CEI Daily - Walmart v. Dukes, the D.C. Metro, and Tax Increases

Walmart v. Dukes


The Supreme Court has decided to hear Walmart v. Dukes.


Senior Counsel Hans Bader explains what the Court's decision in the case will mean.


"The Supreme Court will decide whether a class-action rule designed to allow people to bring claims for injunctive relief based on a uniform policy by a defendant can be twisted into a weapon for demanding billions of dollars in damages from  over conduct at thousands of different Wal-Mart stores by thousands of different managers. [...] Although the lawsuit will affect employees across the country (and the ultimate verdict may reduce the value of your retirement plan, since the mutual funds in your 401(k) probably own Wal-Mart stock), a verdict will be rendered by a left-leaning jury drawn from the San Francisco Bay Area, since the plaintiffs sued Wal-Mart in one of the most anti-employer judicial districts in America, the Northern District of California."




D.C. Metro


D.C. residents are accustomed to broken escalators in the D.C. metro system.


Warren Brookes Fellow Kathryn Ciano says that WMATA policies are to blame.


"People respond to incentives. Employees perform in the way they are paid to perform. WMATA employees paid to fix escalators will fix escalators. WMATA employees paid to sit tight til it's her colleague's turn to fix the escalator will do exactly that. All of this misincentivization is, of course, compounded by the fact that WMATA employees enjoy fat union benefits, making it difficult to encourage any performance at all. Because employees paid to kowtow to union bosses while keeping their respective individual heads down -- well, they're certainly not going to fix elevators."



Tax Increases


Sen. Chuck Grassley says he wants to lower taxes.


Research Associate Brian McGraw asks how Grassley can then support the ethanol tax credit.


"Grassley wants to keep taxes low for Americans. He should then encourage the expiration of the ethanol tax credit. The ethanol tax credit is paid for by American taxpayers in the form of a giant check taken from the general fund sent to oil blenders (though primarily benefiting the ethanol industry). Allowing its expiration would actually decrease the tax burden on Americans. It would only decrease the profitability of the small but very profitable ethanol industry, which is still guaranteed business via federal mandates. One would think that Grassley would comprehend this. Perhaps, similar to Al Gore’s recent admission, Grassley has a certain fondness for Iowa farmers — at the expense of the rest of the country."