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By Thomas Sowell

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The biggest myth about labor unions is that unions are for the workers. Unions are for unions, just as corporations are for corporations and politicians are for politicians.

Nothing shows the utter cynicism of the unions and the politicians who do their bidding like the so-called “Employee Free Choice Act” that the Obama administration tried to push through Congress. Employees’ free choice as to whether or not to join a union is precisely what that legislation would destroy.

Workers already have a free choice in secret-ballot elections conducted under existing laws. As more and more workers in the private sector have voted to reject having a union represent them, the unions’ answer has been to take away secret-ballot elections.

Under the “Employee Free Choice Act,” unions would not have to win in secret-ballot elections in order to represent the workers. Instead, union representatives could simply collect signatures from the workers until they had a majority.

Why do we have secret ballots in the first place, whether in elections for unions or elections for government officials? To prevent intimidation and allow people to vote how they want to, without fear of retaliation.

This is a crucial right that unions want to take away from workers. The actions of union mobs in Wisconsin, Ohio and elsewhere give us a free home demonstration of how little they respect the rights of those who disagree with them and how much they rely on harassment and threats to get what they want.

It takes world-class chutzpah to call circumventing secret ballots the “Employee Free Choice Act.” Read the rest of this entry »

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The following article was published after Gov. Fortuno’s State of the Commonwealth address on Tuesday night.  His address highlights many areas in which the current administration has taken drastic measures including:  Energy through a new natural gas pipeline, restored and retained credit rating to the island, huge budget cuts reducing the deficit, and a measurable reform to the tax system.  But have the changes been felt by the island’s people?

By : JOHN MARINO, Caribbean Business

Gov. Luis Fortuño used his State of the Commonwealth address Tuesday night to highlight his administration’s achievements, telling Puerto Ricans that “in only two years, we have completed our pledge of bringing you a true change of good government.”

The governor said that his administration inherited a government on the verge of insolvency and in two years managed to:

— Stabilize government finances

— Pay off more than $1.5 billion in past bills

— Reduce the $3.3 billion budget deficit by 75%

— Save Puerto Rico’s credit rating and with it thousands of jobs, and the values of homes and individual retirement accounts

— Get positive ratings from credit rating agencies

The governor also discussed several of the reforms his administration instituted over the past two years, including creating a new permit system that makes it easier for everyone, but especially small and midsized businesses, to expand, grow and create jobs, and instituting an energy reform that will reduce Puerto Rico’s excessive dependence on foreign oil in favor of cleaner and safer sources such as natural gas, solar and wind. Read the rest of this entry »

by Marshall Kirby, Public Policy Analyst

At this point, nearly every worker in America can see that in economic terms our country is no longer suffering from a recession.  However, while our economy is no longer contracting, and is growing at very modest levels, the labor force has yet to see any meaningful reduction in jobless rates.  This is a very frustrating development, as many people claim that there are two economies which are diverging very quickly.  One has corporations which have weathered the crisis and are now back to making strong earnings, with an executive level management who have also weathered the storm.  On the other end of the economy many workers are experiencing stagnant wages, very few job openings, and lack of economic mobility.

In subsectors of the labor force, the frustration is even more apparent from employment data.  For young workers, aged 16-24, the unemployment is extremely high at 20%.  When broken down by race, the numbers get very frightening.  Latino youths have a 24% unemployment rate, and African American youth have an even higher rate at 32%.  These numbers are not only frightening, but unacceptable as both economic and non-economic ramifications will be seen in both the near and long term.

Policymakers and community advocates have been very sharp laying the blame on the usual suspects.  Failing schools, high crime, discrimination, the recession, and economically depressed regions have been offered up as the cause.  The truth is that all are to blame, and there is certainly enough of it to go around.  Our education system is becoming less competitive, and we currently are failing to educate 30% of our youths enough to even graduate from High School.  In the end, this puts the youth at a disadvantage.  Job growth both now and before the recession was mostly concentrated in sectors which require at least some college education. Read the rest of this entry »

as posted by LatinoInternetJustice:

by Jorge Bauermeister

As reported by TRDaily, FCC Chairman Genachowski addressed one specific issue as “particular concern” for minorities during the Minority Media and Telecom Council’s Broadband and Social Justice Policy Summit – that issue being spectrum.  Having also listened to the Chairman’s remarks at MMTC – I believe that this is certainly a worthwhile issue to highlight.

Here are the points outlined by TRDaily that I agree are important – and of which the Chairman honed in on during his speech:

  • The FCC is committed to making more spectrum available for wireless broadband services, calling the issue “a particular concern for minority communities” because wireless devices “have become the primary means for accessing the Internet” for many African Americans and Latinos.
  • According to Chairman Genachowski, broadband Internet access is “no longer a luxury” but is instead “a necessity for full participation in our 21st century economy.”

I am hopeful that the Commission will take greater care and time to assess important issues like spectrum since it is this very issue that serves as a building block for expanding and growing America’s wireless infrastructure and connecting minority users to this life altering service.  For Hispanics, whose use of mobile broadband devices are often times the primary means for accessing the Internet – the spectrum issue is that much more important since it is a critical component for enabling providers to deliver reliable and quality services to allconsumers.  Talks on this issue are now beginning to heat up in Washington, DC – only time will tell what side of the aisle the FCC will land on.

by Marshall Kirby, Public Policy Analyst

America has long been recognized as one of the most diverse and multicultural countries on the planet.  We have been referred to as the Melting Pot of both civilizations and the world.  Over the last few decades, countless individuals and families have come here to build a better life, escape persecution, and live their own version of the American Dream.  On a busy street corner in a large city you can hear numerous languages spoken other than English.  We shop at businesses owned and operated by immigrants and people of other ethnicities.

Commentators and activists have commented on this, some expressing pessimism and others seeing diversity as strength.  Several years back, there was a debate among sociologists about the process in which these diverse backgrounds were assimilating into the American lifestyle.  The uncertainty primarily stemmed from viewing immigrant protesters in France and throughout Europe complaining of discrimination.  In the case of America, for the most part there have not been equal or equivalent events.  This is not say that America handles racial issues perfectly – as a nation we have a checkered past with slavery, segregation, discrimination, and poor treatment of ethnic, religious, and immigrant groups.  However, it seems that America has been able to walk a delicate tightrope and maintain the principle that diversity is strength in the grand scheme. Read the rest of this entry »

By: Marshall Kirby, Public Policy Analyst

The US Department of Labor issued their funding provisions for states in the Trade Adjustment and Assistance Program (TAA) last month, which could affect the benefits Americans receive for unemployment.  However, this year there was an interesting caveat; there are two proposed funding amounts.  One proposed amount gives the amount of money that is guaranteed to the states/territories and the other is the amount which they would get if Congress extends the program expansion put forth under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (aka the stimulus bill).

TAA, in more detailed terms, is a program funded by the US Department of Labor which gives states funding for assistance, job training/re-training and education programs for workers affected by outsourcing and foreign trade.  It affects the unemployed who fall into the categories of both structural and frictional unemployment.  Read the rest of this entry »

By: Marshall Kirby, Public Policy Analyst

After reading this article, I was reminded of an old saying– “numbers don’t lie, but statistics do.”  A press release from the Census Bureau reads “Minority Business Ownership Increasing at More Than Twice the National Rate.”  Sounds promising and gives a sense of economic progress, right?  It does at first glance.  However, some groups are giving the numbers and statistics a second look and coming to different conclusions.

Here are the raw numbers for business growth amongst racial and gender groupings for the calendar years 2002-2007:

  • All business: 18.0% increase to 27.1 million
  • Minority-owned: 45.6% increase to 5.8 million
  • Black-owned: 60.5% increase to 1.9 million
  • Women-owned: 20.1% increase to 7.8 million
  • Hispanic-owned: 43.6% increase to 2.3 million
  • White-owned: 13.6% increase to 22.6 million
  • Asian-owned: 40.7% increase to 1.6 million
  • Hawaiian/Pacific Islander-owned: 34.3% increase to 39,000
  • Native American/Alaskan Native-owned: 17.9% increase to 237,000
  • Veteran-owned: 2.4 million businesses*

* represents the first time the survey has tracked that categorization.

Looking at these statistics it would appear that business growth is doing well, especially for minorities.  However, Read the rest of this entry »

By Marshall Kirby, Public Policy Analyst

November 16, 2010

Several weeks ago a leading group in New York City (Community Service Society of New York) focusing on alleviating poverty published some startling findings for all stakeholders in the city, and especially the Latino and Puerto Rican community.  The report was picked up by New York Times columnist Sam Dolnick and can be viewed here.

To sum up their findings, Puerto Rican youth living in the city are significantly more economically disadvantaged than Dominicans, Mexicans, and other minority groups.  How are they disadvantaged?  Young Puerto Rican men aged 16-24 are two times more likely to be out of school and out of the labor force as similar aged NYC Mexican men, and Puerto Rican women are also two times as likely to be out of school and the labor force as similar Dominican women.   Even more troubling, a higher percentage of Puerto Rican families are living below the poverty line than are other Latino groups in NYC.  It seems that with these statistics comes a perfect storm of problems for the Puerto Rican community – impoverished families along with undereducated and underemployed youth in the workforce. Read the rest of this entry »

You read correctly.  In reaction to record budget shortfalls on the island, the Puerto Rican legislature passed a bill raising taxes on some of the largest companies within its borders.  Then on Monday, the governor announced plans to reduce taxes on businesses and personal incomes, in an effort to jumpstart the economy.

We will provide an analysis in the coming days, but in the meantime you can read more in the following articles submitted through Reuters, respectively titled “Puerto Rico slaps new tax on offshore business” and “Puerto Rico unveils tax cuts to reignite economy.”  Read the rest of this entry »

Fox News picked the perfect moment to launch their new site, Fox News Latino, today.  Amidst the rescue of Chilean miners, a phenomenon that has caught worldwide attention, Fox has once again demonstrated their entrepreneurial prowess by launching a website that caters to English-speaking Latinos. 

Contrary to the philosophy behind the new government healthcare website, www.cuidadodesalud.gov, which caters to an all Spanish-speaking website, Fox has decided to capitalize on the population of Hispanics that are either native English-speakers or are bilingual. 

“Many bilingual Spanish-speakers, and even many native English-speaking Latinos, have found it insulting and perhaps even ignorant when people assume that Latinos want all their information in Spanish, or are unwilling to buy products unless their advertising is in Spanish.  Frankly, there are actually more native English-speaking Latinos in the U.S., but they want to keep in touch with their roots too,” says Carlos Gutierrez, a self-proclaimed activist and resident of the Bronx. Read the rest of this entry »

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