Posted Monday, Jan. 12, 2009, at 3:42 AM
In mid-death throes, Chrysler actually shows a good-looking car at the Detroit Auto Show. ... Model designation: 2L-8 GT. ... 12:12 A.M.
Monday, January 12, 2009
An idea so crazy it just might be crazy! Facing an economic slowdown, possible deflation, declining readership and competition that gives away its product for free, the Los Angeles Times raises newsstand prices 50% . .... Update: Alert reader B emails, "It's even crazier than you say. It's not just the " competition that gives away its product for free" -- the Times gives itself away for free." ... 12:42 P.M.
Does the GOP Congressional leadership dare launch a fight over whether Davis-Bacon style wage schedules, beloved by organized labor , apply to various projects that use Obama's stimulus funds? They'd almost certainly lose (as they did when the issue came up in the context of Katrina relief ), but that wouldn't be the point. The point would be to take a stand that would a) ventilate the arguments against Davis Bacon ; b) highlight Obama's dependence on Big Labor; and c) deter Obama from moving very far in the direction of non-market, bureaucratic determination of wages (through mandatory arbitration under the "card check" bill, direct setting wage scales by the federal government under Davis-Bacon, and eventually, maybe, court-imposed wage-rejiggering to eliminate male/female disparities under the doctrine of " comparable worth ").
In a bad recession, why shouldn't we use the government to boost wages above market levels (which is what conservatives say the Davis-Bacon schedules in fact do )? It's not just that, if the Davis-Bacon wage is higher than the market wage, lower wages mean you can employ more people and get more done. The incoming Obama team should actually want wages on stimulus projects to be a little below normal market wages, in order to nudge people to move into regular, non-stimulus private and public projects as the economy recovers, no? That was FDR's policy for the WPA, though he had to break a strike to get it. ... 1:24 A.M.