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IN FOCUS: Is the House GOP bill to limit the NLRB's power the best jobs bill on the table?
STEVE FORBES: David, not only clip the wings but send it to the Smithsonian as an institution that is a job killer. The NLRB is part of a regulatory blob that is crushing businesses and this bill is starting to push that blob back. Congressman Gowdy of South Carolina is exactly right when he calls the NLRB a tax payer funded law firm for big labor. Got to shut it down.
MARK TATGE: I think the NLRB should stay and I don't think the NLRB is a problem to jobs or job creation in this country. Look, unions are about 12 percent of our workforce the NLRB has been essentially neutered by court decisions and why can't labor have some sort of redress in the courts. This is just mean spirited Republicanism aimed at removing organized labor and aimed at destroying organized labor all together in this country. When will we stop attacking unions and labor.
MIKE OZANIAN: Well the NLRB is supposed to be an arbitrator David to fair like an official during a football game. And basically now it is packed with ex-union attorneys and this is really bad. You know, just go back to the depression in 1937 when the Supreme Court upheld the Wagner act which gave Union's the right to organize. Basically, the economy was coming out of the depression, after the Supreme Court upheld the Wagner Act, the economy tanked and we did not regain our pre-depression prosperity until the early '50s when we started to get work to right laws and companies got some of their power back.
MORGAN BRENNAN: I agree that the NLRB should be limited in its power, but I am not particularly fond of either of the jobs acts that are floating around right now. I think the GOP's which would bring the tax rate down and which would limit regulations is a step in the right direction. I think there is a larger issue here where jobs are concerned and I think that's the fact that we have weak consumer demands. I think an issue that nobody is looking at right now is housing. Seventy percent of GDP spending is consumer related and as long as we have tens of millions of Americans who have their nest eggs, their credit ratings tied up in underwater mortgages we are going to have an issue. And that means that companies won't hire.
VICTORIA BARRET: Absolutely, and this goes back to jobs, I mean Morgan you are talking about real estate being an issue but American's need jobs to get out of these holes. Here you have America's largest exporter of manufactured goods, Boeing, saying we want to go into this state and hire. I saw 5,000 workers as the number reported and you have this government agency saying "No, you're not. You're not going to hire 5,000 workers. Thank you." Do we not want job creation? That is essentially what this agency is saying. It is absurd.
RICH KARLGAARD: Yes, this is a brand new government power, never seen before. As Joan Asaro of the New York Times even pointed out in a column recently this is unprecedented what the NLRB is doing to Boeing. It is symptomatic of what happens when you have these overreaching bureaucracies, you know they create confusion. What the Obama administration simply does not understand is that employers create jobs and they don't have to create jobs, and they can offshore jobs if the environment locally is hostile. And the Obama administration and the NLRB are creating a hostile environment for job creation in the United States.
FLIPSIDE: Want to cut poverty? Then cut the war on poverty!
DENNIS KNEALE: Well, as heartless as it sounds, I just want you to remember something. 1964, the great LBJ, he declares war on poverty. At the time we thought it would be short term, a few years spending blitz and really eradicate it. 45 years, $12 trillion in anti poverty spending by the government and we have 10 more million people in poverty than we did 45 years ago and the percentage has gone down like maybe three points to 15 percent and yet spending per year on anti-poverty David is up 13-fold even after inflation from what it was when it began and we are no better off. Instead we are making people dependent on government aid when we should be paying companies to train hem and hire them.
MARK TATGE: That is a total distortion of what I read those charts to say. Essentially, when you have a recession or a down turn, people lose their jobs, they do not have an income and living costs in many cases has continued to rise over that period David. So the poverty rate is the worst during the depths of a recession. When the economy improves and incomes improve, the poverty rate declines. We as a nation have spent a lot on anti-poverty, but we have cut poverty programs except maybe the exception of most recently the extension of unemployment over the last 25 years. We're cutting spending.
ELIZABETH MACDONALD: Also, the local welfare to work policies, which basically were put in place by people like Rudy Giuliani in New York City or the Milwaukee mayor, which basically said welfare to work, and New York City cut their welfare rates in half, more than half, in a decade. In other words, throwing federal money at the problem does not fix the political machines that are strangling job growth with taxes and regulations. By the way, the poverty rate also does not include federal spending on poverty at all. So the poverty rate may be overstated. Spoon feeding teaches nothing but the shape of the spoon according to Ed Forster. People on the welfare rolls want to work; they want to learn how to work. That's what you do.
MORGAN BRENNAN: They certainly do, and I don't think we should just go ahead and cut spending towards poverty, but I do think we should seriously revamp it. I think we could take a page out of the non-profit sector, companies like Acumen Funds, Omidyar Network. These are people that do microfinance programs, mentoring programs and education programs to get the world's poorest people empowered to basically move up the ranks and out of poverty. As long as we leave no conditions on those checks that are coming in to people under the poverty line, and we don't incentivize people out of poverty, we are going to keep that cycle going.
STEVE FORBES: I think this is a show David, that less government means less poverty ultimately and giving people basic training which often comes from the private sector, enables them to move ahead and 65 to 90 percent of the people who start out with minimum wage jobs, within a decade or so, move up very smartly if they are allowed to do so. But there is another factor here David, and that is there is a welfare complex, industrial complex, of hundreds of thousands of government workers who depend on the welfare state and don't want to lose their clients to the private sector, that is the scandal here.
MIKE OZANIAN: Well, if my friend Mark Tatge can support Ronald Reagan, I can support Bill Clinton. And, if you go back and look at Bill Clinton's presidency, entitlement spending was less than 10 percent of GDP. It is now over 14 percent of GDP, and that entitlement spending money out of the private sector, which is really where job creation comes from.
Will Obama's jobs bill help create jobs for trial lawyers?
STEVE FORBES: Yes, it shows a basic misunderstanding about the private sector which is you want to get the best people possible, whatever their background. And all this bill does is say, if you don't get a job, you hire a lawyer, sue and collect. It is creating a whole new class; it is going to dampen our job creation. David, this is welfare for trial lawyers, personal injury lawyers, that is one class of people we do not need to help anymore.
DEBORAH JACOBS: Listen before we bash the jobs bill and talk about the trial lawyers let's take a sober look at the facts. Companies are discriminating against the long term unemployed and we need a law to put an end to that. The latest example that came across my screen involves Amazon. I don't mean to single them out, but their advertising for people to help work in their new warehouse in South Carolina and one of the preferred qualifications is no extended gap in employment. What does that mean?
RICH KARLGAARD: Hey Deborah do you think this should apply to I don't know Hollywood, or the National Football League, or Major League Baseball as well? It is just ridiculous. Look, we now know, we understand what Obama is all about. What he is all about is favoring his constituency. When you look at his $450 billion jobs bill it goes disproportionately to the blue states and this is just one subset of favoring his constituency at the expense of all other taxpayers.
MARK TATGE: I think it will fail in favor of the trial lawyers and I think it's a good thing it favor the trial lawyers because if it is not illegal, it should be made illegal. Companies should not be able to discriminate on the basis of whether a person does not have a job or ahs been laid off. I mean come on this is ridiculous. I mean I can't believe the same group of people is arguing the NLRB is too powerful and should be knocked out the window and the playing field should be leveled for business. I mean what we should be concerned about here is leveling the playing field for employees.
ELIZABETH MACDONALD: The government has said time again has said joblessness is not a protected class against discrimination because you can change your joblessness when you cannot change your gender, or your race, even your disabilities. This is shovel ready jobs for trial lawyers ready to shovel lawsuits into the system and the 99 jobless benefits only ironically worsens the problem and it's only about a handful of companies who are doing this.
INFORMER: Stocks to pay off your credit card debt
DENNIS KNEALE: Visa (V)
VICTORIA BARRET: Microsoft (MSFT)
MORGAN BRENNAN: Cliffs Natural Resources Inc Co (CLF)