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UNIONS STRIKE AT MAJOR PORTS AS BUSY SHOPPING SEASON KICKS OFF
TRACY BYRNES: Retailers use this season to take their numbers from the red into the black. This is their bread and butter. So anything that gets in the way could hurt them. And as a result, it hurts them, hurts jobs, and it hurts the economy. I mean, you see what's happening with our poor Twinkie at Hostess and all the poor people that make them. They are out of a job because of union workers who are demanding more. You know what, be lucky that you even have a job right now.
WAYNE ROGERS: I don't see it that way that the timing is off. Because if you don't have merchandise in the store right now—you can't sell it for the holiday season. What happened on Black Friday or what happens going forward into the Christmas season—all of that merchandise has to be here. You had to have ordered that months ago. So these strikes aren't going to hurt. What does hurt it is the Walmart protest. That could hurt shopping. And as far as the port, that's a two sided question. The Port Authority themselves, for example in Oakland, has not necessarily behaved; although, the SEIU is one of the most notorious unions for calling strikes like this.
IMOGEN LLOYD WEBBER: Forgive me if I just put my historian's hat on here just a little bit. But historically, works are very much more exploited during tough times. Which is why you saw the rise of unions during the Great Depression. And about this Port problem, there have been apparently employers violating California state laws. There is a question mark here. And we're talking about janitors and members of this union and so fourth. So there could be a problem.
JONATHAN HOENIG: This is their point. Their doing this to cause destruction, to cause trade, and to hurt the economy. And I'll tell you, hey have every right to strike—but the employers have every right to kick their butts to the curb. I mean, you have no right to a job at any wage.A job is a mutual agreeable trade. The employer is offering a job and if the employee doesn't like it—hit the bricks.
JOHN LAYFIELD: I think it could be bad for the economy and I think Wayne is right—they already have their merchandise. This is not going to effect Thanksgiving, the shopping season, or Christmas. But, if you look at the history, in 1948 we had five million union workers on strike and it crippled the economy. The Taft-Hartley Act was what brought about the economic boom—along with a lot of returning soldiers. But that Taft-Hartley Act and the breaking of the Unions created that boom that Eisenhower had was one of the biggest booms that we've had in our history. If this goes forward, it's not the average union worker that carries his lunch pail to work, these union heads, this could hurt the economy.
RPT: COs SENDING WORKERS OUT-OF-STATE FOR CHEAPER SURGERIES
WAYNE ROGERS: I think this is a terrific idea. For example, Calpers the California state employees union, they went to shop to see what a hip or knee replacement would cost among forty- five hospitals. They got back with all kinds of things. Going all they way from $15,000 to $100,000. They put a limit on $30,000 saying, this is all we're going to pay. They had all of these hospitals come back in and say; yes we'll do it for that price. So that tells you that competition and a free market system works. It brings down prices. By the way, no diminution in service. In other words, this is top flight service at these hospitals and it's going on all the time. And the more that we can shop for medical care in all kinds of ways—the better prices will get. It will be better than anything ObamaCare ever dreamed about.
JOHN LAYFIELD: Wayne is 100% correct. Look, ObamaCare dealt with insurance reform, it didn't deal with healthcare reform. There is no reason why a person wants to have a heart procedure and it cost fifty times of something that will cost in a separate hospital. These guys need to be transparent with their pricing. Cheryl, you're right, you shouldn't have to search for it. It should be there. You should know going into a hospital what it's going cost you unless there's some type of complication. We don't have that. And because we don't have that, we have problems in our healthcare system.
IMOGEN LLOYD WEBBER: This might be a way forward. I mean fundamentally, this is the greatest country in the world. So you would hope that you would be able to get healthcare on your doorstep. However, or course, if you look at health care costs in America, it cost per American over $8,000 per year—which is two and a half times more than every other industrialized nation. Other industrialized nations are much better at pushing health costs down. So for instance, brad drugs—Americans pay double what everybody else in the world pays for them—which is a disgrace. So if this lowers healthcare costs—that's very important. But to travel, I mean, a lot of people don't want to travel away from their family. It's heartbreaking.
JONATHAN HOENIG: People will drive to the state next door to buy a car or booze. But they won't go to the state next door to get a hip replacement to save twenty grand? I think of course they would. To the panels point, you shop for sweaters and automobiles
--why not shop for a hip replacement. When permitted by government—that lowers the price. The problem is, we don't have that free market and healthcare. That's why we can't get a hip replacement or medical care on our doorstep. And ObamaCare of course, pushes us even further away from the free market towards a more government control.
TRACY BYRNES: This is part of the education process. The more you shop—the more you will understand. And sure, people are doing it all the time already for plastic surgery and things like that. Things that aren't covered, people are very stingy with their own dollars when they have to pay for things themselves. And that will make the system better. If I have to dig into my pocket every time I need a procedure, I'm going to think twice about who I'm going to and how much I'm paying. If I presume someone else is covering it—I don't even care what it will cost.
POTENTIAL HOUSING FIX: GIVE CITIZENSHIP TO FOREIGN BUYERS
JONATHAN HOENIG: This absolutely would help. Although, it should be residency not citizenship. I mean, imagine if we had seven million immigrants coming into this country—not just 700.00 a year buying homes, going to Home Depot, shopping at Target. This would have a huge impact on the economy. This of course would attract the right kind of immigrants—those who are wealthy and successful and want to invest. Every immigrant as every right to come here—this is the land of the free. Certainly, free to buy a home as well.
TRACY BYRNES: So Mexican drug lords with gobs of cash can come into this country and buy homes and we should give them citizenship? This is crazy. It takes more than money to become a citizen of the United States. It's a privilege. It's not for people with just cash in their pockets.
IMOGEN LLOYD WEBBER: Fox News Alert, I agree with Jonathan. Look, trust me; it's really hard to be here. I should be hard to be here because it's the greatest country in the world. But it does put some job creators off who could really do a lot for Americas economy.
JOHN LAYFIELD: I agree with Jonathan. And I'm not sure what Tracey was against Mexican drug lords. This country was build of immigration. The problem is, if we are relying on foreigners to prop up our housing market, we're absolutely in a basket here. We need jobs and an economy market that's booming. Bringing in foreigners that are rich or are scientists is a complete separate issue.
WAYNE ROGERS: John is right; you can't confuse immigration with housing. That's crazy. Housing is one thing and it has its own problems. I think you cannot confuse these issues. Put housing policy in one thing. By the way, there's a difference between residency and citizenship. And to buy a house and be a resident is a totally different thing than citizenship.
WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW?
TRACY BYRNES: Last week we talked about Al Gore and his carbon tax. Well apparently, nobody is buying into it. Even the CIA is closing the climate change office. Save some taxpayers money thankfully.
WAYNE ROGERS: Well, if you're looking for a steady stock in this market, check out Protective Life. It's an insurance company. I own it.
JOHN LAYFIELD: Like Groucho Marx, the death of Apple is a greatly over exaggerated. Apple is going to have a great holiday season.
JONATHAN HOENIG: Everybody likes Yield, but the utilities like Excel are so weak. SDP is a fund that actually goes up when utilities go down. I think now is a very nervous time to be stretching for Yield so I'm looking at stocks like this that go up.