CEI Daily - Public Employee Unions, Work Disincentives, and Energy Drinks


Public Employee Unions


Public employee unions are falling out of favor with Democratic politicians struggling to balance budgets.


Policy Analyst Ivan Osorio explains why.


"In government, unionization is greater at the state and local levels. For years, state and local governments were able to sustain their unionized employees’ generous compensation packages, as long as their economies continued growing. But since the nation’s economy went south, states and localities are struggling, and state and local politicians — Democrat and Republican alike — must face this crisis. Indeed, in New York, Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo — yes, also a Democrat — may be headed for a showdown with government employee unions over wages and pensions. The unions won’t like it, but the taxpaying public will. "




Work Disincentives


People making minimum wage may have more disposable income than middle class families, thanks to federal benefits.


Senior Counsel Hans Bader talks about how work disincentives were exacerbated by the stimulus.


"These disincentives to work were expanded in the job-killing $800 billion stimulus package, which largely repealed welfare reform and increased the refundable tax-credits given to non-taxpaying 'poor' households.  These refundable credits are being perpetuated in the costly $900 billion deal recently reached between Obama and congressional leaders."



Energy Drinks


A New York State legislator wants to ban the sale of energy drinks to anyone under the age of 19.


Policy Analyst Michelle Minton protests.


"First it’s alcohol, then it’s alcoholic energy drinks, then it’s energy drinks… what’s next? In a statement, the American Beverage Association, which represents energy drink companies, stated: 'To be consistent, coffeehouses would have to start carding customers before serving them coffee.' They may have been facetious, but it isn’t out of the realm of possibility that the next step could be a limit on caffeine consumption for everyone. There is no science that shows energy drinks, when used in moderation, adversely affect the health of consumers. Once we let regulators limit how much of a 'potentially dangerous' food item teens or anyone can ingest, we give away the right to make that decision for ourselves."