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CEI Weekly: Workers Prevented From Leaving Unions

Friday, May 11, 2012




Feature: Labor bosses aren't respecting workers' choices.

FEATURE: Workers Prevented From Leaving Unions


In tough economic times, having labor bosses who demand dues and force strikes can be a hard extra burden. That's why some workers are now trying to leave their unions. But in California, the SEIU is fighting desperately to prevent workers' exit. Warren Brookes Fellow Matt Patterson and Labor Policy Analyst Trey Kovacs explain what's going on in a Washington Times op-ed this week. Read the op-ed here.






Forget France, the Greek Elections Are the Beginning of the End of Europe

Iain Murray's article in The American Spectator


Stephen King Horrified By His Low Taxes. What's Next?

Bill Frezza's column in Forbes


Global Warming Crusaders Lose Steam, Tempers

Matt Patterson's op-ed in The Washington Examiner


Lending Cap is Unfair to Small Business

John Berlau's op-ed in Newsmax


Immigration Policy Is an Economic Meltdown Trifecta

Bill Frezza's op-ed in Real Clear Markets


Opinions on Genetic Engineering That Aren't Worth a Bean

Henry I. Miller's op-ed in Forbes


Our Immigration Problem's Not Going Away

David Bier's op-ed in Real Clear Policy


Federal 'Stimulus' Spent $34.5 Million in Michigan for Only 183 Total Jobs

Fred L. Smith, Jr.'s citation in Michigan Capitol Confidential


Civil-Liberties Groups Urge Rejection of White House-Supported Cyber Bill

CEI's citation in The Hill


Obama Is Losing the Keystone Pipeline Battle

Marlo Lewis' citation in Reason Magazine








May 10, 2012: Freeing Our Farms


Immigration Policy Analyst David Bier explains how the Labor Department’s byzantine restrictions on immigrant agricultural workers hurt immigrants and native-born Americans alike. Current immigration policy keeps many immigrants in dangerous black markets, raises food prices for consumers, makes it difficult for farmers to hire workers and create jobs, and reduces the government’s tax revenues.




Legacy Risks

By Fred L. Smith, Jr.


Amendments That Take Away Rights

By Hans Bader


Fossil Fuel Shill Sierra Club Bites the Hand That Feeds It

By Myron Ebell


Austerity Bites--But It Isn't the Problem

By Iain Murray








CEI Today: Occupy SEIU, amendments vs rights, and space policy

OCCUPY SEIU - MATT PATTERSON Labor and Occupy: Comrades in Arms


The Washington Examiner is reporting that the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is helping Occupy DC become a “more permanent fixture” of the Washington, D.C., landscape by moving the anti-freedom agitators into cozy offices in the heart of the nation’s capital.

How ironic, then, that labor bosses can be counted among that dreaded [1 percent] category. Take AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, who has been exposing the alleged exorbitant salaries of various CEOs with his organization’s new website Executive PayWatch.

But after stirring up all this hatred for the wealthy, Trumka may have  a hard time explaining his own “runaway pay.” Trumka earned $293,750 in 2011 alone, and in fact, as the Beacon reports, “has earned well over $200,000 every year since he was promoted to Secretary Treasurer [of the union] in 2003.” 
> Read the full commentary on

> Interview Matt Patterson


Amendments That Take Away Rights

Three state legislatures — Vermont, Hawaii, and New Mexico — have passed resolutions in support of the People’s Rights Amendment, which is worthy of a Communist People’s Republic. And 28 members of the House of Representatives (all but one of them liberals) are sponsoring the People’s Rights Amendment in Congress.

The People’s Rights Amendment
takes away the rights of non-profit corporations, which include most churches, colleges, charities, political parties, and campaign committees. Most newspapers, magazines, and broadcasters today are corporations, unlike back in 1789, when the press was not incorporated.


North Carolina voters passed a state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. For some reason, this amendment is described by many of its supporters as a “marriage protection” amendment. I am not sure why. Banning gay people from getting married does not do anything to “protect” my marriage.

If people want to protect marriage and the family, they should focus on eliminating marriage penalties and disincentives to marry contained in federal law, rather than wasting time trying to ban gay marriages.

  > Read the full commentary on

>Interview Hans Bader


SPACE POLICY - RAND SIMBERG Republican Space Socialism Update

Last time we checked in on this topic, House Appropriations Chairman Frank Wolf (R-Virginia) was decrying the wastefulness of competition. Well, he’s still at it.

A couple weeks ago, the draft report language for the appropriations bill that includes NASA demanded both a reduction in that pesky competition and a return to the traditional acquisition process, rather than the cooperative use of Space Act Agreements that involves private investment. > Read the full commentary on

> Interview Rand Simberg

Also featuring...

The Great Unanswered Question About the Eurozone

Austerity Bites – But It Isn’t the Problem

There Is Nothing Left to Cut

Fossil Fuel Shill Sierra Club Bites the Hand That Fed It


CEI Today: Farm bill reform, Europe's troubles compared to America's 

FARM BILL - FRAN SMITH Farm Bill Needs Real Reform, Not New Entitlements, Say Free-Market Groups


CEI joined with 10 other free-market groups in a letter today urging Congress to take on real reform of agricultural subsidies in the next farm bill and to resist attempts for new entitlements. The letter noted that farm businesses are doing quite even in this recession, with net income at $98 billion. With negotiations on reauthorization of the farm bill underway, it’s essential that Congress review federal agricultural policies that distort market decisions. The letter pointed out some specific areas that deserve attention.

The letter noted that, given the strength of the agricultural sector and the “glaring weakness of the federal budget,” it is essential for Congress to reform agricultural policy. And, the letter urged, there must be “full and open legislative debate on Farm Bill reauthorization.” 
> Read the letter on

> Interview Fran Smith


European Lessons for America

George Will warns that America’s system of competitive federalism is threatened by our own “Greeces.” (“In Illinois the bills are coming due,” April 27). Europe has been brought to its knees by the moral hazard from guaranteeing the debt of imprudent entities. Could a default in Illinois create a similar collapse here? Not in the same way.

States are allowed fiscal autonomy and are expected to suffer the consequences of their own fiscal imprudence. Direct federal bailouts are unlikely, but they are not the real threat.  The risk Illinois raises for America is that the Federal Reserve may decide that states are “too big to fail” and move to ensure that failing states can continue to borrow and carry on their non-sustainable fiscal and regulatory policies.  > Read more at

>Interview Fred L. Smith, Jr.

> Follow Fred L. Smith, Jr. on Twitter



Also featuring...

The Great Unanswered Question About the Eurozone

Austerity Bites – But It Isn’t the Problem

There Is Nothing Left to Cut

Federal Cyber-Security Regulation: Critical Safety Measure, or Privacy Nightmare?

Fossil Fuel Shill Sierra Club Bites the Hand That Fed It


CEI Today: Eurozone troubles, immigration problems, and Sierra Club re-branding

EUROPE - IAIN MURRAY The Great Unanswered Question About the Eurozone


In a column for the FT today, Wolfgang Munchau lays out what may be the only plausible solution to the Eurozone crisis – for governments like Greece to “default into” the European Stability Mechanism. The ESM could then issue bonds, thereby mutualizing the bad debt of the defaulting governments. The Euro survives, the PIIGS (Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece, Spain) get their debt off their books and can rebuild without having to do distasteful things like reform their labor markets, and the Euro project continues with its new Banking Union.

Except…  The great unasked and unanswered question with all of these schemes is: where is the money coming from? That’s not the same as the question who will buy this debt.  > Read the full commentary on

> Interview Iain Murray


ENERGY - MYRON EBELL Fossil Fuel Shill Sierra Club Bites the Hand That Fed It

The Sierra Club is re-branding its anti-natural gas efforts as “Beyond Natural Gas.”  Beyond Natural Gas joins the Sierra Club’s other two anti-energy campaigns, Beyond Coal and Beyond Oil.

The Sierra Club’s timing, whether intentionally or not, kicks Aubrey McClendon, their former patron, when he is down.  Time Magazine
reported earlier this year that McClendon gave the Sierra Club $26 million between 2007 and 2010 for their Beyond Coal campaign.  This week McClendon was relieved of his duties as chairman of one of the U. S.’s largest natural gas producers, Chesapeake Energy, although he remains CEO.  It also became public knowledge last week that the Securities and Exchange Commission has launched an investigation into McClendon and Chesapeake. > Read the full commentary on

> Interview Myron Ebell


Our Immigration Problem's Not Going Away

The Pew Hispanic Center’s recent report on the decline of unauthorized immigration has elicited a flood of responses. The report’s finding that “the net migration flow from Mexico to the United States has stopped” has led to some victory laps, such as that by Timothy Noah in his recent New Republic article, “What Crisis? Our Non-Existent Immigration Problem.” Such triumphalist “problem solved” proclamations are wrongheaded. They ignore the 11 million undocumented immigrants still here, the thousands of deaths along our border, the constant Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids, and the millions who wait in vain for green cards. > Read more at

>Interview David Bier



Also featuring...

H-2A Visas: Open in Theory, Closed in Practice

IRS Pays Out Billions in Fraudulent Tax Credits, Ignoring Warnings from Whistleblower and Inspector General

The Remote Sensing Problem

CEI’s Battered Business Bureau: The Week in Regulation

Federal Cyber-Security Regulation: Critical Safety Measure, or Privacy Nightmare?


CEI Weekly: Overregulation of Chemicals Is Bad for Public Health

Friday, May 4, 2012




Feature: CEI policy experts and adjunct scholars presented a case against curret chemical policy at a Capitol Hill briefing.

FEATURE: Overregulation of Chemicals Is Bad for Public Health


This week, CEI hosted a Capitol Hill briefing on our nation's chemical policies. Current and proposed regulations of products and substances are threatening to keep safe, valuable products off the shelves, hurting both the economy and public health. Read more about the event here.







The Heartland Institute Under Attack

Matt Patterson's article in Green Watch


The European Central Bank Vs. Reality

Matthew Melchiorre's op-ed in Real Clear Markets


The Pipe Crisis Beneath NYC

Bonner Cohen's op-ed in The New York Post


Flight Attendant Unionists Tell Customer to Drop Dead

Bill Frezza's column in Forbes


If I Wanted America to Fail: Free Market Agitprop With a Lesson

Bill Frezza's op-ed in Real Clear Markets


There's Nothing Libertarian About Arizona's Immigration Law

David Bier's op-ed in The Daily Caller


D.C. Alcohol Tax Increase Will Hurt Servers

Michelle Minton's letter to the editor in The Washington Times


Poorly Designed Study Fails to Prove that Most Drug and Device Trials are Poorly Designed

Greg Conko's column in Medical Progress Today


Rising Tide in Norfalk, VA

Myron Ebell's citation on PBS News


Why You Should Stop Attending Diversity Training

Hans Bader's citation on CBS News


Transportation Bill Stymied in Congress

Marc Scribner's citation in Newsday







May 3, 2012: Paving the Way for Job Creation & Innovation


Unemployment remains stubbornly high, more than three years after the financial crisis hit. Congress has tried a number of measures, from fiscal stimulus to stricter financial regulations. None of them have worked. That’s because they get in the way of the key driver of economic growth – innovation. And as any entrepreneur will tell you, innovation requires investment. John Berlau, CEI’s Senior Fellow for Finance and Access to Capital, suggests a number of reforms to make innovation, investment, and job creation easier.