WARNING: Collapse of Energy, Food & Transportation Systems Prompt Calls for Government Nationalization of Industries

Echoes 1930s push for Great Reset style reforms!


The modus operandi of the Great Reset (a.k.a. Build Back Better) is to intentionally collapse the current system with policies designed to create a crisis, havoc, and shortages. … Once the inevitable societal chaos ensues, a huge coordinated push to promote nationalization or government takeover of the impacted industries ensues. It is always claimed that the “free market” failed, and now only government can come in and clean up the mess. The advocates of nationalization usually bill it as a “temporary” nationalization of the industries, much like “15 days to slow the spread” or “2 weeks to flatten the curve” were billed as temporary measures.

Stuart Chase, a key advisor to former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, envisioned an early version of the Great Reset in the 1930s and 1940s, complete with calls for government “control of energy sources—hydroelectric power, coal, petroleum, natural gas.; The control of transportation—railway, highway, airway, waterway; and the control of agricultural production.” Chase loved the idea of managing all aspects of society. He asked at the end of his 1932 book, A New Deal, “Why should the Soviets have all the fun remaking the world?” Chase’s lust for Soviet ideology could be updated to 2022 by replacing the “Soviets” for “China”.

Here is Chase’s 2022 proposed updated motto: “Why should China have all the fun remaking the world?”

Climate Depot Special Report

The continuing fallout from COVID lockdown policies — from the economic collapse to the supply chain issues, to energy, transportation, and food shortages — is reigniting calls and prompting the nationalization of industries in Europe, the U.SCanada, and Australia.

The modus operandi of the Great Reset (AKA Build Back Better) is to intentionally collapse the current system with policies designed to create a crisis, havoc, and shortages. And the world has descended into chaos since the COVID lockdowns of March of 2020.

See: Yahoo Finance: ‘Firewood is the new gold’ – prices & theft jump in Europe as Russia’s gas cutoff boosts wood demand ahead of winter – 1000% increase in EU energy prices

NYT: ‘Crippling’ energy bills force Europe’s factories to go dark

The Great Food Reset has arrived: Expect ‘real’ food shortages, Biden declares

WHY IT IS FINALLY TIME TO NATIONALIZE AMERICA’S FOSSIL FUEL INDUSTRY TO END OUR SPIRALING ENERGY WAR

California car ban: ‘This is the planned rationing of vehicles’ – ‘They have energy shortages, food shortages, now they want vehicle shortages’ – Calif. borrows Cuban & East German policies

Once the inevitable societal chaos ensues, a huge coordinated push to promote nationalization or government takeover of the impacted industries ensues. It is always claimed that the “free market” failed, and now only government can come in and clean up the mess. The advocates of nationalization usually bill it as a “temporary” nationalization of the industries, much like “15 days to slow the spread” or “2 weeks to flatten the curve” were billed as temporary measures. See: Salon mag in 2022 noted “the long American history of taking over industries during a time of national crisis” and claimed that “temporary nationalization helped get America through the crisis” of World War II. 

Stuart Chase, a key advisor to former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, envisioned an early version of the Great Reset in the 1930s and 1940s, complete with calls for government “control of energy sources—hydroelectric power, coal, petroleum, natural gas.; The control of transportation—railway, highway, airway, waterway; and the control of agricultural production.”

Chase loved the idea of managing all aspects of society. He asked at the end of his 1932 book, A New Deal, “Why should the Soviets have all the fun remaking the world?” Chase’s lust for Soviet ideology could be updated to 2022 by replacing the “Soviets” for “China”.

Here is Chase’s 2022 proposed updated motto:

“Why should China have all the fun remaking the world?”

That updated motto could describe any number of current Chinese social credit style policies emanating from the World Economic Forum, Canada’s PM Justin Trudeau, or from Australia, New Zealand, or U.S. COVID lockdown policies, particularly from blue states and cities.

Chase’s depression-era political vision now appears to be coming to fruition in 2022. Chase, a socialist economist, wrote the 1932 book A New Deal , which was the inspiration for President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal. Chase was a member of FDR’s “kitchen cabinet.” He promoted the “managerial revolution,” which he referred to as “System X” in his 1942 book, When the War Ends: The Road We Are Traveling 1914–1942.

 

Chase’s vision of the world sounded an awful lot like the WEF’s Great Reset. In his 1942 book When the War Ends, Chase outlined the key components of transforming “Free Enterprise into ‘X’”:

A strong, centralized government.

An executive arm growing at the expense of the legislative and judicial arms. . . .

The control of banking, credit and security exchanges by the government. . . .

The abandonment of gold in favor of managed currencies. . . .

The control of energy sources—hydroelectric power, coal, petroleum, natural gas.

The control of transportation—railway, highway, airway, waterway.

The control of agricultural production. . . .

Not much “taking over” of property or industries in the old socialistic sense. The formula appears to be control without ownership . . .

The state control of communications and propaganda.

Chase loved the idea of managing all aspects of society. As he asked at the end of A New Deal, “Why should the Soviets have all the fun remaking the world?”

Source: The Great Reset: Global Elites & The Permanent Lockdown – By Marc Morano

Fast forward to 2022, and the Great Reset is happening here and now. This is not circa 1990 when we were talking about a shadowy secretive vision of a New World Order. This is 2022 now, and we are seeing a ‘new normal’ being imposed upon the world.

  1. Our current energy system is being intentionally collapsed ;
  2. Our transportation system is being intentionally collapsed; (and our freedom of movement is being stripped away)
  3. Our First Amendment free speech rights are being collapsed by government & corporate collusion;
  4. Our high-yield agricultural system is being intentionally collapsed to create man-made food shortages and chaos; and
  5. The ability to eat meat is being banned to compel us to eat ‘lab-grown’ fake meat and eat insects. Artificially caused food shortages will create demand for insect eating.  And our betters are using our children as hand-picked little ministers of propaganda to promote insect eating and ‘pester’ adults to comply with the agenda. (See:The Great Food Reset has arrived: Expect ‘real’ food shortages, Biden declares – Meanwhile, Bill Gates & China buy up U.S. farmland &Great Reset By Marc Morano – Chapter 12 Excerpt: ‘COVID Lockdowns Morph to Climate Lockdowns’

And, right on cue, the implementation of nationalization and the calls for it grow. Here is a small sampling of how chaos is being used to impose nationalize key industries since COVID lockdowns crushed societies:

The Hill OPED: ‘Why we must nationalize Big Oil’

 

Germany nationalizes energy giant Uniper as Russia squeezes gas supplies

 

Green party calls for nationalization of UK’s big five energy firms as ‘solution to failed experiment with a market-based energy system’

The American Prospect: Nationalize the U.S. Fossil Fuel Industry to Save the Planet: “Turning the biggest oil companies over to public ownership would serve several goals at once, including climate resilience.”

 

WHY IT IS FINALLY TIME TO NATIONALIZE AMERICA’S FOSSIL FUEL INDUSTRY TO END OUR SPIRALING ENERGY WAR
Canada: Should We Nationalize the Oil Sands?

AP: Canada effectively nationalizing private payrolls amid virus

Australia’s Devastating Fires Make an Urgent Case for Nationalizing Fossil Fuels

The following is an excerpt from Chapter 12 of The Great Reset: Global Elites and the Permanent Lockdown – By Marc Morano

Page 36:

 

“Executive Arm Growing”

Socialist economist Stuart Chase’s 1932 book A New Deal was the inspiration for President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal. Chase was a member of FDR’s “kitchen cabinet.”3 He promoted the “managerial revolution,” which he referred to as “System X” in his 1942 book, When the War Ends: The Road We Are Traveling 1914–1942.

Chase’s vision of the world sounds an awful lot like the WEF’s Great Reset. In When the War Ends, Chase outlined the key components of transforming “Free Enterprise into ‘X’”:

A strong, centralized government.

An executive arm growing at the expense of the legislative and judicial arms. . . .

The control of banking, credit and security exchanges by the government. . . .

The abandonment of gold in favor of managed currencies. . . .

The control of energy sources—hydroelectric power, coal, petroleum, natural gas.

The control of transportation—railway, highway, airway, waterway.

The control of agricultural production. . . .

Not much “taking over” of property or industries in the old socialistic sense. The formula appears to be control without ownership . . .

The state control of communications and propaganda.

Chase loved the idea of managing all aspects of society. As he asked at the end of A New Deal, “Why should the Soviets have all the fun remaking the world?”

©Marc Morano – Climate Depot. All rights reserved.

McDonald’s CEO Warns Chicago Mayor Lightfoot that Soaring Crime is Leaving its Corporate Staff Too Terrified to Return to HQ

Mayor Lori Lightfoot has allowed criminals to take over the once great city of Chicago. As such, we are now seeing a corporate exodus out of the Windy City. How long before McDonald’s follows Boeing, Citadel, the Chicago Bears and others out of Chicago? Not very long at this rate. The city of Muddy Waters, John Belushi, John Hughes, and Michael Jordan is dying before our eyes. Little to no media coverage on Lightfoot’s willful incompetence. Shameful.

McDonald’s CEO warns Chicago Mayor Lightfoot that soaring crime in burger giant’s home city is leaving its corporate staff too terrified to return to its HQ

  • Chris Kempczinski spoke last and says the violence has been a problem when trying to convince employees to come back
  • He said: ‘Everywhere I go, I’m confronted by the same question: ‘What’s going on in Chicago? There is a general sense out there that our city is in crisis’ 
  • Crime is up 37 percent from this point in 2021, according to the city’s own data 
  • Murders and shootings are down double digits but thefts are up a shocking 64 percent
  • Previously, Kempczinski appeared to blame parents of two children who were shot and killed in a McDonald’s drive-thru in Chicago to Mayor Lori Lightfoot 
  • Kempczinski – who lives in the city with his family – pledged to not only keep the golden arches headquartered in Chicago but build a new innovation center 

By DailyMail.co.uk, Sept 16, 2022

The CEO of McDonald’s is speaking out about the crime crisis in Chicago and believes the lack of safety is keeping employees from returning to the fast food giant’s Windy City HQ in a warning to Democrat Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

Chris Kempczinski spoke last Wednesday at the Economic Club of Chicago, where he says the violence has been a problem when trying to convince employees to come back.

He said: ‘Everywhere I go, I’m confronted by the same question: ‘What’s going on in Chicago? There is a general sense out there that our city is in crisis.’

View Chicago Crime Statistics Here.

AUTHOR

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EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

America Bracing For Chaos And Pain As Tens of Thousands Railroad, Port and Hospital Workers Set to Strike

Everything the Democrat regime touches turns to shit. What normal human being would vote for this horror? The midterms should be a complete rout.

Is Biden facing a winter of discontent?

US braces for crisis as rail workers plot strike costing $2 BILLION a day, 15,000 nurses walkout in Minnesota and West Coast ports could shutdown amid contracts dispute.

By Alex Hammer For Dailymail.Com, 13 September 2022

America is bracing for chaos as tens of thousands of railway, port, and hospital workers look set to strike over the winter – plunging the country into disruption

As many as 60,000 railway workers, 15,000 nurses, and 22,000 West Coast port workers are plotting mass walkouts as they seek better working conditions

Several US freight railroads said on Friday they were preparing for widespread strike and service disruptions, a deadline set by two holdout labor groups in protracted talks with railroad carriers for better benefits

The burgeoning strike would cause mass interruptions to the nation’s expansive rail system, which are used to ferry goods shipped and flown in overseas across the country, and would costs carriers roughly $2B a day

America is bracing for chaos as tens of thousands of railway, port, and hospital workers look set to strike over the winter – plunging the country into further disruption.

As many as 60,000 railway workers, 15,000 nurses, and 22,000 West Coast port workers are plotting mass walkouts as they seek better working conditions.

Several US freight railroads said they were preparing for widespread strike and service interruptions Friday, a deadline set by two holdout labor groups in protracted talks with railroad carriers about better benefits.

The burgeoning strike would cause mass interruptions to the nation’s expansive rail system, which are used to ferry goods shipped and flown in overseas across the country, and would costs carriers roughly $2 billion a day.

The holdout from workers that transport these products – who on average earn at least $64,300 a year – already disrupted the nation’s passenger rail Monday, rattling commutes and cross-country travel for thousands of Americans in preparation for the walkouts.

Compounding the crisis are burgeoning protests from tens of thousands of workers at America’s hospitals, as more than 15,000 nurses in Minnesota staged statewide walkouts over low pay and staffing shortages. Registered nurses in the state currently make an average of $84,030 each year.

Also on the edge are the country’s more than 22,000 West Coast port workers, who man the highly trafficked twin hubs of Los Angeles and Long Beach. They are also seeking better working conditions, amid staffing issues and overwork that has become commonplace during the pandemic – despite LA workers earning six-figure salaries.

Biden administration officials are racing to prevent the strike by tens of thousands of freight railroad workers that could further disrupt an already strained supply chain and cause billions of dollars in economic damage.

The stakes for the rail system, meanwhile, are high economically – while another blow to the already backed up ports spelling trouble for the country’s supply chain, which has yet to recover from backlogs sustained during the pandemic.

The widespread chaos could spark food shortages, cause a spike in gas prices as supply dwindles, and potentially ignite further inflation.

AUTHOR

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Americans Spent More on Taxes in 2021 Than on Food, Clothing and Health Care Combined

EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Taxpayer Lawsuit Filed over Racially Discriminatory Minneapolis Teachers’ Contract

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today it filed a lawsuit on behalf of a Minneapolis taxpayer over a teachers’ contract that provides discriminatory job protections to certain racial minorities. The lawsuit was filed against the superintendent of the Minneapolis Public Schools, the Minneapolis Public Schools, and the Minneapolis Board of Education for violating the Equal Protection Guarantee of the Minnesota Constitution (Clapp v Cox et al. (No. 27-CV-22-12454))

The controversial contract was agreed to in March 2022 to end a 14-day teacher strike. The Minneapolis Federation of Teachers ratified the contract shortly after the agreement was reached. The Minneapolis Board of Education ratified it in May of this year.

The Judicial Watch lawsuit states:

Among other things, the contract provides preferences, protections, and privileges for MPS teachers of certain races and ethnicities under a section entitled “ARTICLE 15. PROTECTIONS FOR EDUCATORS OF COLOR.” There is no similar provision covering educators who are not “of color.”

Under the contract, teachers of color are exempt from Defendant MPS’s seniority-based layoffs and reassignments, which means, when layoffs or reassignments occur, the next senior teacher who is not “of color” would be laid off or reassigned. In addition, the contract mandates that Defendants reinstate teachers of color over more senior teachers who are not “of color.”

Upon information and belief, prior to the contract, teachers were laid off or reassigned in order of seniority, with the least senior teachers laid off or reassigned first, without regard to race or ethnicity. Similarly, teachers were reinstated in order of seniority, with the more senior teachers reinstated first, without regard to race or ethnicity.

Article 15’s preferences, protections, and privileges for certain public-school teachers on the basis of race and ethnicity violates Minnesota’s Equal Protection Guarantee, which states that “no member of this state shall be disenfranchised or deprived of any of the rights or privileges secured to any citizen thereof, unless by the law of the land or the judgment of his peers.” Minn. Const. art. 1, § 2. The Equal Protection Guarantee is analyzed under the same principles and mandate as the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

The lawsuit asks the court to enter a judgement that will declare that all actions taken to implement the racial and ethnic preference provisions of Article 15 of the contract to be illegal. They are also asking that the court declare it illegal to use any taxpayer dollars to implement these provisions of the contract, and the defendants be prohibited from taking any actions to implement these racial and ethnic provisions.

“It is incredible that in this day and age a school system would engage in blatant racial discrimination in employing teachers,” stated Judicial Watch Tom Fitton. “The courts can’t move soon enough to shut down this extreme leftist attack on the bedrock constitutional principle that no one can be denied equal treatment under law on account of race.”

Judicial Watch is being assisted in the lawsuit by Daniel N. Rosen of Rosen LLC in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

In a separate case, the city of Asheville, NC, in January 2022 settled a Judicial Watch federal civil rights lawsuit after agreeing to remove all racially discriminatory provisions in a city-funded scholarship program. Additionally, the city also agreed to remove racially discriminatory eligibility provisions in a related program that provides grants to educators.

In May 2022, Judicial Watch won a court battle against California’s gender quota law for corporate boards. The verdict came after a 28-day trial. The verdict followed a similar ruling in Judicial Watch’s favor in April finding California’s diversity mandate for corporate boards unconstitutional.

RELATED ARTICLE: Teachers Union President Defends School District That Will Lay Off White Teachers First

EDITORS NOTE: This Judicial Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Teachers Unions Politicized U.S. Schools, Not Parents

Union leaders claim that “extremists” politicized US schools. This is blatant revisionism.


When voters were asked by Pew Research, prior to the 2020 election, what issues were most important to them, education wasn’t even among the top dozen.

But things have changed dramatically since then. Outlets ranging from The Washington Post, to ABC News, have identified education as a potentially significant factor in the 2022 midterms. Additionally, after education emerged as a defining issue in Virginia’s gubernatorial election last year — ranking as a top two or three issue — school choice became a litmus test issue for Republicans.

This is quite the swing in just two years.

Theoretically, education should not really be a political issue; but, as we have seen, it clearly has become one. Therefore, we must ask why exactly this has happened.

There are many possible answers to this question. One of them came from Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers — the second largest teachers union in the country. In a recent tweet, she blamed “extremists” who are “attacking teachers” and focusing on a culture war that is “intended to undermine teaching and learning.”

“The culture wars are intended to undermine teaching and learning,” Weingarten wrote. “Extremists are politicizing schools and attacking teachers. Attacking teachers doesn’t help kids, it undermines everything.”

If that was not clear enough, she also linked to a news article where she gets a bit more specific about the kinds of people she is talking about: “the anti-public schools crowd, the anti-union crowd, the privatizers, the haters.” In other words, she is referring to the conservatives, libertarians, liberals who believe in school choice, and even parents themselves.

But are these groups really the ones politicizing education? Or, alternatively, are they simply responding to the overtly political forces that have controlled education for a long time?

The 2020-2021 school year should be seen as critical when considering the politicization of education. Two events occurred in the months preceding that school year that led to the extreme stances that eventually launched schools into the political limelight: the Covid-19 pandemic and the police murder of George Floyd. The former was taken advantage of by teachers’ unions with backward incentives, while the latter led to a nationwide racial reckoning that some took so far as to actually begin promoting regressive racial ideologies in the name of progress.

First, when the Covid-19 pandemic began, there was understandably a lot of uncertainty. But one of the first things that was known about the virus was that kids were the least vulnerable to severe infection. We also soon found out that schools were not a hotspot of Covid transmission. Yet, many K-12 schools started the 2020-2021 school year online — largely due to cynical activism by teachers’ unions. Prior to the school year, Weingarten threatened a strike, stating that “nothing is off the table” if school districts decided to reopen, and the Chicago Teachers Union tweeted later that the push to reopen school was “rooted in sexism, racism and misogyny.” It is reasonable to point out that this is just rhetoric — not necessarily representative of what actual power the unions have to shape policy — but studies demonstrated that the strength of a district’s union, not the prevalence of Covid-19 in the community, was the best predictor of prolonged school closures.

More recently, the effects of these closures — caused by the exploitation of a crisis by public sector unions — have become clear. A study released by McKinsey & Company found that “by the end of the 2020-21 school year, students were on average five months behind in math and four months behind in reading.” The learning loss was even more severe among low-income students, as well as black and Hispanic students. Numerous studies — including the CDC’s own research — also show that the closures damaged students’ mental health, with rates of anxiety and depression rising.

Second, following our nation’s racial reckoning beginning in the summer of 2020, some schools began to include radical — regressive, even — teachings on race in their curriculum. Activist Chris Rufo has done deep reporting on this issue for City Journal, exposing example after example of racial essentialist messages surrounding race making their way into K-12 classrooms. Moreover, looking to spread this kind of instruction further, the National Education Association, which is the largest teachers union in the country, passed a resolution that explicitly endorsed the teaching of critical race theory in the classroom as a tool to understand America. And the American Federation of Teachers, which is the second largest teachers union in the country, announced a campaign to bring the writings of Ibram X. Kendi — a scholar who has written that “The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination.” — into every single classroom.

In response to perpetual school closures driven by union power, as well as racially divisive curricula making its way into K-12 schools, a coalition of conservatives, libertarians, and liberals mobilized against such policies.

Parents showed up to school board meetings, politicians passed legislation, and heterodox news outlets reported on what was happening. So many people have left the traditional public school system recently that it is being referred to by some as an ”exodus” of sorts. This is the response that Weingarten is blaming for the politicization of schools. However, it should be noted that all of this came after both radical and unprecedented policies were implemented. So, while one may criticize aspects of the response — after all, I do not agree with every law passed or with every speech given by a parent at a school board meeting — it stretches credulity to claim that parents politicized schools when in fact it was the schools themselves, in tandem with the unions, who introduced these radical political elements.

Data show that more and more people are looking for alternatives to the traditional public school system. Earlier this year, PBS published a piece exploring the surge in homeschooling across the country.

“In 18 states that shared data through the current school year, the number of homeschooling students increased by 63% in the 2020-2021 school year, then fell by only 17% in the 2021-2022 school year,” wrote the Associated Press’ Carolyn Thompson.

The article tells the stories of multiple parents who started to homeschool their children over the past year, and they find that a common reason is that they were simply unimpressed by the quality of the instruction during school closures. Apart from homeschooling, the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools reported that enrollment went up by seven percent during the pandemic.

The reason is clear: the traditional public school system has been riddled with failures for a long time, but events over the past few years made people more aware of them. And these failures do not just exist in the heads of parents, conservative ideologues or school choice activists, as Weingarten suggests. They are very real. Parents want their kids to attend school in person, and they generally don’t want their kids to be indoctrinated into a particular ideological system by strangers who work for the government. According to the American Federation of Teachers’ own poll, 60 percent of likely voters in battleground states are dissatisfied with the way traditional public schools are teaching about race and 58 percent are dissatisfied with how they are teaching about issues related to gender identity.

People vote with their feet; so, as more and more people leave the traditional public school system, it will become more and more clear that something fundamental needs to change in the way the U.S. handles education policy.

The reason something fundamental must change is that the failures we are seeing do not just happen by chance; rather, they are the natural byproduct of a government monopoly on education coupled with power in the hands of a public sector union. Therefore, any real reform to the education system must address these two things.

First, it is generally understood that monopolies are bad for consumers. They lead to higher prices, along with lower quality and quantity. Figuring out why this happens isn’t difficult: firms have no incentive to innovate, nor provide a high-quality product, when consumers have no other options. The economist Thomas Sowell was correct when he observed that education is truly an outlier when it comes to how it is treated, as traditional public schools — as opposed to a grocery store or a summer camp — do not have to convince anyone that attending them is in their best interest. People are simply forced to attend. However, moving to a model that is characterized by choice will 1) empower families to choose a school that best fits the needs of their individual children and 2) incentivize every school, including traditional public schools, to prioritize the quality of the education they are providing and to continually improve. After all, if they do not, then people will simply decide to attend elsewhere.

Second, the job of a union is to protect, and accrue benefits for, its members. This can clearly be a worthwhile goal; but, when it comes to public sector teachers’ unions, the problems arise when advocating for the interests of teachers means advocating against the interests of students. The truth is that what is best for students is not always best for teachers, and vice versa.

For example, when Covid-19 school closures were being considered, it was clearly in the interest of students to learn in an in-person environment; however, teachers’ unions advocated against opening schools because their job is to look out for the comfort and safety of members. Another example is when a teacher’s job performance is egregiously sub-par. In such a scenario, it is clearly in the interest of students for that teacher to be removed, while it is in the interest of the teacher and the union to retain the teacher’s job. This is why in New York City it takes an average of 830 days and $313,000 to fire a single incompetent teacher.

A successful educational system cannot include cornerstones that, due to their very nature, work to the detriment of children. The good news is that by enacting policies that advance school choice, the power of teachers’ unions to advocate backward policy will weaken for two reasons. First, if that policy is detrimental enough, it may encourage students to leave for a school that puts students’ needs first; this could certainly cause the unions to begin to tread a bit lighter in their advocacy. Second, most charter schools and private schools are not unionized, which means that more students will be learning in schools that are not unionized after there is school choice if unionized schools fail to provide the education consumers want.

Steven Levitt, who co-authored the bestselling book, Freakonomics, explained the current problem with schools aptly. He wrote that “the problem (…) is not too many incentives but too few.” Right now, the schools and the teachers can really just “do whatever they want” in the classroom, regardless of what is best for students, because political forces are protecting the government’s education monopoly and the power of the unions to influence policy. In other words, because there is no competition, there can be no accountability.

This is clearly correct. And so the only solution is greater educational freedom. More people recognize this than ever before, but the work is only just getting started.

AUTHOR

Jack Elbaum

Jack Elbaum was a Hazlitt Writing Fellow at FEE and is a junior at George Washington University. His writing has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, The New York Post, and the Washington Examiner. You can contact him at jackelbaum16@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @Jack_Elbaum.

RELATED ARTICLE: Parent Sues School Over Transgender Brainwashing

EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

“It’s In-Your-Face Capitalism.” Low-Paid ‘Virtual Cashiers’ Provoke Outrage among Labor Activists

Virtual cashiers may be coming to a restaurant near you.


A new start-up called Percy is based on a simple yet revolutionary idea: virtual cashiers. Essentially, a video calling device is set up at the cash register of your local restaurant or shop. When you want to buy something, you are connected with someone in a remote location, sometimes thousands of miles away, and they take your order. That way, if a store is having trouble finding local workers, or if staff members call in sick, stores can simply outsource the cashier job, often at a fraction of the cost.

Sounds brilliant, right?

The founders of Percy certainly think so. CEO Matthew Corrin and his co-founders Angela Argo and Ali Aqueel have been working on this project for months after initially trying it out at their Canadian restaurant company Freshii.

“The pandemic created this mass exodus of workers in the restaurant industry,” said Argo in a recent interview. “It made us start thinking about what roles in a restaurant can be done without a human being physically present. How can a restaurant owner capitalize on the virtual world?”

“The demand for fast-food workers far outweighs supply right now,” Argo continued. “You can look on Indeed.ca and you’ll see for yourself that everyone is offering more than minimum wage for restaurant workers — and they still can’t get staff.”

Percy’s track record so far is making a good case that Argo is on to something. The company already has more than a dozen clients in North America, including several fast-food chains.

“We’re growing quickly,” said Argo. “We tried [Percy] out at a few Freshii locations, and the response from restaurant owners, again and again, was: ‘this is a lifesaver.’”

But while restaurant owners may be celebrating, not everyone is thrilled about this new idea. Labor activists in particular have taken issue with the low wages being offered to workers in developing countries. The company currently employs about 100 workers in Nicaragua, Pakistan, and Bolivia, and a recent investigation revealed that some of the Nicaraguan workers are paid as little as $3.75 USD an hour. By comparison, an Ontario worker is guaranteed a minimum wage of $15 CAD an hour (~$11.43 USD).

“This … moves entirely in the wrong direction,” said Ontario labor minister Monte McNaughton in April. “I expect better from a Toronto-based company and know customers will vote with their feet.”

“They can keep their outsourcing jobs pilot project away from our province,” said British Columbia’s labor minister Harry Bains in a tweet.

Retail analyst and author Bruce Winder also had harsh words for the company.

“It’s in-your-face capitalism,” said Winder. “It reminds the customer, while they’re ordering food, that the company is taking away a live person and replacing them with a video of someone earning much less money.”

The concerns raised by labor activists are unsurprising, but the activists miss a key piece of the puzzle. Yes, the workers in developing countries are getting paid low wages by our standards, but think about it from their perspective.

If you’re a poor person living in a Third World country, a job that pays $3.75 USD an hour is an opportunity. Sure, it’s not the best, but it’s probably far better than the alternatives, which could range from sifting through trash to prostitution.

The point is, by choosing this job, these employees are demonstrating that, in their opinion, this job is better than any other alternative available to them. By coming into these countries, Percy is expanding these workers’ options, giving them opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise have. In short, Percy is helping them, not hurting them.

Now, some may want to ban this kind of outsourcing out of compassion for these workers, but a ban would only leave them worse off. By taking away the best opportunities these workers have, a ban on this practice would force them to take other, less appealing jobs.

Another option would be setting a minimum wage for this kind of labor, but that runs into similar problems. With higher wages, fewer businesses will buy into the program, which means fewer workers will be hired. With a wage of $3.75 USD an hour, a restaurant might be induced to hire a worker. But if that wage has to be at least, say, $10 USD an hour, restaurants will very likely avoid hiring them. Thus, instead of making $3.75 an hour, many potential workers will be left sifting through trash. It’s a textbook example of making perfect the enemy of good.

Aside from helping workers in third world countries, Percy is also helping restaurants deal with their labor problems. This, in turn, helps consumers, who will get better service and lower prices thanks to these initiatives.

It’s really a win-win.

This is the magic of capitalism. When we have economic freedom, we can come up with all sorts of creative ways to help each other. We can create jobs for poor people in developing countries while solving our own labor shortage problems at the same time. They need jobs. We need workers. Everyone is better off as a result.

Once we understand this, we can start to see why government interference in the market creates problems. By getting in the way of these win-win transactions, government prohibitions take away mutually beneficial opportunities that would otherwise have been pursued. “The minimum wage law provides no jobs,” Rothbard reminds us, “it only outlaws them; and outlawed jobs are the inevitable result.”

With this in mind, it becomes clear that the labor-activist paradigm is not just wrong, it’s actually backwards. They say companies like Percy are hurting poor people in Third World countries and that government rules will help these people. But in reality, these companies are being incredibly helpful, and it is government restrictions that are causing problems.

The best thing we can do for workers in poor countries is to bring them into the global economy, and the easiest way to do that is by giving them the freedom to make the best arrangements they can. Companies like Percy should be celebrated for helping these people by facilitating mutually beneficial arrangements. Instead, they are vilified as exploiters.

But guess what, all trade is exploitative, at least in a sense. The buyer is exploiting the fact that the seller wants his money, and the seller is exploiting the fact that the buyer wants his product. And there’s nothing wrong with that, we do it every day. Free-market transactions are all about this mutual “exploitation.” That’s what makes them mutually beneficial.

In this case, Percy may be “exploiting” workers who have limited options, but these workers are just as much “exploiting” the labor shortage in richer countries to their advantage. And I say, good for them.

So, does this initiative qualify as “in-your-face capitalism?” Absolutely. And that’s precisely what makes it so beautiful.

This article was adapted from an issue of the FEE Daily email newsletter. Click here to sign up and get free-market news and analysis like this in your inbox every weekday.

AUTHOR

Patrick Carroll

Patrick Carroll has a degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Waterloo and is an Editorial Fellow at the Foundation for Economic Education.

EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Social Justice Unionism Means Pro-Abortion Big Labor

Last week, Politico reported on a leaked draft of a Supreme Court opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade and return the question of abortion regulation to the states, ending the Court’s invention of a constitutional right to abortion. The draft opinion was greeted with predictable outrage from left-progressives, including those in organized labor.

Statements

Now, many people, especially those on the social-conservative right who are re-exploring aligning with organized labor, might not expect union bosses to be among the left-progressive leaders ready to jump on a leaked, not-finalized Supreme Court opinion, but they were. Examples include:

  • Liz Shuler, who ascended to the presidency of the AFL-CIO after the death of Richard Trumka, argued, “We must be able to control our own bodies—which has a direct impact on economic justice and the ability of working people to make a better life for themselves and their families.”
  • Mary Kay Henry, president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), denounced an “extremist, anti-woman majority of the Supreme Court” (that, it should be noted, is suspected to include Justice Amy Coney Barrett, a woman) for taking away “a woman’s fundamental right to an abortion.”
  • Jean Ross, president of National Nurses United, said the opinion “should be viewed as part of the broader far-right assault on gender-affirming health rights in this country, including the laws targeting trans youth and their families, attacks on LBGTQ individuals, and homophobic bans on the word ‘gay’ in education,” presumably a deceptive reference to Florida’s Parental Rights in Education legislation, frequently misnamed in “objective” press accounts.

I Told You So

These statements and other pro-abortion activities by organized labor, such as SEIU Healthcare Illinois/Indiana rallying with Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) and Planned Parenthood or the new Amazon Labor Union calling for protests in New York City, demonstrate that American labor unions are inseparable from social left-progressivism through an ideological practice known as “social justice unionism.” Back in 2021, we published a serial outlining how organized labor provided financial support to Washington State measures introducing Planned Parenthood–aligned sex education material into public school curriculums.

And what of the expressed hope of Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), that union organizations could provide a counterweight to “a requirement that the workers embrace management’s latest ‘woke’ human resources fad”? Well, I was skeptical, noting that “operatives who run the labor unions endorse woke H.R. fads. And to the extent they don’t, they support going even further.”

Now, I may enter into evidence the statement of Sara Nelson, head of the flight attendants’ union AFA-CWA and rumored candidate to challenge Shuler for the leadership of the House of Labor, last seen campaigning to extend the now-enjoined traveler mask mandate when it came up for renewal in March. Nelson explicitly called on her members’ bosses to engage in woke capitalism:

We call on airline management to stand with us and for equality, anti-discrimination, and mutual respect. It is not enough that corporations espouse these principles as core to their missions—now is the time to demonstrate this commitment to their employees and passengers. This is about our safety and our freedom. We cannot work if we are not safe.

Social justice unionism means that organized labor is an additional pressure point forcing capitalists to be woke, not a point of opposition. The reaction to the Supreme Court leak should prove that beyond doubt.

AUTHOR

Michael Watson

Michael is Research Director for Capital Research Center and serves as the managing editor for InfluenceWatch. A graduate of the College of William and Mary, he previously worked for a…+ MORE BY MICHAEL WATSON

Why You Shouldn’t Celebrate the TSA for Employing 47,000 Workers

The lump of labor hypothesis—that there are only so many jobs “out there”—is a fallacy.


I recently took an airplane trip, departing from a medium-sized city. There must have been, oh, at least 100 Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employees who were officiating at the boarding process: checking our luggage, ensuring our shoes were removed, delving into our underwear, stealing our toothpaste, pushing us through those x-ray machines. There were literally hordes of them mucking about. (In 2020, the latest year for which such figures are available, the TSA employed more than 47,000 people and had an annual budget of approximately $7.7 billion.)

Why were they there? Years ago, matters were far more simple; you showed a boarding pass, and just got on the plane.

What changed? In a word, terrorists. They hijacked planes and used them in suicidal attacks during the 9-11 attacks in 2001. The TSA workers were there to ensure that no one smuggled any bombs on board, or interfered with flights in any other destructive manner.

Did these terrorists, inadvertently from their perspective of course, actually do us a favor? After all, thanks to the TSA, almost 50,000 American jobs were created. Were these folk not working for this government agency, perhaps they might all be unemployed. If so, our unemployment rate would be significantly higher than it is at present. Do we thus owe the terrorists a vote of thanks? Not, of course, for murdering innocent air travelers, but, at least, for helping out our economy?

No. Not one bit.

Rather, instead of partially hurting and partially helping us, they are actually doing damage to us in both regards. How so? This can easily be demonstrated. Suppose that there was never any such thing as terrorists, certainly not involving airplanes. There would then of course be no need for the TSA. (There is no need for them even now; this function would be better provided through private enterprise, but that is an entirely different matter.)

What, then, would all these people be doing? We cannot know for sure, but we can speculate. Presumably, they would be butchers, bakers, candlestick makers, farmers, fishermen, doctors, scientists, cooks, and bottle washers. In short, they would be producing more of these ordinary goods and services. Possibly, some of them would be breaking new ground, providing the rest of us with things we cannot now even imagine. Without terrorists in existence we could have had our cake and eaten it too: have just as much air safety as at present (or more! The TSA is hardly 100 percent efficient), plus a plethora of other wealth that these folk would be creating in other industries.

Economic logic demonstrates the truth of this claim. The economic pie is not fixed. The lump of labor hypothesis—that there are only so many jobs “out there”—is a fallacy. The people who were once TSA employees bring with them not only brains, arms, and heads with which to work, but also eyes and stomachs which lead to consumption. They supply labor and demand products. As long as we want more goods and services than we already have—that is, as long as there is still scarcity—there will be room for more employment and additional GDP.

Economic history also attests to the fact that the terrorists are hurting us twice over. When World War II ended, some 12 million soldiers left the armed forces and entered the labor force. They put down their guns and picked up their plows. One result of that was the post-war boom, with far greater productivity than before.

At one time in our history, some 98 percent of the population was needed on the nation’s farms. The present figure is more like 2 percent. From whence did all those new jobs arise? They did so from the fact that people wanted more than they already had and were willing to work to obtain additional wealth.

Yet another historical episode occurred when, due to the advent of the horseless carriage, vast unemployment took place amongst blacksmiths, whip and saddle makers, horse trainers, horseshoe manufacturers, and such. Again, a far more significant proportion of the labor force than now accounted for by the TSA shifted from these horse and buggy industries to completely different ones.

The terrorists have landed upon us a one-two punch in the gut. Danger in the air and poverty too.

AUTHOR

Walter Block

Walter Edward Block is an American economist and anarcho-capitalist theorist who holds the Harold E. Wirth Eminent Scholar Endowed Chair in Economics at the J. A. Butt School of Business at Loyola University New Orleans. He is a member of the FEE Faculty Network.

EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Private-Sector Union Membership Hit Record Low in 2021, Labor Department Data Show

Private-sector union membership fell to 6.1 percent in 2021, the lowest level since the federal government started tracking this data.


President Biden repeatedly has promised to be “the most pro-union president in American history.” But there’s one key group of people standing in his way: The tens of millions of workers who want nothing to do with union membership.

Earlier this year, a Labor Department survey showed that union membership continues to fall. In 2021, the number of union workers declined by 241,000, and private-sector union membership now stands at merely 6.1 percent — the lowest level since the federal government started tracking this data. This decline came despite a massive increase in the overall number of U.S. jobs, as businesses recovered from the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Such dramatic losses aren’t for lack of union efforts. The past year also saw major unionization campaigns at companies such as Amazon and Starbucks, following years of similar efforts at companies including Nissan, Volkswagen and other big employers. Yet, time and again, when given a choice, workers are saying no to union membership.

Unfortunately, these strong rebukes by workers don’t mean much to the most pro-union president in history. Biden has benefitted massively from the $1.8 billion organized labor spent in the 2020 election cycle and he is now trying to make it easier for unions to overrule and ignore workers’ wishes. Consider the policies that Biden has proposed and pursued in just over one year in office.

At the legislative level, he has fully endorsed the so-called PRO Act, a wholesale union wish list. This legislation would eliminate the 27-state right-to-work laws, forcing millions of workers to pay unions against their will just to keep their jobs. It also essentially would mandate “card check,” which could allow unions to organize employers by publicly intimidating employees. The legislation has dozens of provisions aimed at silencing workers and weakening their rights, making it easier for unions to get their way.

With the PRO Act stalled in Congress, Biden is pushing other policies through federal regulation and executive order. He has appointed union members to the federal labor regulator and fired the general counsel who was likely to resist pro-Big Labor mandates.

Biden also rolled back federal transparency requirements for unions, making it harder for workers considering a union to find out how, exactly, their dues money is being spent. And he has boosted funding for federal labor enforcement, essentially empowering regulators to pressure private companies into unionizing.

The president also has made it easier to unionize the federal workforce and private companies who work with the federal government. In an early move, he established a federal task force on unionization, which is pushing policies that would ease the way toward organizing federal agencies. And Biden has required that all major federal construction projects go to companies that are unionized.

What do all these policies have in common? In a word, coercion. They involve taking power from workers and giving it to unions. No wonder: When workers keep that power, they use it to reject unions.

There’s no question that force helps some unions gain members and money. Today, nearly one-third of union members live in California and New York, which have only 17 percent of America’s workers. These states have put many coercive pro-union measures into law. If such policies are nationalized, as Biden is attempting to do, the American economy increasingly will look like it does in those states — tilted in favor of unions and against workers.

Yet it’s worth noting that more and more workers are leaving California, New York and other union-dominated states. They’re moving to places that don’t give unions an unfair advantage, especially in the South and Midwest. And other states are taking note. Five states have ended compulsory union membership in the past decade. Since my home state of Michigan gave workers the freedom to choose whether to join a union, the birthplace of organized labor has dropped from fifth place in union membership to 12th. That happened even as Michigan has gained manufacturing jobs. It’s a similar story in other states.

When given the freedom to make their own choices, workers overwhelmingly side against unions. Respecting their rights is the best policy, yet the policies being pursued by the Biden administration would only limit worker freedom. It’s a pity that the most “pro-union” president in history is pushing policies that are so anti-worker.

This article originally appeared in The Hill and was republished with permission from the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

AUTHOR

Jarrett Skorup

Jarrett Skorup is the senior director of marketing and communications and the director of the Frank Beckmann Center for Journalism at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Labor Unions [Quietly] Admit the Jones Act Is Contributing to America’s Supply Chain Problems

The AFL-CIO appears to recognize that the Jones Act is part of the US supply chain problem.


As reported by Politico earlier this week, the AFL-CIO’s Transportation Trade Department has authored a new statement on US maritime policy that features predictable enthusiasm for protectionist policies such as the Jones Act and cargo preference laws. More interesting, however, is the statement’s inclusion of language calling for a fleet of feeder vessels to transport cargo through the country’s coastal waters:

Creating a fleet of U.S.-built, U.S.-flag and crewed feeder vessels to carry a portion of America’s trade along our coasts to be offloaded in underutilized ports for transportation by truck and rail to their ultimate inland destination will not only strengthen the maritime industry and create jobs aboard ship and in our ports but will help mitigate against future shipping supply chain disruptions.

This passage is significant for at least two reasons. First, it acknowledges that the United States currently lacks such vessels connecting smaller ports to larger ports as part of a hub and spoke system. Second, it states that such a transportation option would help relieve supply chain disruptions by alleviating demands on overburdened truck and rail networks.

Thus, US policies that stand in the way of developing a network of coastal shipping—also known as short sea shipping or marine highways—contribute to the supply chain crisis.

As I’ve written before, one of those policies is the Jones Act. Simply put, requiring the use of vessels that are far most costly to build and operate than foreign ships is a significant disincentive to utilizing this method of transporting goods. The capital costs alone of acquiring such vessels—which must be constructed by US shipyards much less efficient than their foreign counterparts—were perceived by ocean carriers as the single largest obstacle to the implementation of short sea shipping in the United States according to a 2006 study.

As my colleague Scott Lincicome pointed out last September, this lack of coastal shipping has “worsened the current shipping situation by (1) putting additional pressure on inland transit (i.e., trucks and trains are used instead of ships that could travel between US ports); and (2) causing companies to avoid the Jones Act by “port hopping” up and down US coasts using larger, foreign‐​flagged ships that take longer to offload and are prohibited from picking up additional cargo while they’re in port.”

Fortunately, the AFL-CIO may be catching on. Noting the lackluster state of US shipbuilding, the head of the organization’s Metal Trades Department stated in a December interview that foreign‐​built ships may have to be purchased to help jumpstart marine highways. For that to happen, however, Congress would have to pass legislation waiving the Jones Act’s US-built requirement.

This legislative change wouldn’t solve all of the Jones Act’s problems but would mark an excellent first step in reducing the law’s burdens. Allowing an influx of new, less expensive ships would generate jobs for US mariners, business for smaller US ports, and even potential repair and maintenance work for US shipyards while reducing American highway and rail congestion and transportation costs.

Such change would be good for the environment too: reduced traffic means fewer emissions while ships are a more carbon‐​friendly means of transporting goods than trucks or rail. Once realized, such benefits could spark an appetite for further liberalization and a paring back of maritime protectionism.

The article was republished with permission from the Cato Institute.

AUTHOR

Colin Grabow

Colin Grabow is a policy analyst at the Cato Institute’s Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies.

EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Hypnotised by race and gender, politicians have forgotten the working man

We need a labour market which supports families, argues Oren Cass, in a brilliant policy book.


Over the last two years, the overwhelming focus on the pandemic has obscured many other issues. It is easy to overlook the growing dissatisfaction with the economic status quo which existed prior to Covid.

Explanations for why there has been a populist revolt generally revolve around issues of immigration and cultural change, with debates over economic policy playing a supporting role.

Clearly, politics is changing. On issues like trade or government spending, the leftward shift by the Republican Party under Trump and the Conservative Party under Johnson has helped attract new voters in lower socio-economic groups.

Elsewhere, even though socialists and social democrats should be happy with the new mood in favour of greater state intervention, their electoral appeal is limited by the cult-like obsession with issues of race and gender, and so political coalitions are gradually being remade without any major shifts in policy taking place.

When it comes to explaining what has gone wrong in this area over recent decades, one book that really stands out is The Once and Future Worker by Oren Cass.

Cass’s influence in American policy circles has grown in recent years (Yuval Levin wrote that the book stands “in the very top ranks of sustained efforts to make some policy sense of the political realities of our era”) as the old “country club” element in Republican politics withers away, and he now runs his own think tank.

His central thesis is that both the Republicans and the Democrats are at fault for what Cass calls their “economic piety” – an approach which places too much emphasis on achieving growth in GDP as a means of enlarging (and then redistributing) the economic pie.

Politicians have emphasised the desires of the consumer over the interests of the producer, including when it comes to issues like immigration or trade policy, and their policies have necessitated the development of an ever-more expansive welfare state.

To counteract this, Cass puts forward a “Working Hypothesis,” which states “that a labour market in which workers can support strong families and communities is the central determinant of long-term prosperity and should be the central focus of public policy.”

Much of the book is devoted to explaining the difficulties which the current policies have created. As a direct result of government decisions when it comes to environmental policies and the minimum wage, it is now more expensive to employ low-skilled workers.

Those same workers find themselves competing against large numbers of low-wage workers from other countries, and the decline of America’s once-powerful trade unions and their increasing focus on liberal political causes  have left workers badly disadvantaged.

Cass reminds his readers that the symptoms of this serious condition were evident long before the Great Recession, as wages for less-skilled workers had stagnated to the point where a man with only a high school degree could no longer support a family.

In this environment, huge numbers of able-bodied citizens dropped out of the workforce and came to rely on government assistance. The baleful consequences of this extended far beyond the realm of employment.

Readers familiar with the literature in this area will recognise some of the key works which the author cites.

Charles Murray’s Coming Apart showed how the white working class was transformed between 1960-2010, with labour participation rates, marriage rates and religious participation rates all plummeting; while Angus Deaton and Anne Case’s Deaths from Despair and the Future of Capitalism highlighted the rapid increase in fatalities from alcoholism, drug addiction and suicide in recent years.

Virtually everyone acknowledges the problem, but the consensus around “economic piety” means that the Left has neglected production and focused too much on redistribution, often by way of an expanded welfare state.

Cass rejects the view that this is beneficial, and points to statistics showing how social spending has exploded in recent decades.

Since President Lyndon Johnson launched his Great Society initiative in the 1960s, the safety net has grown to the point where the US government spends US$20,000 annually for every person living in poverty, all to little avail.

Cass also takes aim at the increasingly-fashionable viewpoint that the way to fix this is by introducing a Universal Basic Income, lamenting that we “have reached a point where the rich think paying everyone else to go away represents compassionate thinking.”

In place of economic piety, Cass proposes a system he calls “productive pluralism” and lays out a proposal for what this would involve.

“Rather than taxing low-wage work to cut other tax rates and expand entitlements, we can do the reverse: we can provide a subsidy for low-wage work, funded with higher tax rates and reduced transfer payments,” he writes.

“Instead of organised labour piling burdens atop the ones that federal regulators already place on employment relationships, we can repurpose unions to help workers and employers optimise workplace conditions.

“We can expand the demand for more of the work that more Americans can actually do if we place the concerns of the industrial economy on an equal footing with those of, say, environmentalists. We can prepare Americans to work more productively if we shift some attention and resources from the college track to other tracks down which most people actually travel.”

In each area, Cass describes the steps which would need to be taken.

Wage subsidies paid by the government, for example, would help those on low incomes without leading to a reduction in the demand for labour – which is often the effect of minimum wage hikes.

Whereas the current emphasis on increasing GDP requires large scale unskilled immigration, Cass insists that we need to improve labour-market outcomes for low-wage workers, which would probably mean a reduced inflow.

Education policy is particularly important to Cass, as politicians (particularly left-leaning ones) suggest that more spending in this area and a “college for all” strategy will ameliorate much of what is wrong with the current socio-economic system.

As Cass explains, this has failed the broad swathe of workers who have not acquired college qualifications and probably never will. His remedy involves a renewed focus on educational tracking with increased vocational opportunities from the mid-teens on, and to bring this about he calls for a large reallocation of financial resources towards apprenticeships and other such programs.

Clearly, the author does not believe that poverty can be eradicated entirely, and he proposes ideas for how to improve social supports while also strengthening the mediating institutions which have been so weakened in recent times.

Cass praises Catholic charities which operate on the ground and make the necessary careful judgements about individual needs when supplying assistance to the underprivileged, while helping them to make the right steps to achieve independence.

The influence of Catholic social teaching is shown elsewhere in Cass’s work, as when he quotes Pope John Paul II’s words in describing how associations of workers as essential “not only in negotiating contracts, but also as ‘places’ where workers can express themselves.”

Cass’s views are far from dominant within the American Right, but they are growing in influence, and his allies such as the Catholic Senator Marco Rubio are increasingly adopting similar positions focusing on the importance of dignified work.

This is important, as this is ultimately an American book, focused on the American context.

The same can be said of important books by Yuval Levin, Charles Murray, Robert Putnam and many others, and it is unfortunate that the sort of detailed social and economic analysis which these authors provide is not to be seen in political debates in Europe and elsewhere.

The Once and Future Worker has universal implications, however, in that it charts a viable course for those who accept that the current economic and social system is untenable while also recognising that the socialist alternative is undesirable, and usually involves steps which would ignore the real root causes and exacerbate social ills.

Too many people have neglected the importance of fulfilling and gainful work to human flourishing. Oren Cass’s book is a wake-up call, and should be a blueprint for reform in the coming years.

COLUMN BY

James Bradshaw

James Bradshaw works for an international consulting firm based in Dublin, and has a background in journalism and public policy. Outside of work, he writes for a number of publications, on topics including… More by James Bradshaw.

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7 Reasons to Say Goodbye to Teachers Unions

I stand with teachers—not unions.


Every year, my school district hosts a beginning of the year meeting with every employee in the district. Amidst all the pomp are 15 minutes during which my school district provides a platform for the head of the local teachers union. He doesn’t say much, keeping it vague and general. He says the union works with the school board and other leaders to fight for both teachers and students.

He also spends time in the teachers’ lounge occasionally, handing out pamphlets. A note in defense of unions was left at a table in the lounge recently. It details accomplishments of unions past and the evils of corporations. This note and this speech are a nice review of a high school civics course, but they have one glaring flaw: they focus entirely on the past.

Contexts change. For instance, the necessity of stationed US troops in Germany has shifted since the Cold War. The same goes for unions at large as the US reaches historical levels of prosperity. We can appreciate the accomplishments of the past while still reconsidering the utility of unions in the present. There are of course defenses of unions within a modern context. That said, they are ultimately lacking. Here are seven reasons why we should support the dissolution of teachers unions in 2019.

They are advocacy groups as much as unions

Two years ago, while I was a first-year teacher, I mistakenly stumbled into a members-only meeting in my school’s library. Before being shooed away and denied a scone with coffee, I saw pamphlets in stacks next to the treats. One column was topped by a glowering Donald Trump over a dark red background like a Sith lord; the other had a smiling Hillary Clinton.

While teachers are stereotypically liberal, a survey done by Education Week found that 43 percent of educators define themselves as moderate, with a near equal number identifying as conservative or liberal. In 2016, 50 percent of teachers voted for Hillary Clinton and 29 percent for Donald Trump. Teachers are a moderate and politically diverse crowd.

That being said, in the past 28 years, teachers unions have given 96 percent of their funding to Democratic candidates. In the agenda from the National Education Association (NEA)’s most recent annual meeting, the business items include a commitment to:

  • Responding to the “heartless, racist, and discriminatory zero-tolerance [immigration] policies of the Trump administration”
  • Supporting Black Lives Matter
  • Opposing arming teachers in schools
  • The removal of Confederate leaders from school monuments
  • Posting a public list of individuals who have refused service to LGBTQ people
  • The postponement of the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh
  • The prohibition of private jails
  • Opposing charter schools and voucher programs
  • Describing and deconstructing “the systemic proliferation of a White supremacy culture and its constituent elements of White privilege and institutional racism”

Regardless of your views on all of these, there is a clear disparity between the agenda of the largest teachers union in the nation and the views of its teachers. Perhaps even more glaring, many of these issues have only a tangential relation to education, if that. While they speak of defending teachers, much of their energy is spent advocating for various, non-educational political initiatives.

They have more money in politics than just about everyone

Both Republicans and Democrats complain about money in politics. Both sides have their boogeyman: George Soros and the Koch Brothers. And yet, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, the NEA was the second largest contributor to political campaigns of any individual, corporation, or union in 2014. In 2016, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and NEA collectively gave $64 million in political contributions compared to only $11 million and $28 million by the Koch brothers and George Soros, respectively.

Unions fight for increased funding with the intent of raising teacher pay and purchasing better academic materials. Some research shows that it is beneficial. Other papers don’t. An analysis by Johns Hopkins finds a synthesis between the two, arguing that how school achievement is defined and how money is spent determine whether funding correlates with improvement. Until structural reforms are put in place to apply market pressure to the schools, any funding increase will be little more than waste.

At the first school I worked at, the book room had thousands of books, worth thousands of dollars, and I was one of the only teachers in our building who used them. My department had a supply closet filled with toys and gadgets no one used. There are curriculum teams and staff members collectively paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to create a curriculum that is either followed without fidelity or ignored entirely.

Per pupil spending, school achievement, and teacher pay give data to substantiate this claim. In current dollars, school spending has increased by roughly $3,000 per pupil since the early 1990s; yet teacher pay has declined or remained flat in most states, while student achievement on test scores has remained stagnant or even decreased in some states. Money is increasing, but it isn’t creating results.

More generally, teachers unions promote a strict pay scale that rewards any teacher for years taught—be they exceptional or mediocre or lousy—incentivizing longevity, not performance. They also make it nearly impossible to fire teachers, taking up to two years and $200,000 according to Stanford Professor Terry Moe. Social stances, funding, and strict pay scales just won’t do in the face of crumbling urban education.

Unions block the reforms that will structurally change a broken system and in return, promise increased funding, which will, in turn, be drained away by the broken system. Namely, they oppose school choice, merit-based pay, standardized tests, and the Praxis, an entrance exam for teachers.

School choice, while not a panacea, is one reform that has tremendous potential for improving schools. Research shows that the pressure this funding structure places on schools increases student performancesaves money, and improves students’ mental health.

Educational reform has been stymied. Across the board, Republicans have advanced comprehensive reforms from charter schools to more stringent teacher evaluations and merit-based pay. After a blue wave, many fear that the growth it has enacted may be at an end.

They breed a culture of entitlement

I allow my students to set some classroom rules to provide a sense of ownership. One student expressed that he didn’t want a star or candy simply for following directions. It’s condescending, he said, to praise a student for the minimum. That assumes you only expect the minimum.

In my role, I watch many teachers teach, and not everyone necessarily deserves a star. I have heard teachers tell their kids to ask fewer questions. I have seen teachers celebrate over pregnant students. I have heard teachers speak of students using language one would expect from the villain in a Scorsese movie. All the while, teachers denigrate any test that shows stagnant scores or an administrator who questions their efficacy.

The unions tell us that we, the teachers, deserve our jobs and better pay regardless of the success of our students, but in reality, we deserve more money and respect only if we do our job well. To suggest anything else is a disservice to the profession.

I was new to teaching and sat across from the school’s manager of our 403(b) plans. I asked if the school district would match my contribution. They don’t, because the district pays toward our pension. I rolled my eyes, and so did she.

Chad Aldeman, a former analyst at the Department of Education, explains the problem well. He says that “states are paying an average of 12 percent of each teacher’s salary just for debt costs. If states didn’t face these large debts, they could afford to give that money back to teachers in the form of higher salaries—an average of $6,801 for every public school teacher in America.

Under a 401(k) plan, any employee could choose to be frugal and invest more, as well as receive more from their employer and thereby more from their retirement plan. In education, teachers receive retirement benefits based on a formula, unable to invest any more than the predetermined amount.

That $6,800 dollars could go to much better use. For those of us who choose to save, we would end up with a retirement portfolio that would outdo most teacher pensions. Others may counter that some do not have the disposable income to save for themselves, but even in this case, those teachers should be allowed to keep their money and spend it on whatever medical bill or child care they need.

We can bargain for ourselves

Factory workers during the Industrial Revolution were expendable. They had no specialized skills or education with which they could bargain in a labor-flooded market. Conversely, teachers are a highly-skilled and educated workforce in a market where they are in short supply.

A friend of mine, one of the best teachers at our school, was falsely accused of hitting a student. Under convoluted district rules, the principal wanted to fire him. This teacher walked into the office with test scores, student testimonials, projects demonstrating mastery by some of our school’s most difficult students, and hallway video records that proved him innocent. We can bargain for ourselves.

As a rule, I try not to stand in opposition to things. It breeds resentment instead of changing minds and casts no vision for a way forward. I’m not against unions. I’m for teachers. For us to flourish financially and professionally, we need the freedom to bargain for ourselves, the respect that comes with accountability, and meaningful reform. Therefore, I stand with teachers—not union.

COLUMN BY

Daniel Buck

Daniel Buck is a public school teacher in Wisconsin with a graduate degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. On the side, he writes regular commentary about education and literature for publications like The Foundation for Economic Education, The Federalist, and Quillette. He is also the head columnist at Lone Conservative, a website dedicated to mentoring and publishing college-aged conservatives.

EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Over Two Dozen FDNY Firehouses Shut Down Over Vax Mandate Staff Shortages

The Democrats are killing us. Literally.

Over two dozen FDNY firehouses shut down over vax mandate staff shortage

By: New York Post, October 31, 2021:

The FDNY shuttered 26 fire companies citywide on Saturday due to staff shortages caused by the COVID-19 vaccination mandate, according to furious elected officials, who ripped the move as “unconscionable” — and warned it could have catastrophic consequences.

The shutdown came amid a pitched battle between City Hall, which on Monday will start enforcing a mandate that all city workers have at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and jab-resisting firefighters, many reportedly saying they were already sick with the coronavirus and therefore have “natural immunity.”

Nicole Malliotakis (R-SI, Brooklyn) said 26 companies shuttered — five in her district — and laid the blame on  Mayor de Blasio.

“If someone dies due to a slower emergency response, it’s on Bill de Blasio and his overreaching mandates. I hope this fool fixes it ASAP!” she tweeted. Some residents rallied outside of the Ladder Company 149 in Dyker Heights to support the firefighters.

Irresponsible bogus sick leave by some of our members is creating a danger for New Yorkers and their fellow Firefighters,” Nigro said. “They need to return to work or risk the consequences of their actions.”

No borough or neighborhood was spared, with the shuttered companies ranging from Engine Co. 55 in lower Manhattan, to Engine Co. 234 in Crown Heights, to Engine Co. 231 in Brownsville. Others included Ladder Co. 128 in Long Island City and Engine Co. 158 and Ladder Co. 78 on Staten Island, according to information provided by Malliotakis and Councilman Joe Borelli (R-SI), who cited the Uniformed Firefighters Association. Borelli said the list of 26 came from a FDNY alert dispatched to members.

FDNY spokesman Jim Long said the closings are not permanent, describing the companies as “temporarily out of service” and the situation as “fluid” since it was shifting firefighters to units where they were needed.

As of late Saturday afternoon, the FDNY could not provide an exact number of closings that the pols said were in effect as of 7:30 am Saturday.

“The situation remains fluid. We hire manpower to get the company back in service or relocate other units to the area for coverage,” Long said.

In anticipation of a shortage of firefighters, NYPD’s Emergency Service Unit has requested the help of volunteer firefighters from Long Island and upstate to back fill the lost positions, according to an email obtained by The Post.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

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WATCH: Unions Mostly to Blame for Supply Chain Shortages But Biden Thanks Them

The real cause of supply chain shortages are the Unions which provide Stevedores to unload ships and Warehouse Workers at our major ports.   Their contract exempts them from working on weekends and they already make well over $100,000 a year but have no fear – Beijing Joe Biden will influence them to start working 24 x 7 to clear up the backlog but, of course, with your tax dollars.

Biden Thanks Unions for Promising to Help Solve a Supply Chain Mess They Created

In the East Room of the White House last week, President Joe Biden announced the Executive Branch was taking decisive actions to resolve the supply chain issues plaguing the United States.

As media reports show, supply chain bottlenecks are leaving many people without essential goods, and are threatening to play Grinch with consumers this holiday season.

“I half-jokingly tell people ‘Order your Christmas presents now because otherwise on Christmas day, there may just be a picture of something that’s not coming until February or March,'” Scott Price, the international president for UPS, told the AFP wire service in September.

On Wednesday Biden announced he was addressing the problem of West Coast delays, saying the crucial ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach would soon be shifting to round-the-clock operations.

“After weeks of negotiation and working with my team and with the major union and retailers and freight movers, the Ports of Los Angeles announced today that it’s going to begin operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,” Biden said.

The president said that by moving to a 24-7 system, the US would be shifting to “what most of the leading countries in the world already operate on now, except us, until now.”

He then thanked union leaders shortly before his closing remarks.

“I particularly want to thank labor: Willie Adams of the Longshoremen and Warehouses Union, who is here today; the Teamsters; the rail unions from the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen; and the International Association of Mechan- — of Machinists; to the American Train Dispatchers Association; to Sheet Metal, Air, and Rail, and Transportation Workers Union, known as ‘SMART,’” Biden said.

There is little debate that the supply chain issues are a serious problem, and shifting to a 24-7 operation may indeed help alleviate some of the supply chain issues—though the problem is unlikely to be solved so easily.

The obvious question, however, is this: why weren’t these ports already operating around the clock “like most of the leading countries in the world”?

The answer can be found in the very unions Biden thanked.

As Sean Higgins of the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) recently explained, there appears to be no state or federal regulation preventing around the clock work at these ports. It’s simply a union policy.

“The primary issue appears to be the unions, whose contract effectively dictates when work can be done,” Higgins explains.

It turns out that unions negotiated a sweetheart deal. It’s not just that, as the Los Angeles Times notes, union dock workers make $171,000 (plus free healthcare) a year on average. Or that union clerks do even better ($194,000 on average), and they themselves earn a far cry from foremen and “walking bosses” ($282,000). (Those fat compensation figures result in part from the fact that union bosses were able to negotiate holiday pay not just for federal holidays, but for everything from “Bloody Thursday” to the birthdays of union leaders such as Harry Bridges and Cesar Chavez.)

The wages are noteworthy, but the bigger problem for people depending on smoothly running supply chains are the restrictions on work hours the unions negotiated. Higgens notes the labor contract between the Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) creates an inflexible operating schedule:

[The] union contract limits the port to just three shifts in a day: two lasting eight hours and another lasting just five hours. All three go from Monday to Friday. These shifts overlap slightly but even if they didn’t, they would still only total 21 hours. Keeping the ports open for 24 hours would require the port to pay overtime every single day.

On top of that, the contract says that any work done on weekends or holidays is automatically time and a half too. So even if the port could offer shifts with a five-day work week that started on, say, Wednesday, it would have to pay those workers the equivalent of six days.

In other words, the contract makes it all but impossible for the port to remain operational for twenty-four hours a day and on weekends.

Now, the entire US supply chain problem doesn’t come down to the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, and the poorly negotiated union contract. But the importance of these ports is enormous.

Indeed, Biden himself notes that 40 percent of all shipping containers imported into the US come from these two ports—which have been idle some 60 hours every week during the biggest supply chain crisis in generations … because of a union contract.

To make matters worse, for years the union has blocked efforts to improve efficiency through automation.

“We were totally opposed to fully automated terminals and got the guarantees from our employers that they would not construct them during the life of our new package,” ILWU President Harrold Daggett noted two years ago after the union negotiated its contract.

This is known as “featherbedding,” a practice unions have perfected over ages that requires employees to implement time-consuming policies and procedures that increase labor costs and decrease productivity. As economist Henry Hazlitt once observed, these “make-work rules” reduce efficiency but “are tolerated and even approved because of the confusion on this point in the public mind.”

The reason the problem persists, Higgens says, is that people simply don’t want to create a political stir.

“You don’t even talk about that. You know, we don’t even try to influence that. But it’s really the root cause,” an anonymous carrier industry source reportedly told CEI.

There may be something to Higgens’s claim—if you’ve ever watched Martin Scorsese’s movie The Irishman, you know what I mean—but there’s a larger economic lesson to be learned.

As the economist George Reisman has observed, unions decrease productivity almost by their very nature.

[The] most serious consequence of the unions is the holding down or outright reduction of the productivity of labor. With few exceptions, the labor unions openly combat the rise in the productivity of labor. They do so virtually as a matter of principle. They oppose the introduction of labor-saving machinery on the grounds that it causes unemployment. They oppose competition among workers.

Granted, simply persuading ports to operate 24-7 around the clock (and no doubt covering the union costs) may solve some problems. But if Reisman’s observations are correct, Biden is seeking increased productivity and efficiency in the wrong place. Because of the incentive structure they operate under, unions are far better at leveraging power to negotiate sweetheart deals than boosting efficiency and productivity to improve the broader marketplace.

Indeed, just one day after Biden’s speech, union leaders were already making it clear they weren’t yet working around the clock—and had no timeline for doing so.

“It’s not a single lever we can pull today,” Gene Seroka, the Executive Director of the Port of Los Angeles, said in a media briefing. “There’s no timeline when suddenly we will wake up and everything will be 24/7.”

COLUMN BY

Jon Miltimore

Jonathan Miltimore is the Managing Editor of FEE.org. His writing/reporting has been the subject of articles in TIME magazine, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, Forbes, Fox News, and the Star Tribune. Bylines: Newsweek, The Washington Times, MSN.com, The Washington Examiner, The Daily Caller, The Federalist, the Epoch Times.

©FEE. All rights reserved.

PODCAST: Maybe Workers Just Aren’t That Into You, Unions!

GUESTS AND TOPICS:

SEAN HIGGINS

Sean Higgins is a research fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute specializing in labor and employment issues. As journalist, he covered the intersection of politics and economics for two decades, having been senior writer for the Washington, Washington correspondent for Investor’s Business Daily and a contributor to publications like Reason and National Review Online.​”

TOPIC: Maybe Workers Just Aren’t That Into You, Unions!

VICTOR AVILA

Victor Avila is a Retired Supervisory Special Agent with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). ICE enforces federal laws governing border control, customs, trade, and immigration to promote homeland security and public safety. Victor is Recognized by ICE and HSI for his exemplary service and professional accomplishments while serving as Special Agent at the El Paso Field Office and as an Assistant Attaché assigned to the U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juarez and U.S. Embassies located in Spain, Portugal, and Mexico City.

TOPIC: Agent Under Fire: A Murder and a Manifesto

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