Leo W. Gerard

President’s Perspective

Leo W. Gerard USW International President

Dodgin’ Donald’s Hiding Something in Those Unreleased Tax Returns

Donald Trump scorns traditional presidential candidate standards. The Donald doesn’t do what’s expected. And he certainly doesn’t do what he tells other candidates they must do.

If Donald doesn’t feel like debating, he stiffs his opponents and grabs attention doing something different. If he finally realizes there’s no way to force Mexico to pay for that “big, beautiful wall” he promised ad nauseam, he converts it to a virtual barrier, a mere video-game blockade.

And when he pledges to release his tax returns, then changes his mind, he simply comes up with an excuse not to do it. That’s Dodgin’ Donald.  Donald Trump is a rich guy, a billionaire 10 times over, or so he claims. And rich guys in America don’t follow the rules that working guys must. In fact, fat cats like Donald celebrate breaking the rules. And that’s why he won’t release his income tax returns. What Dodgin’ Donald doesn’t want workers to find out from those forms is that while they paid the IRS every week, he paid nothing. Or next to nothing.

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New OSHA Rule To Force Detailed Worksite-By-Worksite Data Disclosure

Mark Gruenberg

Mark Gruenberg Editor, Press Associates Union News

A new Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rule will force firms, worksite by worksite, into detailed, publicly posted job safety and health data disclosure – showing how safe, or unsafe, each workplace is.

The point of the final rule, which will cover almost half a million individual workplaces nationwide, including all 34,000 sites with at least 250 workers each, is to let workers and companies see which sites are the safest and which are not, and to shame those that are unsafe into changing their ways, said OSHA Administrator Dr. David Michaels.

The big change will force the firms to electronically report data immediately that they already send to the agency, Michaels told a May 11 telephone press conference.

By mid-2018, all that data – yearly summaries for 432,000 companies with 200-250 workers each and detailed injury reports for the 34,000 largest firms – will be posted on line. But the first part of the new rule, regarding enforcement, starts this August. 

“Making injury information publically available will increase attention to safety,” Michaels explained. “But we’ll remove personal information,” identifying individual workers, he added.

“Workers will benefit by choosing safer workplaces” once all the data is online and public, Michaels, a public health specialist, explained. “This is a public health issue. We believe responsible employers will want to be recognized as safe. Many employers now realize that if you manage for safety, you improve your bottom line.

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Free Trade and Globalization Designed To Screw Workers

Dean Baker

Dean Baker Co-Director, Author, Center for Economic and Policy Research

Free Trade and Globalization Designed To Screw Workers

Why are none of the “free trade” members of Congress pushing to change the regulations that require doctors go through a U.S. residency program to be able to practice medicine in the United States? Obviously, they are all protectionist Neanderthals.

Will the media ever stop the ridiculous charade of pretending that the path of globalization that we are on is somehow natural and that it is the outcome of a “free” market? Are longer and stronger patent and copyright monopolies the results of a free market?

The New York Times should up its game in this respect. It had a good piece on the devastation to millions of working class people and their communities from the flood of imports of manufactured goods in the last decade, but then it turns to hand-wringing nonsense about how it was all a necessary part of globalization. Actually, none of it was a necessary part of free trade.

First, the huge trade deficits were the direct result of the decision of China and other developing countries to buy massive amounts of U.S. dollars to hold as reserves in this period. This raised the value of the dollar and made our goods and services less competitive internationally. This problem of a seriously overvalued dollar stems from the bungling of the East Asian bailout by the Clinton Treasury Department and the International Monetary Fund.

If we had a more competent team in place, that didn’t botch the workings of the international financial system, then we would have expected the dollar to drop as more imports entered the U.S. market. This would have moved the U.S. trade deficit toward balance and prevented the massive loss of manufacturing jobs we saw in the last decade.

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Does Moving Jobs Out Of The Country Affect What People Here Get Paid?

Dave Johnson

Dave Johnson Fellow, Campaign for America's Future

Does Moving Jobs Out Of The Country Affect What People Here Get Paid?

Economists are still arguing over whether moving our jobs out of the country affects what the people still here get paid. Yes, really.

For example, Jared Bernstein in The Washington Post looks at different studies of the effect of moving jobs out of the country. One study, by economists David Autor, David Dorn and Gordon Hanson (referred to by Bernstein as “ADH”), was published in January by the National Bureau of Economic Research. The other, by economist Josh Bivens at the Economic Policy Institute, was published in 2013. Both found that moving jobs out of the country hurt the wages of not just the affected workers but everyone in the surrounding area. The question is, does this wage-depressing effect spread outside the local area?

Bernstein writes, “The analytic question is twofold. First, are American workers really hurt by trade competition, and second, if so, are there spillovers to those not directly in competition with imports?”

To understand the difference … in Bivens vs. ADH, consider two towns, one with two businesses, a factory and restaurant, and the other with just a restaurant. In ADH’s findings, the negative spillover, or diffusion, stays mostly in the first town. The factory takes a competitive hit from cheaper Chinese imports. This, of course, directly hurts the blue-collar factory workers, but it also hurts the restaurant workers, both through demand (fewer factory workers showing up for lunch) and supply (more competition for jobs at the restaurant) effects.

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Reagan, the Socialist

Reagan, the Socialist

Union Matters