Tag: Wages

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America discuss reports that the Justice Department’s Inspector General plans to allege former FBI Director James Comey lied to Trump about the Russia investigation and even spied on him. They also relish Bernie Sanders acknowledging reality as he bumps up staffers’ hourly pay by cutting back on their hours. And they debate Wendy Davis’ electoral prospects in Texas as she launches a run for Congress.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America unload on President Trump for even saying he wants to see most aspects of the Democrats’ gun control agenda in a comprehensive bill and for apparently having little regard for due process rights.  They also discuss the resignation of White House Communications Director Hope Hicks and how the West Wing seems to be in a constant state of turnover.  And they close with good economic news, as new reports show wages rising – especially for low-income workers – and that the number of jobless claims filed last week were the fewest since 1969.

A Sellout, A Hypocrite or Worse, Part II: A Lament

 

In what I thought was a couple years ago, but find was nearly six years ago, I posted about my dilemma at the time: I was renting, married with four children and employed full-time, but couldn’t afford the employer-offered healthcare product(s) for my entire family. I had trouble reconciling myself as a bona fide right-winger (much farther to the right of the average Ricochetto or Ricochetta), and the idea of enrolling my children onto Wisconsin’s Badgercare program, the local Medicare services. The response was positive, agreeing with my findings that the market had been horribly affected by the continuing horrendous idea of having healthcare given by employers, rather than via private providers as we do for all other insurance products.

I’ve since moved companies twice; in 2015 I started working for a company that ultimately let me go this past August (it wasn’t a good fit from the start, and I can’t blame them too much). I start with a new company at the end of October, at a higher-than-expected (and higher-than-before) rate of pay: I don’t mind telling you, via the anonymity of Ricochet, that I’ll be making $60k, quite a good salary here in “north-east” Wisconsin (Oshkosh – Appleton) area in the Retirement Plan Administration industry (compliance testing, government reporting, ERISA expertise for 401(k)s, 403(b)s, old style “pension” plans, etc.).

Obama Administration Harms Businesses Yet Again – In Overtime

 

wptv-overtime_1435681273773_20553280_ver1.0_640_480Perhaps you haven’t heard, but under a proposed new Department of Labor rule starting in 2016, the overtime rules are changing. Right now, a business can classify any qualifying employee (a rule unto itself) making more than $23,360 per year as a salaried employee, instead of an hourly. This lets many businesses offer flexible hours, or allow working from home, or working “as needed” to get things done. Typical examples include people answering e-mails in off hours, pulling late nights to get important projects done, or any of a near-endless array of little things that just need that extra push. This also means that businesses need not keep track of numerous time clocks, time cards, and all of the added bureaucracy required. No more.

Beginning in 2016, the Department of Labor is more than doubling the hourly salary divide to $50,440. Anyone making less than that figure must be classified as an hourly position, must use a time clock, and must be paid for any applicable overtime hours.  This will be disastrous to an already dodgy economy and hiring crisis. Let me quote from Inc. Magazine:

Time clocks. These people all have to record time. If some of your workers are remote, you’ll have to figure out a way for them to record time.

U3 Unicorns Puking Rainbow Recoveries

 

unicorn

Do you ever feel a bit of a disconnect between the continuous media reports that the economy is doing awesome (here, here, and here to name a few) and how much it feels like the economy, to use a technical term, sucks outside of the stock market? Well, you’re not alone, and a couple of basic charts will validate your feelings. This is not data produced in the depths of my basement while I replace the tinfoil around my head. These are government-reported numbers on the health of the labor market. I call your attention to the time period during which the media was harping on the theme of, “It’s the economy, stupid!” and our recent “awesome recovery.”

This first chart shows the labor force participation rate, measuring the percentage of adults who are working. I’m using this instead of the commonly reported – and improving – U3 unemployment rate, because U3 has about as much correlation with the health of the labor market as the ratio of pixies to hobgoblins in Neverland. The reason I’m so down on U3 is that it behaves as if the underemployed are fully employed. (Settle down, James Pethokoukis, I mean the objectively underemployed, as in, part-time workers who want or need to work full time.)