July 18, 2013

Michigan UAW member: Ohio needs right-to-work amendment

Filed under: Economy,Ohio Politics,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 2:50 pm

This column went up at Watchdog.org earlier this afternoon.


In Columbus on Saturday, a Michigan union member and a leader of that state’s leading free-market think tank said grass-roots activists can persuade voters to add a right-to-work amendment to Ohio’s constitution in 2014.

Terry Bowman is a Ford Motor Co. employee, a member of United Auto Workers Local 898 inYpsilanti and the founder of Union ConservativesHe told a meeting of the Ohio Liberty Coalition that a well-organized and properly framed campaign can overcome organized labor’s intense opposition, as well as indifference from the state political establishment.

Vinny Vernucciodirector of Labor Policy for The Mackinac Center for Public Policy, said framing the argument as being about “giving freedom” and not about workers’ collective bargaining rights, which would not be disturbed by the “Ohio Workplace Freedom Amendment,” is a key to success. Bowman reinforced that argument, asserting that “right-to-work is about freedom specifically.”

To be successful, Ohioans for Workplace Freedom, the outfit leading the petition drive to place the amendment on the November 2014 ballot, must first gather 386,000 valid signatures and submit them to Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted. Columbus TV station NBC4 reported Saturday that OWF “has gathered a little less than 100,000 signatures. It needs 386,000 valid signatures … but organizers hope to gather around 500,000.”

Assuming it can do so, the group faces barriers far more formidable than those seen in neighboring Indiana and Michigan, both of which became right-to-work states.

Initial Unemployment Claims (071813): 334K SA; Raw Claims Above 400,000

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:23 am

Prediction: Business Insider — 344,000 seasonally adjusted claims.

Seasonal adjustment factors:
- Week ended July 13, 2013 — 122.2
- Week ended July 14, 2012 — 119.3

Raw claims:
- Week ended July 6, 2013 (before revisions) — 384,829
- Week ended July 14, 2012 — 455,260

For the prediction to be on target, raw claims will have to be 420,000 (which, if divided by 1.222, is 344,000, rounded).

There should be a big downside “surprise” today, which shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who bothers to look at raw claims. The seasonally adjusted result really needs to be 325,000 or less, which would still reflect raw claims of just over 400,000.

If the result really is 344,000 seasonally adjusted initial claims or higher, that will be a huge disappointment.

The report will be here at 8:30.

HERE IT IS (permanent link):


In the week ending July 13, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 334,000, a decrease of 24,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 358,000. The 4-week moving average was 346,000, a decrease of 5,250 from the previous week’s revised average of 351,250.


The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 408,710 in the week ending July 13, an increase of 25,350 from the previous week. There were 455,260 initial claims in the comparable week in 2012.

Last week was revised down — something I don’t believe has occurred at all in the two-plus years I have been closely watching this report — apparently because the net claims from states which didn’t submit data in time because of the July 4 holiday were overestimated.

If last year’s seasonal factor had been applied to this year’s raw claims, the seasonally adjusted result would have been 9,000 claims higher (408,710 divided by 119.3 is 343,000, rounded).

The press won’t position this as a disappointment, but it should (Update: See, I told ya). Four years into a “recovery” and still generating over 400,000 raw claims per week is really pathetic.

Thursday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (071813)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:10 am

Continuing what I began yesterday, I’m going to keep this open thread at the top and add (usually) brief items — some new, some not so new, sometimes many, sometimes only a few — as the day goes by. I’m going to try to keep this going for several days to clear out some items which need to be noticed and to get some feedback.

Rules are here. Possible comment fodder follows. Other topics are also fair game.

If you are on the front page, click “more” to see today’s additions, updated sporadically:

Positivity: Heroic Asiana attendant describes dramatic evacuation

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From San Francisco (HT Daryn Kagan):

Updated 7:22 pm, Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The evacuation of Asiana Flight 214 began badly. Even before the mangled jetliner began filling with smoke, two evacuation slides on the doors inflated inside the cabin instead of outside, pinning two flight attendants to the floor.

Cabin manager Lee Yoon-hye, apparently the last person to leave the burning plane, said crew members deflated the slides with axes to rescue their colleagues, one of whom seemed to be choking beneath the weight of a slide.

Lee on Sunday described several dramatic moments in the remarkable evacuation that saved 305 of the 307 people on the plane that crashed Saturday while landing in San Francisco.