group supports taxpayer-funded abortion-on-demand, and works to elect pro-abortion Democrats.
  125. NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund: The NAACP supports racial preferences in employment and education, as well as the racial gerrymandering of voting districts. Underpinning its support for race preferences is the fervent belief that white racism in the United States remains an intractable, largely undiminished, phenomenon.
  126. The Nation Institute: This nonprofit entity sponsors leftist conferences, fellowships, awards for radical activists, and journalism internships.
  127. National Abortion Federation: This group opposes any restrictions on abortion at either the state or federal levels, and champions the introduction of unrestricted abortion into developing regions of the world.
  128. National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty: This group was established in 1976 as the first “fully staffed national organization exclusively devoted to abolishing capital punishment.”
  129. National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy: This group depicts the United States as a nation in need of dramatic structural change financed by philanthropic organizations. It overwhelmingly promotes grant-makers and grantees with leftist agendas, while criticizing their conservative counterparts.
  130. National Committee for Voting Integrity: This group opposes “the implementation of proof of citizenship and photo identification requirements for eligible electors in American elections as the means of assuring election integrity.”
  131. National Council for Research on Women: This group supports big government, high taxes, military spending cuts, increased social welfare spending, and the unrestricted right to taxpayer-funded abortion-on-demand.
  132. National Council of La Raza: This group lobbies for racial preferences, bilingual education, stricter hate-crime laws, mass immigration, and amnesty for illegal aliens.
  133. National Council of Women’s Organizations: This group views the United States as a nation rife with injustice against girls and women. It advocates high levels of spending for social welfare programs, and supports race and gender preferences for minorities and women in business and academia.
  134. National Immigration Forum: Opposing the enforcement of present immigration laws, this organization urges the American government to “legalize” en masse all illegal aliens currently in the United States who have no criminal records, and to dramatically increase the number of visas available for those wishing to migrate to the U.S. The Forum is particularly committed to opening the borders to unskilled, low-income workers, and immediately making them eligible for welfare and social service programs.
  135. National Immigration Law Center: This group seeks to win unrestricted access to government-funded social welfare programs for illegal aliens.
  136. National Lawyers Guild: This group promotes open borders; seeks to weaken America’s intelligence-gathering agencies; condemns the Patriot Act as an assault on civil liberties; rejects capitalism as an nonviable economic system; has rushed to the defense of convicted terrorists and their abettors; and generally opposes all U.S. foreign policy positions, just as it did during the Cold War when it sided with the Soviets.
  137. National Organization for Women: This group advocates the unfettered right to taxpayer-funded abortion-on-demand; seeks to “eradicate racism, sexism and homophobia” from American society; attacks Christianity and traditional religious values; and supports gender-based preferences for women.
  138. National Partnership for Women and Families: This organization supports race- and sex-based preferences in employment and education. It also advocates for the universal “right” of women to undergo taxpayer-funded abortion-on-demand at any stage of pregnancy and for any reason.
  139. National Priorities Project: This group supports government-mandated redistribution of wealth — through higher taxes and greater expenditures on social welfare programs. NPP exhorts the government to redirect a significant portion of its military funding toward public education, universal health insurance, environmentalist projects, and welfare programs.
  140. National Public Radio: Founded in 1970 with 90 public radio stations as charter members, NPR is today a loose network of more than 750 U.S. radio stations across the country, many of which are based on college and university campuses. (source)
  141. National Security Archive Fund: This group collects and publishes declassified documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act to a degree that compromises American national security and the safety of intelligence agents.
  142. National Women’s Law Center: This group supports taxpayer-funded abortion-on-demand; lobbies against conservative judicial appointees; advocates increased welfare spending to help low-income mothers; and favors higher taxes for the purpose of generating more funds for such government programs as Medicaid, food stamps, welfare, foster care, health care, child-support enforcement, and student loans.
  143. Natural Resources Defense Council: One of the most influential environmentalist lobbying groups in the United States, the Council claims a membership of one million people.
  144. New America Foundation: This organization uses policy papers, media articles, books, and educational events to influence public opinion on such topics as healthcare, environmentalism, energy policy, the Mideast conflict, global governance, and much more.
  145. New Israel Fund: This organization gives support to NGOs that regularly produce reports accusing Israel of human-rights violations and religious persecution.
  146. NewsCorpWatch: A project of Media Matters For America, NewsCorpWatch was established with the help of a $1 million George Soros grant to Media Matters.
  147. Pacifica Foundation: This entity owns and operates Pacifica Radio, awash from its birth with the socialist-Marxist rhetoric of class warfare and hatred for capitalism.
  148. Peace and Security Funders Group: This is an association of more than 60 foundations that give money to leftist anti-war and environmentalist causes. Its members tend to depict America as the world’s chief source of international conflict, environmental destruction, and economic inequalities.
  149. Peace Development Fund: In PDF’s calculus, the United States needs a massive overhaul of its social and economic institutions. “Recently,” explains PDF, “we have witnessed the negative effects of neo-liberalism and the globalization of capitalism, the de-industrialization of the U.S. and the growing gap between the rich and poor …”
  150. People for the American Way: This group opposes the Patriot Act, anti-terrorism measures generally, and the allegedly growing influence of the “religious right.”
  151. People Improving Communities Through Organizing: This group uses Alinsky-style organizing tactics to advance the doctrines of the religious left.
  152. Physicians for Human Rights: This group is selectively and disproportionately critical of the United States and Israel in its condemnations of human rights violations.
  153. Physicians for Social Responsibility: This is an anti-U.S.-military organization that also embraces the tenets of radical environmentalism.
  154. Planned Parenthood: This group is the largest abortion provider in the United States and advocates taxpayer-funded abortion-on-demand.
  155. Ploughshares Fund: This public grant making foundation opposes America’s development of a missile defense system, and contributes to many organizations that are highly critical of U.S. foreign policies and military ventures.
  156. Prepare New York: This group supported the proposed construction of a Muslim Community Center near Ground Zero in lower Manhattan – a project known as the Cordoba Initiative, headed by Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf.
  157. Presidential Climate Action Project: PCAP’s mission is to create a new 21st-century economy, completely carbon-free and based largely on renewable energy. A key advisor to the organization is the revolutionary communist Van Jones.
  158. Prison Moratorium Project: This initiative was created in 1995 for the express purpose of working for the elimination of all prisons in the United States and the release of all inmates. Reasoning from the premise that incarceration is never an appropriate means of dealing with crime, it deems American society’s inherent inequities the root of all criminal behavior.
  159. Progressive Change Campaign Committee: This organization works “to elect bold progressive candidates to federal office and to help [them] and their campaigns save money, work smarter, and win more often.”
  160. Progressive States Network: PSN’s mission is to “pass progressive legislation in all fifty states by providing coordinated research and strategic advocacy tools to forward-thinking state legislators.”
  161. Project Vote: This is the voter-mobilization arm of the Soros-funded ACORN. A persistent pattern of lawlessness and corruption has followed ACORN/Project Vote activities over the years.
  162. Pro Publica: Claiming that “investigative journalism is at risk,” this group aims to remedy this lacuna in news publishing by “expos[ing] abuses of power and betrayals of the public trust by government, business, and other institutions, using the moral force of investigative journalism to spur reform through the sustained spotlighting of wrongdoing.”
  163. Proteus Fund: This foundation directs its philanthropy toward a number of radical leftwing organizations.
  164. Public Citizen Foundation: Public Citizen seeks increased government intervention and litigation against corporations — a practice founded on the notion that American corporations, like the capitalist system of which they are a part, are inherently inclined toward corruption.
  165. Public Justice Center: Viewing America as a nation rife with injustice and discrimination, this organization engages in legislative and policy advocacy to promote “systemic change for the disenfranchised.”
  166. Rebuild and Renew America Now (a.k.a. Unity ’09): Spearheaded by MoveOn.org and overseen by longtime activist Heather Booth, this coalition was formed to facilitate the passage of President Obama’s “historic” $3.5 trillion budget for fiscal year 2010.
  167. Res Publica: Seeking to advance far-left agendas in places all around the world, RP specializes in “E-advocacy,” or web-based movement-building.
  168. Secretary of State Project: This project was launched in July 2006 as an independent “527” organization devoted to helping Democrats get elected to the office of Secretary of State in selected swing, or battleground, states.
  169. Sentencing Project: Asserting that prison-sentencing patterns are racially discriminatory, this initiative advocates voting rights for felons.
  170. Social Justice Leadership: This organization seeks to transform an allegedly inequitable America into a “just society” by means of “a renewed social-justice movement.”
  171. Shadow Democratic Party: This is an elaborate network of non-profit activist groups organized by George Soros and others to mobilize resources — money, get-out-the-vote drives, campaign advertising, and policy initiatives — to elect Democratic candidates and guide the Democratic Party towards the left.
  172. Sojourners: This evangelical Christian ministry preaches radical left-wing politics. During the 1980s it championed Communist revolution in Central America and chastised U.S. policy-makers for their tendency “to assume the very worst about their Soviet counterparts.” More recently, Sojourners has taken up the cause of environmental activism, opposed welfare reform as a “mean-spirited Republican agenda,” and mounted a defense of affirmative action.
  173. Southern Poverty Law Center: This organization monitors the activities of what it calls “hate groups” in the United States. It exaggerates the prevalence of white racism directed against American minorities.
  174. State Voices: This coalition helps independent local activist groups in 22 states work collaboratively on a year-round basis, so as to maximize the impact of their efforts.
  175. Talking Transition: This was a two-week project launched in early November 2013 to “help shape the transition” to City Hall for the newly elected Democratic mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio.
  176. Think Progress: This Internet blog “pushes back, daily,” by its own account, against its conservative targets, and seeks to transform “progressive ideas into policy through rapid response communications, legislative action, grassroots organizing and advocacy, and partnerships with other progressive leaders throughout the country and the world.”
  177. Thunder Road Group: This political consultancy, in whose creation Soros had a hand, coordinates strategy for the Media FundAmerica Coming Together, and America Votes.
  178. Tides Foundation and Tides Center: Tides is a major funder of the radical Left.
  179. U.S. Public Interest Research Group: This is an umbrella organization of student groups that support leftist agendas.
  180. Universal Healthcare Action Network: This organization supports a single-payer health care system controlled by the federal government.
  181. Urban Institute: This research organization favors socialized medicine, expansion of the federal welfare bureaucracy, and tax hikes for higher income-earners.
  182. USAction Education Fund: USAction lists its priorities as: “fighting the right wing agenda”; “building grassroots political power”; winning “social, racial and economic justice for all”; supporting a system of taxpayer-funded socialized medicine; reversing “reckless tax cuts for millionaires and corporations” which shield the “wealthy” from paying their “fair share”; advocating for “pro-consumer and environmental regulation of corporate abuse”; “strengthening progressive voices on local, state and national issues”; and working to “register, educate and get out the vote … [to] help progressives get elected at all levels of government.”
  183. Voto Latino: This group seeks to mobilize Latin-Americans to become registered voters and political activists.
  184. We Are America Alliance: This coalition promotes “increased civic participation by immigrants” in the American political process.
  185. Working Families Party: An outgrowth of the socialist New Party, WFP seeks to help push the Democratic Party toward the left.
  186. World Organization Against Torture: This coalition works closely with groups that condemn Israeli security measures against Palestinian terrorism.
  187. YWCA World Office, Switzerland: The YWCA opposes abstinence education; supports universal access to taxpayer-funded abortion-on-demand; and opposes school vouchers.

Secondary or Indirect Affiliates of the George Soros Network

In addition to those organizations that are funded directly by George Soros and his Open Society Institute (OSI), there are also numerous “secondary” or “indirect” affiliates of the Soros network. These include organizations which do not receive direct funding from Soros and OSI, but which are funded by one or more organizations that do.

  • Center for Progressive Leadership: Funded by the Soros-bankrolled Democracy Alliance, this anti-capitalist organization is dedicated to training future leftist political leaders.
  • John Adams Project:This project of the American Civil Liberties Union was accused of: (a) having hired investigators to photograph CIA officers thought to have been involved in enhanced interrogations of terror suspects detained in Guantanamo, and then (b) showing the photos to the attorneys of those suspects, some of whom were senior al-Qaeda operatives.
  • Moving Ideas Network (MIN): This coalition of more than 250 left-wing activist groups is a partner organization of the Soros-backed Center for American Progress. MIN was originally a project of the Soros-backed American Prospect and, as such, received indirect funding from the Open Society Institute. In early 2006, The American Prospect relinquished control of the Moving Ideas Network.
  • New Organizing Institute: Created by the Soros-funded MoveOn.org, this group “trains young, technology-enabled political organizers to work for progressive campaigns and organizations.”
  • Think Progress: This “project” of the American Progress Action Fund, which is a “sister advocacy organization”of the Soros-funded Center for American Progress and Campus Progress, seeks to transform “progressive ideas into policy through rapid response communications, legislative action, grassroots organizing and advocacy, and partnerships with other progressive leaders throughout the country and the world.”
  • Vote for Change: Coordinated by the political action committee of the Soros-funded MoveOn.org, Vote for Change was a group of 41 musicians and bands that performed concerts in several key election “battleground”states during October 2004, to raise money in support of Democrat John Kerry‘s presidential bid.
  • Working Families Party: Created in 1998 to help push the Democratic Party toward the left, this front group for the Soros-funded ACORN functions as a political party that promotes ACORN-friendly candidates.

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teenager need job sign

The $15 Minimum Wage and the End of Teen Work by Jack Salmon

A new report from JP Morgan Chase & Co. finds that the summer employment rate for teenagers is nearing a record low at 34 percent. The report surveyed 15 US cities and found that despite an increase in summer positions available over a two year period, only 38 percent of teens and young adults found summer jobs.

This would be worrying by itself given the importance of work experience in entry-level career development, but it is also part of a long-term trend. Since 1995 the rate of seasonal teenage employment has declined by over a third from around 55 percent to 34 percent in 2015. The report does not attempt to examine why summer youth employment has fallen over the past two decades. If it had, it would probably find one answer in the minimum wage.

Most of the 15 cities studied in this report have minimum wage rates above the federal level, with cities such as Seattle having a rate more than double that. Recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics seen in the chart show exactly how a drastic rise in the minimum wage rate affects the rate of employment.

Seattle has experienced the largest 3 month job loss in its history last year, following the introduction of a $15 minimum wage. We can only imagine the impact such a change has had on the prospects of employment for the young and unskilled.

Raising the minimum wage reduces the number of jobs in the long-run. It is difficult to measure this long-run effect in terms of the numbers of never materializing jobs. However, the key mechanism behind the model—that more labor-intensive establishments are replaced by more capital-intensive ones—is supported by evidence. That is why recent research suggesting that minimum wages barely reduce the number of jobs in the short-run, should be taken with caution. Several years down the line, a higher real minimum wage can lead to much larger employment losses.

Nevertheless, politicians continue to push the idea that minimum wage laws are somehow helping the young “earn a decent wage.” It is important to remember the underlying motives behind pushes for higher minimum wage rates. Milton Friedman characterized it as an “unholy coalition of do-gooders on the one hand and special interests on the other; special interests being the trade unions.”

Several empirical studies have been conducted over the course of more than two decades, with all evidence pointing toward negative effects of minimum wage rises on employment levels among the young and unskilled. A study conducted by David Neumark and William Wascher in 1995 noted that “such increases raise the probability that more-skilled teenagers leave school and displace lower-skilled workers from their jobs. These findings are consistent with the predictions of a competitive labor market model that recognizes skill differences among workers. In addition, we find that the displaced lower-skilled workers are more likely to end up non-enrolled and non-employed.”

Policy makers who continuously raise the minimum wage simply assure that those young people, whose skills are not sufficient to justify that kind of wage, will instead remain unemployed. In an interview, Friedman famously asked “What do you call a person whose labor is worth less than the minimum wage? Permanently unemployed.”

The upshot: Raising the minimum wage at both federal and local levels denies youth the skills and experience they need to get their career going.

This post first appeared at CEI.org.

Jack SalmonJack Salmon

Jack Salmon is a research associate at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.