Open thread Jan. 23, 2017 Dan Crawford | January 23, 2018 9:58 am Tags: open thread Comments (4) | Digg Facebook Twitter |
THE 94% SOLUTION TO US LABOR ORGANIZING
After reading Rachel Cohen’s article in the Intercept describing how the right wing went wild to fend off any pro-union legislation in Obama years …
” … The business community hated EFCA, correctly recognizing that it would have shifted power relations between workers and employers. “This will be Armageddon,” the vice president for labor policy at the Chamber of Commerce complained.” …
… while the public never really awoke that anything ambitious for the average person was in the works …
” … To do something that will significantly shift power relations in the U.S. cannot be done quietly as a negotiated deal, it cannot happen without a loud clamor for it. It needs to be big enough and presented in ways people can understand.” …
… It occurred to me (with my usual eighth-grade math approach) that with only 6% union members now in non-gov work — that is 94% not — any union issue inherently heavily tends to appear to one and all like a marginal issue — concerning only a “small circle of friends” — it’s just the natural imaging of human nature.
OTH, proposing mandatory union cert/re-cert elections (one, three or five years — plurality rules) at every non-gov workplace speeds the labor organizing issue crashing into the lives of every worker in the country and powerfully so — the perfect “Madison Avenue” solution.
President Trump is putting tariffs on solar panels and washing machines. The first affects China, the latter South Korea.
The 2017 US trade deficit with China was $344.4Billion and with South Korea was $21.6Billion. (January to November only)
Both of these countries are complaining but they should have understood that eventually there would be an American elected leader who would demand more balance in trade.
“The negative effect on the industry outside the U.S. is likely to be small, as companies have various strategies in place to deal with this scenario,” said Yuanta Securities Co. analyst Juliette Liu in Taipei. “They can pass on cost increases to consumers or ship the parts into the U.S. or neighboring countries for final assembly to avoid the tariffs.”
“Eleven Pacific nations led by Japan agreed on the text of their own trade accord Monday and are aiming to sign the deal in March, Singapore’s trade ministry said. The Trans-Pacific Partnership doesn’t include China however, and Trump pulled the U.S. out of the talks shortly after taking office last year.”
Okay, let those export based economies run up huge trade surpluses with each other. But of course that is not the game. The game is to move parts thru the country with the smallest tariffs when the parts or products are shipped to the US.
Yes, they can ship parts to our other trade partners but soon those trade partners will fall under the gaze of US trade negotiators. (Mexico has already.)
These tariffs on solar panels and washing machines will be revenue to the US government at a time when it is sorely needed. Tariffs were always a source of revenue. And if these 2 countries want to raise tariffs on imported US goods then so be it. They export much more to us than we export to them. I am sure that the President can find other imported goods to slap tariffs on.
We have the expertise and the capital to produce what we need. We could return to an earlier time when we consumed the product of each others labor. When jobs were more available, wages were higher, and foreign trade was only a small part of our economy.
But what is more likely to happen is that more production will forced into the US. And that would continue until the US economy is not running on consumer debt, business debt, and government debt. As for brand loyalty, I really don’t care if it is Whirlpool or LG which is employing more workers in the US. But if they produce junk, then they will end up in bankruptcy court.
We would not have the cheap consumer goods of today, but has that brought much happiness to the majority of us? Are more things the be-all and end-all to life? Ask college graduates who are working in low paying dead end jobs, ask older workers who are committing suicide in increasing numbers, and ask the drug addicted who risk an overdose every day.
and of course keeping prices of solar high helps the petroleum industry. win, win.
RE #2 This Forbes article points out that for utility scale solar the effect is only 10 to 12 cents per megawatt less than a 10% bump where the most recent bids for utility scale solar are between 27 and 18 dollars per meagawatt https://www.forbes.com/sites/energyinnovation/2018/01/23/cheap-renewables-keep-pushing-fossil-fuels-further-away-from-profitability-despite-trumps-efforts/#4353b3976ce9 (figures on effect of tarriffs on page 2). On page 1 this quote is interesting in that it reports a decline in US electricity use of 3%” Total U.S. electricity generation fell 2.6% and total electric use declined 3% in 2017 compared to 2016, while coal and nuclear generation each declined 1.5% while natural gas generation fell 11% By comparison, utility-scale solar generation rose 51% and wind generation rose 11% in 2017 compared to 2016.”
Now if you look at the figures the the LCOE it does show that rooftop solar is more expensive than any of the current fossil fuel systems also. And the effect of the tarriff will be higher because the distribution chain for rooftop solar panels is longer (although again depending on how you set the system up panels are only a third of the cost of a rooftop solar system, you need inverters, wiring, control systems, racks to mount the panels plus the labor to install the system, as well as permit and inspection costs.