The long battle of the statists to set wage levels may be near realization, thanks to a skillful use of rope-a-dope tactics by the Obama administration. The latest version of the notorious card check legislation reportedly drops the feared card check provision, but includes a Trojan Horse provision that lets the feds set wages and other contract terms. Jennifer Rubin spotted it, and Mickey Kaus picked it up from her, commenting:
"Card check"--allowing unions to avoid secret ballots--is now semi-officially out of the "card check" compromise bill. But the other sweeping structural change in the economy--allowing government "arbitrators" to set wages in the first union contract-is still in. The goal for unions is now to hide this "mandatory arbitration" provision and pretend that the fight was almost all about the defunct anti-secret ballot provision. The NYT's Steven Greenhouse, as usual, gives the unions what they want.
Once again, we can only gape in awe at the misplaced priorities of certain Senate leaders. The economy is sputtering and we are bleeding jobs, but the Senate is dreaming up new ways to pummel employers. Surtaxes, energy taxes, mandatory arbitration, and on it goes. Quite a list. (Where do they think the jobs are going to come from?) If you wanted to make America an undesirable place to locate new businesses in or to expand your payroll, you'd be hard pressed to match the agenda coming out of Congress.
This is also a back door for application of the loathsome "comparable worth" doctrine, so that mandarins will set pay levels where they think they should be, nevermind the supply and demand for various types of labor.
Hat tip: Clarice Feldman