The Insider – what the conservative movement has been thinking, writing, saying, and doing to win battles for liberty. April 2, 2016
The question of mandatory union fees will be settled another day, as the Supreme Court has punted on Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association. Meanwhile, compelled union politics appears alive and well in Chicago. It turns out that there are some safe spaces liberals do not care about. So far, the only health insurance coverage ObamaCare has expanded has been Medicaid. The burden of regulation doesn’t fall equally across the states; a new index measures the differences. Are Europe’s rigid labor laws feeding terrorism? Plus, over 50 new studies, articles, speeches, videos, and events at The Insider this week. Visit to see what the conservative movement has been thinking, writing, saying, and doing to win battles for liberty.
The question of mandatory union fees will be settled another day. The right of unions to compel the payment of agency fees from all represented employees, even those who disapprove of the political aspects of their unions’ bargaining positions, remains intact this week—for now. By a 4-4 vote, the Supreme Court let stand a lower court decision in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association. Teacher Rebecca Friedrichs, represented by the Center for Individual Rights, had argued that the agency-fee setup violates her First Amendment rights by forcing her to support the union’s bargaining agenda, an agenda with which she disagrees. The Center for Individual Rights has announced it intends to file for a rehearing of the case when the Supreme Court again has nine justices. [Center for Individual Rights]
Did somebody say something about compelled political activity? As the Supreme Court is punting a case that challenges the unions’ right to compel support for its political goals, the Chicago Teachers Union has told members they’ll be booted out of the union if they show up for work instead of participating in an illegal strike. As Jeffrey Schwab points out, the strike isn’t actually about labor conditions, but rather about pushing political demands such as new taxes on the wealthy. [Illinois Policy Institute]
Some safe spaces liberals don’t like. The state of North Carolina has called down a storm of politically correct indignation on itself by daring to outlaw mixed-sex bathrooms in state facilities. A number of private companies, including the National Basketball Association, and other jurisdictions, including the District of Columbia, are threatening boycotts of the state unless it reintroduces policies allowing genetic males who identify as females to enter women’s bathrooms. As Kellie Fiedorek points out, the North Carolina law requires sex-segregated bathrooms for a reason: “[T]he mere presence of men in what should be a private, safe space like a bathroom can trigger serious psychological and emotional trauma for women and girls who have been sexually abused.” [Daily Signal]
ObamaCare was basically a giant Medicaid expansion—with a bunch of other liberty-sapping provisions. According to the Congressional Budget Office, ObamaCare was supposed to increase private health insurance coverage to 201 million people by 2016. The actual figure, however, is 177 million. As Jeffrey Anderson points out, that’s 9 million less than the number of people CBO originally projected would be covered by private health insurance if ObamaCare did not pass. Meanwhile, Medicaid enrollment has doubled to 68 million. [Hudson Institute]
The burden of regulation doesn’t fall equally across the states. Regulation affects different industries differently, and each state has a different mix of economic sectors. The Mercatus Center has created an index that measures how these difference amount to differences in regulatory burdens between states. [Mercatus Center; also check out regdata.org/50states for more data.]
Are Europe’s rigid labor laws feeding terrorism? Why does Belgium do a poorer job of assimilating Muslims than the United States? Alex Tabarrok points to minimum wage and other laws that may price lower-skilled immigrants out of the job market. He notes, quoting the OECD: “In 2012, the overall unemployment rate in Belgium was 7.6% (15-64 age group), rising to 19.8% for those in the labour force aged under 25, and, among these, reaching 29.3% and 27.9% for immigrants and their native-born offspring, respectively.” [Foundation for Economic Education]
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