Politics

Paul Ryan Weeps… and more

Ryan weeps**: Without immigration reform to provide labor from abroad, things are so bad in the agriculture sector that some farmers are even training new workers:

“[Labor contractor Noe] Cisneros said he even trained and hired high school students this summer to pick grapes – something he was not willing to do in the past.”

It’s even likely that many of these high schoolers were actually Americans who needed the money. Other farmers have had to … raise wages to $12.75 an hour.

Is there no relief? …

**–This is a reference to Rep. Ryan explaining his support for an immigration legalization bill as a way to allow Wisconsin dairies to avoid paying higher wages:

The dairy farmers in western Wisconsin are having a hard time finding anyone to help them produce their products, which are mostly cheese. If they can’t find workers, then they can’t produce, and we’ll end up importing. The flip side of the argument is: Just raise wages enough to attract people. But you raise wages too much in certain industries, then you’ll get rid of those industries, and we’ll just have to import.

Ryan is a defender of the free market … except when the market says wages go up. Then we have to take extraordinary measures! …

P.S.: Note also his fear that we may end up importing cheese via international trade — not the free market position. …

A standard, silly, open-borders cliche is that you can’t have (a) free trade without (b) free movement of people. But of course you can easily have (a) without (b). Ryan, perversely, seems to want (b) without (a). ….

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The takeaway from this one-day scandal would seem to be: Cory Booker has pretty good taste in strippers ….

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The Non-Battle of Chattanooga: I used to think the battle to unionize VW’s Chattanooga factory was the crucial contemporary challenge to the survival Wagner Act unionism. This was back when it looked like VW might eat GM’s lunch. Today, that looks less likely, and the battle seems less crucial. …

Still, now that the UAW claims to have “cards” from a majority of workers, VW has a decision to make: Will it accept the American union, attempting to graft its Wagnerian legalistic adversariality onto a more cooperative German “works council” scheme, or will it insist (as is its statutory right) on a secret ballot, which it may well win (given credible charges that the UAW’s cards don’t mean what the union now says they mean)? …

Given the UAW’s track record, VW management would be fools not to insist on a secret vote. …

Update: Further study suggests VW top managers will not reluctantly accede to unioniztion–theyll do so willingly. They actually want the UAW to organize their plant (after all, VW has integrated Euro unions into its management structure). But they know that just accepting the UAW’s shaky offer of signed cards would be highly controversial (with Tennessee politicians, for starters). One likely outcome: VW will ask for a quickie secret ballot election. Possible kicker: The UAW might still lose. If that happens VW will have to see how much of the “works council” system they can import to America without running afoul of the Wagner Act ban on “company unions.” Let’s let Justice Roberts decide! …

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Enemies List: Tina Brown is bigger than ever! …

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