Daily Policy Digest
|Employers Beware, NLRB Shows Grit in Protecting Walkouts and Informal Strikes by Non-union Workers
Employers are finding themselves on thin ice in their response to employees' walkouts, informal strikes and other activities that include demands for higher wages and improved working conditions. However, employees who participate in "general strikes" unrelated to work, such as the "general strike against Trump" planned for February 17, may not be protected by federal labor law, writes NCPA Research Associate Coulter Young...
|Even With Trump's Support, U.S. Labor Is Singing the Blues
The U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its annual report on union membership last week, and the numbers are not favorable for the U.S. labor movement. The BLS calculated (from data collected as part of the Current Population Survey) that union membership in 2016 was 10.7 percent, down 0.4 percent from 2015. This percentage loss translates to a decline of 240,000 union members since 2015. In 1983, the first year for which comparable union data is available to the BLS, the union membership rate was 20.1 percent; the 10.7 percent rate represents a 46.8 percent decline in American union membership over the ensuing 34 years. Moreover, as of 2016 there are 14.6 million union members, as compared to 17.7 million union members in 1983, writes NCPA Senior Fellow Thomas Hemphill...
|How the Economy Affects Major Asset Classes
Asset performance patterns are not always easy to explain, even over longer time frames. For instance, stock and bond prices are positively correlated, but they are also negatively correlated at various times. Asset prices also move differently in periods of uncertainty than in quieter times, according to David Ranson, president and director of research at HCWE & Co. and NCPA senior fellow.
|Manufacturing's Greatest Days Lie Ahead
In Donald J. Trump's "Contract with the American Voter," the president-elect outlines what he intends to do to in his first 100 days in office to "Make America Great Again." A key component of the contract is the seven actions that he will initiate during his first days as president "to protect the American worker." Two of these actions will importantly have long-term consequences for the economic success of American manufacturers: First up, President Trump plans on lifting restrictions on the production of domestic energy resources, including shale oil, natural gas and clean coal. Second, he has pledged to lift regulatory roadblocks established by the Obama administration to allow important energy infrastructure projects, such as the Keystone Pipeline, to progress to completion, writes Mark Perry and NCPA Senior Fellow Thomas Hemphill...
|Proposed Payday Lending Rule Will Hurt Lower-Income Consumers
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a federal agency created by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to protect consumers from "unfair, deceptive, or abusive practices" by financial institutions. On June 2, 2016, the CFPB proposed federal regulations for the short-term loan industry. These nonbank financial services have been utilized by an estimated 5.5 percent of the population in the past 5 years, or 12 million Americans annually, to help cover unexpected expenses. The payday loan industry, valued at $46 billion, employs over 50,000 Americans, writes NCPA Research Associate Kathryn Reed...
|Not So Fast on the Overtime Rule, Says Judge
Last week, a U.S. District judge issued a preliminary injunction against the Department of Labor's new overtime pay rule, scheduled to take effect on Thursday, writes NCPA Senior Fellow Pam Villarreal.
|Three Reasons Donald Trump Won
Donald Trump's stunning victory last night left media and political pundits shocked and in some cases, horrified. But for anybody who has not benefited from the post-2008 economic recovery (and there are still many), this upset came as no surprise. Here are three factors I believe that the media and pundits underestimated, writes NCPA Senior Fellow Pam Villarreal...
|Artificial Intelligence Is Here: Now What?
The long-term societal benefits of commercialization of AI in education, energy conservation, environmental protection, and health care are indeed worth the commitment to fairness, inclusiveness, and transparency the Partnership on AI publicly supports as part of its efforts to help facilitate AI's acceptance in the United States, writes NCPA Senior Fellow Thomas Hemphill...
|What NCPA Experts Said about Last Night's Debate
What did the NCPA experts have to say about last night's debate? According to NCPA Senior Fellow Pamela Villarreal, the candidates discussed policy, but neither were very familiar with their own tax and economic plans! Hillary Clinton's plan will produce less of a 10-year deficit than Donald Trump's plan, but her tax increases will only cover half of her proposed $1 trillion in new spending. Trump's plan will no doubt grow the economy but will leave a deficit of $7 trillion over 10 years. Both candidates need to face that fact that spending cuts are in order. Even a robust economy will not cover a multi-trillion deficit, and anticipated revenue from tax increases will be less than expected. As far as entitlements, again, Donald Trump's pro-growth policies and Hillary's tax increases will not make Social Security and Medicare solvent over the long run. These are band-aid approaches that ignore real reforms.
|Will Tonight's Debate Delve Into Policy, or Am I Asking Too Much?
The last two debates have been dreadfully disappointing as far as the candidates addressing any substantive economic issues. Based on studies from the NCPA’s Tax Analysis Center, Clinton's and Trump's economic plans produce vastly different results. This is not surprising, of course, since these plans are predicated on different visions for the economy. Mrs. Clinton wants to promote a fair economy where the rich pay more taxes, and Mr. Trump wants an economy that can squeak out a growth rate of more than the paltry 1 to 2 percent under the current administration. In an ideal world, an effective moderator that can maintain control without cheerleading one side or the other might ask these questions of the candidates, writes NCPA Senior Fellow Pam Villarreal...