Category Archives: Rich Mitchell

Canadian’s Keep Ban on “False News” – MSNBC Loses Last Hope

Last week, the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission (CTRC) killed a decade old inquiry into whether the long-time ban against false or misleading news should stand.

Despite a misleading (a.k.a. false?) publication on HuffPo, The original request to review the policy came from a parliamentary committee more than ten years ago, not the current Conservative Prime Minister.

Indeed, the broadcast regulator now says it never wanted the regulatory change in the first place and was only responding to orders from a parliamentary committee.[1]

I’m not Canadian so if they want to have government-approved drivel blown up their butts on a regular basis, more power to them! That’s what the Chinese and Iranians get to watch.

I prefer having the choice to ignore Chris Mathews, Rachel Maddow et al. And judging by MSNBC’s ratings, so do almost all Americans that don’t live in the mother’s house or live off the government.

MSNBC might have done very well in Canada, but we will never know – thanks to the CTRC.

Sources:
[1]False News Proposal Killed by CRTC –  http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/story/2011/02/25/crtc-false-news.html

Even Obama Doesn’t Believe in Obamacare

On Monday President Obama finally admitted that Obamacare is not the right answer to the healthcare problem. Nancy and Harry must be fuming after the political capital (including Nancy’s position) that was spent to put that magnanimous piece of garbage through Congress.

Obama held a call with state Governors in an effort to calm the waters.. or something. His push to socialize America’s health care sector has put him in a precarious position and now.. he has to get re-elected.

Hosting governors of both parties on his own turf, Obama offered them what they often request: more flexibility as they cope with painful budget dilemmas. Declaring that he would “go to bat for whatever works,” Obama supported letting states propose their own health care plans by 2014 — three years faster than the current law allows. [1]

A constitutionalist’s concern would be that the executive branch even thinks that it has the ability to “go to bat for whatever works” despite the provision already signed into law. Secondly, what kind of leader decides to throw up his hands and tell everyone else to come up with something and if it works, he’ll be behind it?

Perhaps there is more to this statement that it appears. Even though Obamacare came too fast and too easy. It was obviously a product of years (if not decades) of progressive think tanks trying to figure out how to take over the American health care system. Why the balk, blink, flinch? Why is he now trying to walk it all back? Not because he’s suddenly become intelligent enough to understand the mistake. Is it because he knows his re-election is in danger or is it something else? Barack H. Obama is still on the campaign trail or there is an ulterior motive.

I’d like to enter into evidence.. Ulterior motive:

..a source on a White House conference call with liberal allies this morning says the Administration is presenting it to Democrats as an opportunity to offer more expansive health care plans than the one Congress passed.[2]

There it is. It might just be about finally accomplishing what he, Nancy and Harry failed to get done in 2010. President Obama wants a public option, or worse, a single payer system – socialized medicine –  and he wants it now.

This is not Obama’s curtsy to the autonomy of the states. He is no lover of State’s rights or individual liberties. Obama may have just realized that he is in a great hurry to get single-payer into place considering the upheaval in 2010 and that which is destined to come in 2012.

Sources:
[1] “Obama: Flexibility OK, but health care law remains” http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_obama_governors
[2] “On call, officials stress public options in health care shift” http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0211/On_call_officials_stress_public_options_in_health_care_shift.html

Right-to-Work and Individual Freedom

All across the political spectrum, there are disagreements on the relationship of right-to-work, worker’s rights and employer’s rights.

Right-to-work states

From: Wikipedia

What is Right-to-work?

Right-to-work laws have been enacted in 22 states stretching from Nevada and Colorado to North Dakota and across the Southeast. Right-to-work laws, as well as the “union shop” and “agency shop” rules came from statutes of the Taft-Hartley Act.

A “Union Shop” is one where in order to hold a job at such a facility, one must join the union and/or pay dues/fees. In other words, you must be putting money in the union’s treasury or you cannot work in a union shop. An “agency shop” simply requires the payment of dues/fees to keep the position, no membership is required.

Right-to-work statutes simply say that no employee can be forced to join a union or pay dues/fees as a condition of employment. This “open shop” rule does not prevent an employee from joining a union – it simply leaves that choice to them and prevents an employer from terminating them based on their union membership status.

Progressive View

Labor-rights activists and the progressive movement believe that if a member can choose to not pay dues into the union, he/she may benefit on the back of the union-negotiated contract without having paid into the organization. Before long, no worker would want to pay into an organization if there were no perceived benefits.

The progressive-left is heavily in-support for forced union membership.  But freedom must also be considered. The owner of the business must be able to choose who is hired or fired without impediment from a labor organization. The employee must also be able to choose to or not to enlist in the union as it is his/her money that will be used to fund union’s political efforts.

If the union is negotiating and acting in the best interest of the workers, it is logical to foresee that many workers would desire to join such an organization. The antithesis is also true and may be why unions are fighting against re-certification rules such as that put forward in Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s budget repair bill.

Libertarian View

Libertarians have taken two different stances based on the perspective of whose freedom is being protected. From one perspective, the employer’s freedom to hire and negotiate a contract as he/she wants is should not be challenged by any interference from the government – both from a union shop or right-to-work view.  The other perspective would focus on the employee’s right to freely assemble (or not) – join a union or don’t.

Section 2.7 of the Libertarian platform states:

We support repeal of all laws which impede the ability of any person to find employment. We oppose government-fostered forced retirement. We support the right of free persons to associate or not associate in labor unions, and an employer should have the right to recognize or refuse to recognize a union. We oppose government interference in bargaining, such as compulsory arbitration or imposing an obligation to bargain.

While all free-market Capitalists should be able to support this plank, the rub is in the implied outcome  – what if an employer wanted only union members in his shop? Then there is contention between the freedom of the employee to pursue gainful employment and the freedom of the employer to do as he wishes with his business – his property.

This could present a situation where all business-owners in the all-to-critical blender repair sector choose to only hire union workers. The non-union blender repairman is then forced to join a union and give a portion of his check, his property, unwillingly – or face unemployment.

Free-Market Conservative View

From a free-market Conservative standpoint,  the impact these statutes on worker’s freedom are discussed in F.A. Hayek’s book The Consitution of Liberty :

If legislation, jurisdiction, and the tolerance of executive agencies had not created privileges for the unions, the need for special legislation concerning them would probably not have arisen in common-law countries. But, once special privileges have become part of the law of the land, they can be removed only by special legislation. Though there ought to be no need for special ‘right-to-work laws,’ it is difficult to deny that the situation created in the United States by legislation and by the decisions of the Supreme Court may make special legislation the only practicable way of restoring the principles of freedom.

Right-to-work is only necessary because laws exist to protect the unions. If we could abolish the National Labor Rights Act – so could be gone the Right-to-work laws. If one remains, so shall the other. Unfortunately, it is not reasonable to think that will happen any time soon.

Summary

Personally, I like the idea of the Libertarian plank even though I do not belong to the Libertarian party. We should get rid of NLRA, union shops, agency shops, right-to-work .. all of it. The reality is that there is no appetite for it in the current political climate. We have to move towards it as a strategy, using well-defined tactics or we will be stuck with all of it for the foreseeable future – or worse.

First we have to give workers the freedom to vote their unions in or out on regular basis (recertification). Then as unions are forced to become more customer-focused or die, NLRA becomes less relevant and easily dismantled. Once NLRA goes, right-to-work can be burnt in the ashes of government interference.

 

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