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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 4, 2009 / 10 Iyar 5769

Beware of Mandatory Arbitration in Card Check

By Michael Barone


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In his statement explaining his decision to switch from the Republican to the Democratic Party, Sen. Arlen Specter assured his listeners that "my position on Employees Free Choice (card check) will not change." In later statements, Specter was explicit in opposing both major provisions of the bill — the effective abolition of the secret ballot in unionization elections and mandatory federal arbitration — and said he would not vote for cloture.


Whether or not Specter maintains his current stand, he has spotlighted an interesting issue. The labor unions' drive for the full card check bill seems to have foundered. Specter enters a Democratic caucus where a half-dozen or more senators have made it clear, publicly or privately, that they will not vote for card check.


His statement gives cover to a Democratic leadership that wants to propitiate its labor union funders but does not want to put so many of its members on the spot. A vote to effectively abolish the secret ballot is not easy to defend come election time.


But the unions may have a fallback position: Forget about the secret ballot, and try to pass a bill with mandatory federal arbitration. This might be easier to defend. Every American knows what the secret ballot is; few Americans know what mandatory arbitration means.


Mandatory arbitration would be a major, massive change in American labor law. Currently, unions are free to strike, but employers are free to resist their demands as long as they want. The card check bill would require, after only 120 days of bargaining, a federal arbitrator to step in and impose a settlement. A centralized bureaucrat, not responsible to shareholders (or to union leaders), would determine wages, fringe benefits and working conditions. There would evidently be no appeal.


No one knows exactly what this would mean in practice. But the negative consequences are easy to imagine. Arbitrators might very well impose terms and conditions similar to those in existing union-negotiated contracts. Those might include not only wages that would reduce a business' profits, but also generous fringe benefits and thousands of pages of detailed work rules.


Private employers might be forced into funding union pension plans with their massive long-term liabilities. Detailed work rules would mean adversarial negotiations between company foremen and union shop stewards over even the most minor changes in work procedures.


How would this affect the economy? We have a test case before us, highlighted by recent headlines, which gives us some answers: the auto industry.


The U.S.-based auto manufacturers — once known as The Big Three — have been running their businesses this way since they entered into contracts with the United Auto Workers between 1937 and 1941. Foreign-based auto manufacturers, in contrast, have run factories in this country for the last 25 years without union contracts. Two of the Big Three, Chrysler and General Motors, are now facing bankruptcy, and the third, Ford, has just reported big losses. The foreign-based companies, though facing difficult times, are economically viable.


This is true even though wages at the U.S. and foreign companies are virtually the same. But lavish fringe benefits — especially retiree health-care benefits — have proved ruinous to the U.S.-based companies. And even more damaging, it can be argued, are the thousands of pages of work rules in their UAW contracts.


The Japanese and other companies, unburdened by such contracts, can use flexible management techniques, giving autonomy and responsibility to assembly line workers, eroding the distinction between management and labor, and encouraging employees to take the initiative to improve their products. The U.S.-based companies, tethered by their UAW contracts, can't do this. The result is that for decades the foreign companies produced better quality vehicles and their sales increased at the expense of companies based here.


Detroit executives realized this, and today their companies produce some cars competitive in quality with Japanese and German products. But it has taken years of hard and expensive bargaining and has come too late to save them.


The card check bill's mandatory arbitration provisions are a recipe for doing to very large parts of the private sector what the UAW did to GM, Ford and Chrysler. Imposing this burden on our economy would be folly of the first order. Here's hoping that Arlen Specter keeps his word this time, and that his new colleagues think hard before they inflict such long-term damage on our country.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

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JWR contributor Michael Barone is senior political analyst for The Washington Examiner.




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