Monday, December 15, 2014

Last Call For Waging A Wage War

NY Times Upshot reporter Neil Irwin crunches the numbers on the labor market and finds a major problem that's going to have to get fixed sooner or later: employment is roaring up, but wages are down.

On the surface, it doesn’t make any sense. The jobless rate doesn’t even count millions of people who have left the labor force entirely in recent years and might be coaxed back in. So any employer with a job opening should have no problem hiring. If anything, the ratio of openings to hiring should be lower than it was in the mid-2000s, not higher. 
Here’s a theory to try to make sense of the disconnect: During the recession, employers got spoiled. When unemployment was near 10 percent, talented workers were lined up outside their door. The workers they did have were terrified of losing their jobs. If you put out word that you had an opening, you could fill the job almost instantly. That’s why the ratio of job openings to hires fell so low in 2009. 
As the economy has gotten better the last five years, employers have had more and more job openings, but have been sorely reluctant to accept that it’s not 2009 anymore in terms of what workers they can hire and at what wage.

This is most evident in the rush to get more H-1B visas for tech workers.  We've been told for a decade now that America isn't producing enough engineers and programmers, and the reality is that employers don't want to pay American ones at a fair market wage,  They want cheaper imported labor.  In effect, this is playing out all over the country.  Employers naturally want to hire as cheaply as possible, but the days of "I'll take that job for nothing just so I'm employed again" are over.

There are some early hints that this day is coming soon. In the National Federation of Independent Business survey of members released Tuesday, 22 percent of small businesses reported increasing compensation versus 2 percent that said they reduced pay. Their outlook for pay increases in the coming months rose. The November jobs numbers released last week showed a 0.4 percent rise in average hourly wages for private sector workers. 
All this is fragmentary evidence, and after years of stagnant wages, we’ll need a lot more solid proof that something has changed before proclaiming a wage boom has arrived. But in this standoff between businesses that want high-skilled workers for minimal pay and workers who want to see raises, one side has to give.

And it's going to be employers.  How much, we'll see, but I wouldn't be surprised to see wage numbers start going up soon.  There are now too many unfilled jobs.

Women Are All Nasty Liars Anyway, Right Guys?

Ol' Instagoober lets us know that ladies, the only problem on college campuses is your constant lying about being raped so you can get attention or something.  And we certainly don't need new laws to stop something that doesn't exist, right?

For months we've been told that there's a burgeoning "epidemic" of rape on college campuses, that the system for dealing with campus rape is "broken" and that we need new federal legislation (of course!) to deal with this disaster. Before the Rolling Stonestory imploded, Sens. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., were citing the Virginia gang rape as evidence of the problem, but now that the story has been exposed as bogus, they're telling us that, regardless of that isolated incident, there's still a huge campus rape problem that needs to be addressed as soon as possible. 
And that's the real college rape hoax. Because the truth is that there's no epidemic outbreak of college rape. In fact, rape on college campuses is — like rape everywhere else in America — plummeting in frequency. And that 1-in-5 college rape number you keep hearing in the press? It's thoroughly bogus, too. (Even the authors of that studysay that "We don't think one in five is a nationally representative statistic," because it sampled only two schools.) 
Sen, Gillibrand also says that "women are at a greater risk of sexual assault as soon as they step onto a college campus." 
The truth — and, since she's a politician, maybe that shouldn't be such a surprise — is exactly the opposite. According to the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics, the rate of rape and sexual assault is lower for college students (at 6.1 per 1,000) than for non-students (7.6 per 1,000). (Note: not 1 in 5). What's more, between 1997 and 2013, rape against women dropped by about 50%, in keeping with a more general drop in violent crime nationally.

So keep in mind reported sexual assaults are down.  The ones that aren't reported, well.  I can't imagine why efforts to drag a woman who tries to report sexual assault through the mud, calling her a liar, and trying to destroy her utterly would lower the rate of reported sexual assaults.  There's no epidemic because it's not being reported, and it's not being reported because those who do are treated worse by America than those who actually assault women on college campuses, ergo, there's no epidemic because the numbers "don't fit the left's narrative".

It's a neat little package of self-loathing we bundle our young women up in, isn't it?  If you report assault, you're worse than the person who assaulted you and you're assumed to be lying because of "the statistics" show assault on college campuses are down.  If you don't report it, well, then the assault statistics are down, so there's no problem.  College campuses are safer than ever!

So of course we don't need to do anything about it, except make those lying women shut up, right boys?  Al we have to do is make sure no woman feels confortable enough to ever report her assault and bammo, instant cure for sexual assault in America.

The statistics say so. Just ask Glenn Reynolds here.

Measuring Up In The Treasure State

If it seems that the new dress code for Montana's state legislature is a throwback to the days of Mad Men, it's because it's a throwback to the days of Mad Men.

Montana has never been known as a black-tie place. Governors wear cowboy boots and bolo ties, and people joke that a tuxedo is a pair of black jeans and a sport coat. But this winter, when lawmakers arrive at the State Capitol, they will have to abide by a new dress code: No more jeans. No casual Fridays. And female lawmakers “should be sensitive to skirt lengths and necklines.”
Republican leaders who approved the guidelines say they are simply trying to bring a businesslike formality to a State Legislature of ranchers, farmers and business owners that meets for only four months every other year. But the dress code has set off a torrent of online mockery, and is being pilloried by Democratic women as a sexist anachronism straight from the days of buggies and spittoons.

“The sergeant-at-arms could be standing there with a ruler, measuring hemlines and cleavage,” said Jenny Eck, a Democratic House member.

Ms. Eck said she was leaving a health care forum in Helena, the capital, on Monday when one of her Republican colleagues peered at her and told her that he was glad to see she was dressed appropriately.

It just creates this ability to scrutinize women,” Ms. Eck said. “It makes it acceptable for someone who’s supposed to be my peer and my equal to look me up and down and comment on what I’m wearing. That doesn’t feel right.”

Yeah, commenting on a female colleague being "dressed appropriately" isn't creepy as hell or anything. Republicans sure like to re-live the "good old days" whenever possible, when women were "dressed appropriately" and stuff. 

 Why don't you find that cute new young page and swat her ass hello while you're at it, guys.



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