Posts tagged productivity

    Fast-food prices hiked after California ups minimum wage

    November 13, 2023 // In that January article, I called this “the iron law of California progressivism: Claim that new laws will help the poor. When the actual effect turns out to be catastrophic for the poor, blame capitalism/markets/billionaires/racism, and expand government control of the business. Rinse, repeat, and promote as a national — even global — model for equity. And if Californians have anything to say about it, AB 257 will be coming to you, no matter where you live in the United States.” Indeed, Biden’s forever-acting Secretary of Labor Julie Su has already expressed her unbridled enthusiasm for California’s policy. That’s no surprise, either: Su was California’s secretary of labor, and is closely tied to the union leadership behind a number of execrable labor policies. Among the most notorious is AB 5, the law that banned independent contracting in key industries, including Uber drivers and trucking companies. When AB 257 emerged from the same fetid philosophical swamp, there was Su, now part of the Biden administration, telling the bill’s supporters, “The Department of Labor stands with you. The Biden-Harris Administration stands with you.”

    AI: Jobs and Regulation

    November 13, 2023 // Despite that, while there are some basic safety precautions that should be taken, for example, to limit the extent to which AI is integrated into nuclear weapon systems, it is hard to see how, short of adopting economic autarky, the U.S. could renounce or even slow down the broader advance of AI. A technology cannot be uninvented, and, if the U.S. applied the brakes, its geopolitical or economic competitors would do their best to take advantage, by pressing on with AI, probably recruiting American experts to help in their efforts to do so. Thus it’s interesting to see that a number of European countries have been pushing back against the EU’s efforts to regulate AI development (with the harshest regulation, naturally, being reserved, EurAktiv reports, for “leading providers that currently are non-European companies”). The regulation would be “risk-based,” which, as typically interpreted in Brussels, a place where the precautionary principle is taken to absurd levels, would be bleak news for innovators.

    Opinion: Why stop at the four-day workweek?

    November 9, 2023 // s. Second, let workers unionize and collectively bargain rather than firing them for it. The road, though, doesn’t end there. “One thing you need,” said Benanav, “is something that was never really achieved in the US: actual sectoral bargaining. Not just collective bargaining at the firm level, but at the industry level.” Sectoral bargaining means unions would negotiate standards that apply to all workers in an industry, not just those who work in unionized firms. To complement that greater representation, workers would also benefit from social programs like unconditional cash transfers, universal healthcare, or as the pandemic showed, stronger unemployment insurance. We already saw early tremors of the power such reforms can hold as part of the surprisingly generous US policy response to the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly the boosted unemployment insurance. “A lot of that was giving people resources to just make their own decisions,” said Konczal.

    COMMENTARY: Will generative A.I. be good for U.S. workers?

    August 10, 2023 // The implications of generative A.I. are complex. What is clear is that generative A.I. will fundamentally change the way many jobs are done. And we are optimistic that many of the jobs created will be highly skilled and well paid. To get there, though, the United States must invest in re-training and education to ensure that the workforce is prepared to succeed. On the lower end of the job market—those making less than $38,200 a year—automation and other structural changes have already had big effects. Generative A.I. could accelerate these trends, resulting in lower wage workers being 14 times more likely to need to shift occupations than high-wage workers. People without college degrees are almost twice as likely to face displacement.

    Opinion: Apprenticeships, Not College, Can Help Reduce Unemployment

    June 25, 2022 // We estimate that the entirety of our current employment gap is driven by people without children under 18 at home and most predominantly by young adults. While total employment is down 0.28% since the start of the pandemic, employment among 20- to 24-year-olds is down 3.7%. Claudia Goldin, Mazda Toyota Manufacturing, employment gap, Huntsville, Alabama, National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, Pathways, Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs, IRAP model,

    Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz says ‘I’ll get on my knees’ and ‘do whatever you want’ pleading with workers to return to the office

    June 14, 2022 // Speaking at The New York Times's DealBook policy forum in Washington, DC, on Thursday, Schultz — who returned as interim CEO in April after Kevin Johnson stepped down from the role — said swaying staffers away from remote work and back to the office hasn't been productive. "I have been unsuccessful, despite everything I've tried to do, to get our people back to work," Schultz, 69, said. "I've pleaded with them. I said I'll get on my knees. I'll do push-ups. Whatever you want. Come back."