DISCLAIMER: THE FOLLOWING "Cost of Freedom Recap" CONTAINS STRONG OPINIONS WHICH ARE NOT A REFLECTION OF THE OPINIONS OF FOX NEWS AND SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON AS INVESTMENT ADVICE WHEN MAKING PERSONAL INVESTMENT DECISIONS. IT IS FOX NEWS' POLICY THAT CONTRIBUTORS DISCLOSE POSITIONS THEY HOLD IN STOCKS THEY DISCUSS, THOUGH POSITIONS MAY CHANGE. READERS OF "Cost of Freedom Recap" MUST TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR OWN INVESTMENT DECISIONS.
This week Brenda Buttner was joined by Gary B. Smith, Tobin Smith, Eric Bolling, Pat Dorsey and Tara Dowdell.
Arizona Illegal Immigration Law; Helping or Hurting Jobs in America?
Eric Bolling, Fox Business Network: About 15 million people are out of work right now. And about 15 million illegal immigrants live in the country, many of them holding down a lot of jobs that Americans or legal immigrants could be holding. Illegal aliens hold down wages, sometimes under minimum wage. So construction, restaurants, etc. all have wages held artificially low. If you close this loophole for illegal aliens and employers have to pay minimum wage, wages will go up and stop being undercut.
Gary B. Smith, TheChartman.com: Illegal immigrants come in, and take jobs that the working class won't or can't take. What happens is that employers are able to stock those jobs. Overall, job growth gets enhanced. Look at a carpenter, for example, and their shop is able to expand because they have lower costs with entry level workers and expand the business. As a result of their expansion, they propagate other businesses. This low cost labor really ends up helping the economy.
Tobin Smith, NBT Media: Illegal immigration absolutely hurts the economy. This argument that illegal immigrants take the jobs Americans don't want has never been proved empirically. In Arizona, 18 to 28 year olds without high school educations, their unemployment rate is at about 25 percent or so. You take the illegal immigration problem out of the equation, they can take those jobs, and they won't be sending 40 percent of their income back to Mexico.
Pat Dorsey, Morningstar.com: Unemployment is high among younger people across the country, not just in states with illegal immigration problems. Also it's important to keep in mind this statistic of 15 million illegal aliens in the country doesn't mean they're all of working age—many of them aren't. So it's not like if we got rid of all illegal immigrants, suddenly every American out of work would get a job. On top of that, go back to a few years ago when unemployment was at 4 percent, there were just as many, if not more, illegal immigrants in the country. The problem is we don't have jobs, the construction industry and many others are in the toilet.
Tara Dowdell, Democratic strategist: This Arizona bill is already having a negative impact on the state's economy. Boycotts have begun, conventions have been cancelled. There were similar boycotts in the early 1990s when Arizona refused to recognize Martin Luther King Jr. birthday. One hundred-thirty conventions and $350 million were lost as a result. This bill will clearly negatively affect jobs in Arizona.
D.C.'s New Push to Ban Offshore Drilling; $5 Gas on the Way?
Eric Bolling: Washington's actions are going to drive gas up to $5 a gallon. Oil is already 40 percent higher than it was a year ago, and the White House putting in place this moratorium on any new drilling will only drive it higher. We need to focus on ways to drill more, not less—otherwise we'll all be paying for it at the pump.
Tara Dowdell: Gas always goes up this time of year. The larger issue is reducing our dependence on foreign oil. It's costing us too much already. We need to focus on developing clean, green, energy sources. The amount of money that's going to be spent and the environmental impact as a result of this oil rig disaster is tremendous, and it gives even more reason why we need to move away from oil as a main source of energy.
Tobin Smith: If environmentalists are talking about stopping production off-shore until we figure out what went wrong, we'll have much higher gas costs. At the margin, gas is a function of oil prices, and oil is the function of a two to three million dollar a day spread. If this spread goes away, it's going to go up.
Gary B. Smith: Prices for oil will rise over the summer. I don't think it'll be related to any restrictions on off-shore drilling. Even if you get rid of all off-shore rigs, you turn off access to 1.7 million barrels a day. We consume a lot more than that. Even if you restrict or cut back on off-shore drilling, that'll never send the cost of gas to $5 unless you literally shut down every off-shore rig there is and never let another one be built. But that will never be the case. In terms of clean or renewable energy sources, whenever you come up with one that is as cost effective as oil, you let me know.
Pat Dorsey: Things like ethanol would never be viable without subsidies. In terms of oil, it is a globally traded commodity. This will only affect global oil prices is if these decisions impacted global supply. If drilling off-shore in the U.S. was enough to directly affect global oil prices, then one month ago, when President Obama announced his decision to allow offshore drilling, oil prices would have gone down. They didn't. The market impact of this is nil.
Unions Call for Bank Reform: Does Big Labor Need Reforming?
Tobin Smith: It's time for unions to reform themselves. Their guys get compensated 40 percent to 50 percent higher wages than other people in the private sector. But they're the oppressed ones? Their $70-$80 wages at GM and Chrysler put them out of business. Unions have ruined company after company, industry after industry, and now they're starting to take down states like California. It's time for them to look in the mirror.
Tara Dowdell: Unions have made mistakes and certainly need some reforms. Last I checked, Lehman Brothers was not a union shop. It misled investors, made poor investments, etc. How many people lost money in their 401(k)s as a result of that?
Pat Dorsey: There's an interesting analogy between the financial system and unions. Financial companies took too much risk, borrowed too much money, and regulators refused to say no. Unions asked for too much money and benefits over the years, and voters and politicians refused to say no.
Gary B. Smith: Unions by definition are a monopoly. It's like the minimum wage on steroids. With unions there is a minimum wage, which ups production costs and it creates a path of destruction—in steel, retail, auto, airlines, etc. The list goes on and on. There was once a place for unions, but that time has gone. In the financial sector, a business may collapse, but with unions, their employees don't lose their jobs until their entire industry collapses.
Eric Bolling: Richard Trumka showed labor's slimy hands on this. They want a tax on investments so that money can be spent on infrastructure. And who benefits? Big labor. They don't care about America, they only care about themselves.
Gary B. Smith: Oil spill a disaster, but oil co's recover! "RDS.A" doubles in 2 years
Pat Dorsey: Go where Warren goes! "WF" pays out 50 percent in 2 years
Tobin Smith: Goldman lesson: get email filters! "ORCL" fishes out 40 percent gains in 1 year
Eric Bolling: Can't take toys out of Happy Meals! "MCD" plays with 30 gains in 1 year
This Week Neil Cavuto was Joined By Ben Stein, Dagen Mcdowell, Charles Payne and Adam Lashinsky.
Arizona Immigration Law Creating Gridlock in D.C.; Good News?
Charles Payne, WStreet.com: This is fantastic news for taxpayers. The more we can keep Congress and the White House distracted from implementing policies that spend our money and make our economy less competitive, the better. I'm hoping we get to November, and the American people vote to help put the country and the economy back on the right track. Gridlock in Congress isn't good, but I am no fan of the major pieces of legislation being considered right now.
Dagen McDowell, Fox Business Network: We've seen the speed with which the Democrats are pushing through vast revamps of entire industries, such as with financial reform. They've backed off cap and trade for now. DC's distraction is good news. We saw, with health care for example, how Congress slaps legislation together without really knowing what they're putting into the giant sausage. Anything that holds that up will have benefits for the economy.
Ben Stein, author, "Little Book of Bulletproof Investing": I think what the President has done in regards to this Arizona law is disgraceful. No one has ruled it is illegal, no court, nobody. I've never heard of a case when the President weighs in and says a state legislature's action is questionable before the law even goes into effect, or a court has ruled on it. It doesn't seem to violate any part of the constitution that we know of. This is an absolute interference with states' rights. But if it gets in the way of an expansion of government power and programs, then I suppose that's a good thing.
Adam Lashinsky, Fortune Magazine: I've never been a fan of the "legislative gridlock is good" school of thought. For the record, I don't think Congress has just randomly been throwing and piecing bills together. Things like financial reform and climate change legislation have been around in various forms for awhile now. Though it does look like this immigration situation is going to get in the way of other legislation. But this isn't always good. The government did a lot of things over the last couple of years that was good for the economy, the TARP program most notably. The economy is ticking up, along with the stock market, and the government has actively been involved with the economy over the last two years.
President Obama: 'At Some Point You've Made Enough Money'
Ben Stein: I always get worried when I see the president making a speech without the tie on—when he's being casual. He's just insane on this subject. He's saying there's only so much money a person can make, and after that shouldn't e allowed to make more money. That's crazy. Wealthy people are extraordinarily generous when it comes to charitable donations. And to imply they just blow it on frivolous expenses is ridiculous.
Dagen McDowell: What is enough? What's too much in this country? If there's a limit to success, what incentive do you have to go out and become tremendously successful? Giving back is and should be at the discretion of the person who has made that money, not the government. The government wants to take the money and decide who deserves to get it.
Adam Lashinsky: I don't think President Obama has a problem with rich people at all. I hear this and get a completely different takeaway. I think he's reiterating the idea that you do make enough money at some point, and should start thinking about giving back, through charity, endowments, etc. President Obama wasn't talking about people making $300,000—he was talking about hedge fund managers who made $1 billion last year.
Charles Payne: If people want to give back through charity, etc. that should be at their prerogative if you've earned the money. But it should never be the government's role or responsibility to decide what's too much.
GM 'Preserving' Jobs; Proof It Really Is 'Government Motors'?
Ben Stein: Given the statistics GM released on this new investment and the amount of jobs it would save or preserve, it comes to $600,000 per job. Not the best bargain. I don't think this is anything to brag about. Assembly line jobs get about $60,000, so where's the remaining $540,000 going to? Outside of that, the government gave GM a working credit line, and it paid off a round of debt to taxpayers by tapping into this credit lines—it'd be like using your MasterCard to pay off your Visa bill. I love GM cars, but the company is absolutely using fancy, imprecise math.
Charles Payne: I buy Fords. But I sincerely hope corporations don't start using this disingenuous metric. It's just bogus. GM has become a conduit for the White House. Marking anything as a "preserved" job is just dishonest, and it would be a horrible precedent if adopted by other companies and business leaders.
Dagen McDowell: What else is going on behind the scenes in terms of government involvement if this bubbles up to the surface? GM paid back this loan with taxpayer dollars through this government credit line. That's some use of taxpayer money. And they took out TV ads to boast about it.
Adam Lashinsky: Any company that gets a break from the government, or anything else, likes to brag about it and talk about the number of jobs it creates. You'll take what you can. GM did pay off part of the loan, but I'm not denying this is all a form of propaganda. I don't think we've really seen GM showing it just works at the bidding of the U.S. government.
Winner's Circle Stocks
Charles Payne: Cirrus Logic (CRUS)
Adam Lashinsky: Schlumberger (SLB)
Ben Stein: iShares MSCI EAFE Index (EFA)
On Saturday, May 1, 2010, David Asman was joined by Steve Forbes, Rich Karlgaard, Neil Weinberg, Stephane Fitch, Mike Ozanian, Quentin Hardy, Victoria Barret, and Elizabeth MacDonald.
In Focus: Unions Are Blocking Walmart From Coming to Big Cities Like New York; Good or Bad for Job Market?
David Asman: The massive, winding oil slick is whacking the gulf shore and local companies. Now, a battle is erupting over calls to replace oil with a safer energy. We're going to tell you all about that. But first to a battle over new jobs in America. Walmart is reportedly looking to bring lots of jobs to a major city, but a major labor group is already putting up some major road blocks. Does this prove unions are putting their own motives ahead of Americans looking for work? Hi everybody, I'm David Asman. Welcome to Forbes on Fox. Let's go In Focus with Steve Forbes, Elizabeth MacDonald, Rich Karlgaard, Neil Weinberg, Stephane Fitch and Quentin Hardy. Steve, first to you.
Steve Forbes: Unions kill jobs. We saw that in the auto industry and the steel industry. Walmart is a job creator. It's been in rural America, suburban America, and now it wants to come to the big cities and provide low prices and jobs. Whenever they provide jobs, people line up for them. Unions are keeping them out because they see them as a threat to their position, not because they have a public wheel at stake.
Stephane Fitch: Nobody should boo-hoo for Walmart. They have all the power and efficiency they need to beat these unions. But even if you like their big, sprawling megamarts more than you like dead-end labor, you have to admit the Walmart haters have a point. Most of the communities that get these Walmarts end up worse-off job wise in the long run.
Rich Kalrgaard: Unions destroy jobs whenever they demand wages that are beyond what the market is willing to pay. Unions also set and enforce pension plans that inevitably blow-up and force companies, as well as municipalities and federal governments, into bankruptcy. And union work rules stifle innovation in the work place.
Quentin Hardy: Why do you guys hate democracy? Unions are just one more player in the market. The "selfish" purpose of the union is asking for higher wages, asking for more benefits, and it's up to management whether or not to grant them. Do you think Walmart would have given any kind of health care if unions hadn't pointed out how bad Walmart was at doing that? I don't.
Elizabeth MacDonald: The data tells a story. Half of the workers at Walmart came from lower-paying union jobs at grocery stores and retail stores. Four out of 10 didn't have any insurance from those companies. They go to Walmart and get better benefits and better pay. Even the mayor of Burlington, Vermont told me he loves the Walmart there because it created even more jobs and attracted more businesses. Even an AFL-CIO official in Burlington said, I support the Walmart coming to our town.
Neil Weinberg: You can get ahead at Walmart, but they also have a 44 percent turnover rate on their hourly workers. This is a place where the average worker is still earning something below the poverty line on an annual basis. This is the world's largest retailer and I don't think that collectively bargaining against them is such a bad idea. I'm not saying you should have the sort of work rules that say you can only lift boxes and check people out, but what you should have is a place where people can try to get decent wages and decent benefits.
Flipside: Gulf Coast Oil Spill Is Proof That America Needs to Invest More Money and Resources Into Nuclear Energy!
David Asman: A massive and costly oil slick is washing up on the gulf shores. Damages could be in the billions. Local tourist and fishing companies are already warning they could get hit hard. And that has some here saying it's time to kick our oil habit once and for all and go nuclear.
Elizabeth MacDonald: Venture capitalists and scientists in the nuclear industry are coming up with reactors that are $100 million to create, as opposed to the $1 billion they usually cost. The size of a pencil eraser equals 1 ton of coal with these new nuclear reactors. And even better, two thirds of the waste can be reclaimed. Remember Harry Reid was very upset about Yucca Mountain being used to store nuclear waste? That's been the opposition to nuclear plants. This is revolutionary. This is where we should go. And half of the $100 million cost goes back to the U.S. government.
Victoria Barret: Going nuclear sounds great, but the reality is we still drive around all day in cars and those cars run on fuel. We can't get rid of our dependence on fuel over night. Over time we should, but meantime we have to accept the reality that we need fuel and that getting that fuel can be an ugly, dangerous business. We don't know the exact cause of this spill at this point, but we need to get to the bottom of that and figure out if it can be prevented in the future, and then assess offshore drilling.
Neil Weinberg: We don't have to drill and I think we are really hurting ourselves by doing so. We are not going to recover that much oil and the more we increase our dependence on oil, the more money we send to the Middle East and the more we create geopolitical problems. You can run cars on natural gas and electricity and we need to bite the bullet and say, we're going to stop running our cars on gasoline as quickly as we possibly can.
Steve Forbes: We have to go nuclear and we should have a decade ago or 20 years ago. Right now we are still very dependent on oil and better to get it offshore. This is the first time in 40 years we've had a spill like this, and that's better than sending the money overseas and funding terrorists and the like. Here at home, there's a process with natural gas called fracking. We can have huge increases in natural gas from the west and other parts of the country. We should go full forward on that.
Stephane Fitch: Energy is a dirty, dangerous business. We probably do have to keep doing the dirty work for a while, but we've got to get serious about getting to where Neil's at, and that means putting a big tax on gas and oil, making nuclear easier to get to, and making wind more viable for the market. Let the market get us there, but it won't unless we make oil less appealing. Right now, it's just too cheap.
Quentin Hardy: Nuclear makes a lot of sense and we should spend a lot of money figuring out what we should do with spent nuclear fuel; that's probably government spending which you may or may not like. But it's not going to do anything about oil. Nuclear is for electrical generation. Oil in America represents about 1.1 percent of what electric power generation is. Oil is used for transport and home heating. You're not going to remake the supply chain for cars and homes on electricity any time in the next ten years. That means conservation if you want to use less oil. Otherwise, get used to spills. Offshore drilling means spills.
New Report Shows Health Premiums Will Go Up Because of Mandate to Keep Kids on Their Parents' Plan Until They're 26: Proof That Health Care Costs Are On Rise Already?
David Asman: They said the health care bill would lower costs, but a new report out this week says the mandate allowing kids to stay on their parents' plan until they're 26 could jack up all premiums. Rich, you've been warning we're all going to pay more for a long time.
Rich Karlgaard: We're all going to pay more unless the dirty secret of the Oama health care plan is revealed, which is that seniors are going to be denied coverage. That's the only way the numbers work, because if you give money to people who aren't paying in, and you say you're going to keep the budget flat, then you've got to take it from elsewhere. This is a generational transfer from the old to the young.
Neil Weinberg: I think the right should stop hyperventilating about this. The Department of Health and Human Services hasn't even finished the legislation. What we're talking about are 13 million young people who have to buy coverage. This is the healthiest group in the United States of America. They're going to have to go in to the insurance pool and that's going to raise costs? I don't get it.
Steve Forbes: Young people may be a healthy cohort, but they are going to require premiums to cover those who get in accidents or who get the occasional disease. They are going to end up costing more. Whenever government gets involved in something, it can't increase supply but it does increase price, so they either suppress it by rationing or in this case, the elderly are going to have to do without. That's why the incoming head of Medicare says, we have to do more "good rationing."
Quentin Hardy: There are the projections and then there is the reality that in other systems where there is government health care, they pay half as much and get better outcomes. Forget the projections and forget this thing about slackers, too. It's up to the parents to make the kids pay and contribute. The parents don't have to pay for the kids, do they?
Mike Ozanian: The great Obama fairytale is that there is such a thing as a free lunch. But we know better. All we have to do is look at Western Europe where they've had Obama's health care plan for decades. Look at what it's done to the economy. The unemployment rate has been much higher there, particularly among people under the age of 30. Remember when Obama gave his budget to the Office of Management and Budget. It submitted 10 years of tax revenues, but showed only 6 years of expenses!
Informer: Stocks That Will Pay You No Matter Which Way Market Moves
Mike Ozanian: Deutsche Telekom (DT)
Victoria Barret: Microsoft (MSFT)
Neil Weinberg: AmeriGas Partners (APU)
Stephane Fitch: Nationwide Health Properties (NHP)
Chaka Fattah Says His Proposed 1 percent Sales Tax Will Get Rid of Debt; Will It Really Get Rid of Recovery for the Economy?
John Layfield, www.nutritionmarket.com CEO/Owner: Same thing every other tax is doing, we're taxing soda, tanning, cigarettes, we're taxing transactions, we're talking about a VAT tax. We have one out of every six Americans right now that is unemployed, adding more tax right now makes no sense whatsoever to this fragile economy. Look, we are projecting trillion dollar deficits for the next eight years from this administration. Somehow they had to bogus claim they weren't going to raise taxes is absolutely that. It's bogus. You want to give these guys more money? This is a great theory. However, it doesn't work because there is not a balanced budget amendment that goes with it, nor a ban on earmarks that goes with it. You give these guys more money, they're going to blow more money. It's not what they need. Don't give a coke head more blow.
Rob Stein, Astor Asset Management: I don't know why John would say the economy is fragile. Friday's GDP numbers showed it grew again. 3.2 percent. Consumer spending is up 3.6 percent. The economy is chugging along, the to go market has been up the last three quarters in a row. I think 1 percent tax is nothing that will derail the economy at this point. If the economy is growing, it can handle higher taxes. We have a tremendous amount of debt, big deficit, we got to start paying it down one way or another. Either we pay it this way or it will be paid in another way by depreciating assets or the decline in GDP.
Wayne Rogers, Wayne Rogers & Co: Of course, they don't need more taxes. What they need to do is cut the spending. That's the problem. That's always the problem. But the Congress, once you give them more money, John is right, it's like giving a junky more juice. The idea of a consumption tax, the idea itself is terrific and if it replaced the income tax, replaced the corporate tax, the gift tax, the inheritance tax, that would be good. But you can't do it in addition to. That's bad.
Tracy Byrnes: The notion of slapping a tax on me right now makes me want to slap Congress because they don't seem to live on the same street I do. People are unemployed. Rob, I don't know what economy you're in, but people are still struggling, they're worried about their jobs, their housing prices are still going to continue to fall. This economy is on a thread right now and just 'cause Wall Street seems to be making money and they always figure out a way to do so, doesn't mean that Main Street is doing okay. Main street is going to pay the majority of their paycheck on purchases. Not Wall Street.
Jonas Max Ferris, www.MaxFunds.com: I live on your street, so I'm glad to hear about sales taxes coming. It's time to share the tax burden with every man who doesn't ever get tax increases. Look, Wayne got the point, nobody is going to cut the major cost to government, so we're going to have to fund it with higher taxes. To John's point, we're going to have to limit the additional spending. But to go to everybody's drug analogy, this is a toot and this is going to have to be higher than 1 percent down the road.
Jonathan Hoenig, www.CapitalistPig.com: But I have to tell you, I don't think the President is going to go for a VAT because of just the point Jonas, your point, is that this affects the poor, the lower income folks the most. The President said very clearly that he thinks it's the higher income folks who should share the primary tax burden in this country, despite the fact that they already do. I think this is a political maneuver to justify — I think Wayne said it brilliantly. The consumption based tax is flat and easy to understand. It's perfect to replace the income tax.
Boycotts Against Arizona Being Called Over State's New Illegal Immigration Law: But Will It Backfire and Help Business?
Tracy Byrnes: Look, all they're going to do is pull people out of the woodwork that are in support of all this. 64 percent Of Arizona voters are in favor of this immigration law. We're seeing it happen already. Kansas city, Missouri having a boycott. Having people purchasing in support of these laws. They're always going to backfire in the end. Boycotts never work and look, if you're going to boycott, boycott the right products. They're boycotting Arizona iced tea which is made in Brooklyn, New York.
Jonas Max Ferris: The perception to some people, of course it's not the same thing. The details aren't that ridiculous. However, it's another example of states' rights destroying the union, of course. But the reality is the perception and we're already seeing signs that more people will not do business in Arizona than the Arizona people actually want this will benefit the state. We're hearing talk of major league baseball won't do an All-Star game there. Arizona iced tea is so concerned they'll sell less, they're not from Arizona. They had to tell everybody, we're not from that nasty state. They have a troubled housing market in Arizona. Rich Hispanics are retiring to the northeast. What if they pass over Arizona and retire in Nevada or California? Does this state need to push away people? It's not that it's wrong, it's just that it will offend people.
Wayne Rogers: Leaving out the moral issue one way or the other, the economic issue is simple. If a boycott is going to be effective it has to be imposed and it has to be economically effective. Years ago when Howie Long ran the state of Louisiana, he had a terrible reputation, the Georgia school system, which was controlled by the Coca-Cola interests in Atlanta, called up and canceled the football game between LSU and the University of Georgia. The next day, Long was on the phone to the Governor, he said, if it's not rescheduled by tomorrow morning, a 5-cent tax will go on every Coca-Cola that sold in the state of LA and guess what? The next day it was rescheduled. That's what makes a boycott effective.
John Layfield: I grew up in West Texas working on a ranch with a couple of illegals. I know the situation very well. In Arizona, illegals cost the state $1.3 Billion. It's much higher here in Texas. But the problem is Arizona should have never had to pass this law to begin with. The boycott deserves on the federal government. There is not a fine, a collective backbone in this federal government. They keep kicking this can past the midterm elections and not having reform, so Arizona has to do something like this because the federal government won't. Look, there has been more murders on the U.S.-Mexican border then in Iraq. There is a war zone down there, they need help.
Jonathan Hoenig: Listen, people can boycott whatever they want. I don't think it's going to have much of an effect. I actually think Arizona's law itself, this immigration law itself will have a very negative impact on the state's own economy. John, I respectfully disagree with you. You say that immigrants or illegals as you want to call them in a negative sense, cost the state a billion dollars. Believe me, they produce much more than that. Immigrants as a class are tremendously productive for the economy, for the nation as a whole, and I think Cheryl, to the extent we crack down on immigration, we're literally shooting ourselves in the foot.
Rob Stein: Wayne's point earlier is the one most noted and that is if you have an economic benefit or gain from a boycott, you have more clout, more power. I'm not sure the boycott and boycott have much to benefit from. At the end of the day, it's not like boycotting tea and we're drinking coffee 200 years ago. I don't know what the economic interest or benefit will be from a boycott.
Mandatory Paid Sick Days: Good or Bad for Jobs?
Jonathan Hoenig: It raises costs for many of the businesses now who are struggling to either hire or hold on to their existing employees. But it fringes on people's rights. This is the White House, the government forcing. We used to be an economy based on free trade. Remember that old thing? Employers and employees with a sight on mutually beneficial working arrangements? Somehow an employee has a right to a day off advocated for them on behalf of them by the government? It's a slap in the face of those of us who believe in capitalism.
Jonas Max Ferris: That's one of the down sides of being a lower paid worker, which I will say that I don't like telling companies what to do, other than basic safety standards in the work force. I think all that creates problems. However, if you define improving the job market as lowering the unemployment rate, forcing employers to have to go work less lowers unemployment rate because they got to hire someone to fill that time when someone is on a paid vacation in Disneyland. Personally I'm not for it. But it could lower the unemployment rate.
Wayne Rogers: Well, the problem is, everybody gets sick. Why should a lower paid worker — this headline here, paid sick push for low income workers. What about a high income worker? Isn't he entitled to get sick? Sickness spreads all over everybody. You quoted the stat about 25 percent of low income workers. What about high income workers? Everybody gets sick. If you get sick, yes, there should be a policy in every company for about sick pay for a certain number of days. That's the way it should be, end of story.
Tracy Byrnes: A business should have the right to offer any kind of benefit it wants to. If it wants to be Stalin and say too bad, you don't come to work when you're sick, you lose your job, that's their problem. That's what makes us a competitive market.
Rob Stein: I think we're talk being sick. You get a lot of give when you're sick. Right? Your mother brings you soup. You get a lot of give – if you abuse it, I agree. It's a bad policy if you abuse it. But people get sick, particularly this year with H1N1. They should be able to take a day off, get healthy and get paid for it.
John Layfield: Oh, come on, wait a minute. What kind of sissy, nanny state are we building here? We're telling people, if you got the sniffles, stay home. Don't work. Would you like to be in a fox hole with these spineless politicians telling people not to work hard? You got to be kidding me. This is pathetic.
What Do I Need to Know?
Wayne Rogers: Well, they're ending the tax credit for housing, that's a bad thing. It should be extended through the year end. I think housing is just about to break out again. I'm recommending a lot of people buy some of these housing ETFs, I have to like (ITB) best.
Tracy Byrnes: California is at it again. They want to ban toys in happy meals now, dear god, give me a break. Until the nutritional standards come up, stop with the nanny state. If I want to give my kid a happy meal, my choice.
Jonas Max Ferris: Just when you thought Apple wrapped up the smart phone, Verizon pulled a super cool Android toy. They had to put it off. Buy Verizon Communications (VZ).
Jonathan Hoenig: Spain is imploding. They have a socialist government. It's a huge entitlement state and 20 percent unemployment. Check out (EUO). It's an ETF that bets against the Euro. I don't own it but I'm looking at it very closely.
John Layfield: Money Mayweather with beat Sugar Mosley, setting up the biggest Pay Per View of all time, Mayweather versus Pacquiao. Global communications (JCOM), I can't wait. I love boxing.