Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Reward Your Friends; Punish Your Enemies - A Universal Truth in Politics

We remain more than a year from the next Presidential election, but that isn't stopping either side from pulling out the battle axes . . .

President Obama, in deep trouble, sporting the lowest approval rating of his Presidency, is going back to his roots -- low wage, unemployed, organized labor, poor, and the intellectual left.

In an "in your face" move to let business know just where it stands, or better said, lies, he is sending Hilda Solis, his Secretary of Labor to attend a union organizing conference. This from the AFL-CIO blog:

U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis will headline a panel, along, with AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler at the second annual AFL-CIO Next Up Young Workers Summit beginning later this week (Sept. 29-Oct. 2). Since taking office in 2009, Solis, the daughter of union members, has changed the direction of the Labor Department from one that favored employers to one that protects working people."

To put this into perspective, what do you think would have happened if George Bush had sent his Secretary of Labor to a "union busting" conference hosted by a business group? The collective scream would have been palpable.

Then, in a "two-fer," the President proposes to add the "unemployed" to the list of legally-protected classifications -- the same as race, sex, religion, national original, disability, and age. However, unlike those classifications which really shouldn't make a difference as to whether someone gets a job, being unemployed really does often have something to do with one's employability -- i.e., the market for labor has determined that some people simply don't have the skill sets to deserve a job in today's tough economic environment. But, no mind says the President. The plaintiff's attorneys will sort it all out. Indeed they will.

And, what should an employer do? Or, better said, what will smart employers do in response to being relentlessly sued by the unemployed? A good friend and mentor had this to say, "Now, every time a company hires an employee who is still employed elsewhere, they are looking at a potential law suit by every applicant who applied that didn't have a job. What to do?  Reduce hiring and use contract workers or temps as much as possible.  If it is to fill a high skill or high tech job, farm it out to China, India, Pakistan, etc." Indeed, the law of unintended consequences at work again if this politically-motivated, pandering, ridiculous piece of legislation is pushed through both Houses of Congress.

Finally, (not as in the end, but only that this is getting long enough for now), there is ObamaCare. The President has appealed the decision finding the mandate to purchase insurance is unconstitutional. The response from the marketplace is more of the same: raise premiums, which, of course, has the unintended, but very real, consequence of putting more employees and their families outside the system.

No one in government seems to "get it": The high premiums are the effect, not the cause, of a system that is broken. The reason the premiums are so high is the entire system is corrupt. Big business, including the doctor-business and the insurance business and the big pharma business are all on the same team with government. Forced participation in a busted, corrupt system isn't the answer, and neither side seems to have latched on to that little fact.

More to come and it should be an interesting ride . . .



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