Friday, June 3, 2016
► In The Inlander — Raising all boats (by Paul Dillon) — In 1973 book Small Is Beautiful, economist E.F. Schumacher noted that we should study economics “as if people mattered.” His point shouldn’t have been considered revolutionary, but it still is: We miss what we really should value. Now, there’s a path towards equality with Raise Up Washington, a campaign that filed a state initiative, I-1433, to modestly increase the current $9.47 wage incrementally: $11 an hour in 2017, $11.50 an hour in 2018, $12 in 2019 and $13.50 an hour in 2020. The proposal would also allow workers to accrue up to seven days of paid sick and safe leave per year, earned at a rate of one hour for every 40 hours worked. Seattle, Tacoma and Spokane have already passed sick leave laws, yet 1 million workers in Washington don’t have a single day of leave… The mere fact that we must still firmly advocate for a minimum wage, sick leave, gender and race pay equity — simple rights taken for granted that actually support job growth — indicates how cruel and indifferent our society has become. That’s why raising up Washington is the best option available today, and the proposed initiative deserves to pass.
ALSO at The Stand — ‘All hands on deck’ for Initiative 1433 this Saturday
► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Coal train pits jobs against climate — Anti-coal activists squared off against pro-business interests Thursday as Pasco hosted the third and final hearing on the proposed Millennium Bulk Terminals coal export terminal at Longview.
EDITOR’S NOTE — This is a false choice. We can have BOTH… good jobs while also addressing climate change.
► In today’s Bellingham Herald — Bellingham-based Haggen now under Albertsons’ ownership — Northwest grocer Haggen began its first official day under the Albertsons banner on Thursday, June 2, with very few changes at the local stores.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Student protest: SU president says some in faculty also wanted dean to resign
► In The Inlander — Hanging tough — The Triumph dispute has focused not only on rolling back pension concessions and eliminating a two-tier salary structure, but also on complaints that the manufacturer has been outsourcing jobs to Mexico, despite receiving tax breaks for the aerospace industry in Washington. “We don’t think it’s fair for Triumph to expect the Spokane community to support their corporation with tax dollars, only to have it take some residents’ jobs away while cutting overall pay and benefits for those who are still working,” said Machinists Union District Lodge 751 President Jon Holden.
ALSO at The Stand — As Triumph dispute drags on, you can help
► In today’s P.S. Business Journal — Boeing monitoring Machinists strike at big supplier, hopes to avoid delivery delays — A strike by 400 union workers at Boeing supplier Triumph Composite Systems in Spokane has entered its fourth week and the two sides are at such loggerheads they can’t agree on whether the company has locked the workers out of the factory. Meanwhile the company, which makes floor panels, ducts and other parts for Boeing airplanes, has put a temporary work force in place. Boeing said it doesn’t anticipate delivery problems as a result of the labor dispute, “but we are closely monitoring the situation in cooperation with Triumph,” says a Boeing spokeswoman.
► From The Onion — Factory robot working on some of its own designs after hours — Saying it had been mulling over the “fun little side project” for a while, an Electroimpact Quadbot reportedly put in some extra work after hours at the Boeing assembly plant in North Charleston, S.C., on Wednesday to try out a few of its own original designs.
► In today’s Seattle Times — New Western State CEO up to turning around psychiatric hospital, colleagues say — New Western State Hospital CEO Cheryl Strange is taking over a psychiatric facility at risk of losing its federal funding. Can she turn it around?
► In today’s Olympian — Clean air rule timely but needs vetting (editorial) — Washington needs to put a price on carbon pollution. But it should act on proposals whose costs and benefits are well understood.
► In the Daily Globe — Why I oppose the Trans-Pacific deal (by Sen. Al Franken) — As members of Congress consider whether to support the deal, I encourage them to take a look at what’s happened to families and communities on the Iron Range in recent years, where unfair trade practices put American workers out of jobs. Minnesota’s iron ore and steel producers can compete with anyone in the world when there’s a level playing field. But with unfair trade practices, they face layoffs, business closings and the loss of opportunity. It’s clear that we need a new approach to trade. Unfortunately, the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiated by the Barack Obama administration isn’t it.
For too long, we’ve seen the damage from bad trade agreements. Flawed agreements like NAFTA pushed as many as one million American jobs overseas. That’s why when we consider something as large as the TPP, those of us representing American workers in Congress should be looking out for American workers — and not just the corporate bottom line.
ALSO at The Stand — Attend June 25 rally, festival against TPP in Tacoma
► MUST-READ in today’s Washington Post — Ryan’s endorsement of Trump is sad day for the GOP — and America (editorial) — As Donald Trump was building a campaign on lies, bigotry, insults, fearmongering and unreason, a few Republican leaders of apparent principle offered some resistance. Foremost among them was House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.). In March, Ryan insisted that “all of us as leaders can hold ourselves to the highest standards of integrity and decency” and that “we shouldn’t accept ugliness as the norm.” On Thursday Ryan capitulated to ugliness. It was a sad day for the speaker, for his party and for all Americans who hoped that some Republican leaders would have the fortitude to put principle over partisanship, job security or the forlorn fantasy that Trump will advance a traditional GOP agenda.
► In today’s NY Times — Trump could threaten U.S. rule of law, scholars say — Donald Trump’s blustery attacks on the press, complaints about the judicial system and bold claims of presidential power collectively sketch out a constitutional worldview that shows contempt for the First Amendment, the separation of powers and the rule of law, legal experts across the political spectrum say. Even as much of the Republican political establishment lines up behind its presumptive nominee, many conservative and libertarian legal scholars warn that electing Trump is a recipe for a constitutional crisis.
► From The Hill — Clinton: Trump ‘temperamentally unfit’ for White House — Hillary Clinton launched a ferocious attack on Donald Trump on Thursday, warning that he was fundamentally unsuited to serve as the nation’s commander in chief, in one of the most pointed attacks yet of the 2016 presidential campaign. “Donald Trump’s ideas aren’t just different; they are dangerously incoherent,” she said. “They aren’t even really ideas, just a series of bizarre rants, personal feuds and outright lies.”
► From AP — Protesters punch, throw eggs at Trump supporters in San Jose — A group of protesters attacked Donald Trump supporters who were leaving the presidential candidate’s rally in San Jose on Thursday night. A dozen or more people were punched, at least one person was pelted with an egg and Trump hats grabbed from supporters were set on fire on the ground.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Don’t do this.
► In today’s NY Times — A lame response to predatory loans (editorial) — The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau needs to come up with a stronger plan to protect borrowers from the payday lending industry.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Tougher rules needed on payday loans (editorial) — The federal agency’s rule would require that payday lenders verify the borrower’s income and their ability to repay the money that they borrow, a vague standard that doesn’t begin to address the exorbitant interest rates that are charged, typically 400 percent. Fortunately, Washington state residents have better protection against the usury practiced by the industry.
► In today’s NY Times — Sharp fall in hiring saps chance of Fed rate increase in June — In a troubling sign that the economic recovery may have stalled, at least temporarily, the government reported on Friday that employers added just 38,000 workers in May.
► From AFL-CIO Now — Workplace violence: Not part of the job — Violence on the job is a serious and widespread safety and health problem for millions of working people. Workplace violence is the second leading cause of job-related death in the United States and is responsible for an increasing number of serious injuries. The rate of injuries stemming from workplace violence has increased over the last several decades, while the overall rate for job injuries has declined.
► From The Atlantic — The surging cost of basic needs — Low-income families spend more than 80 percent of their budget on things like housing, food, and health care — that’s a lot more than 30 years ago.
► Time hasn’t made this loss any less painful. Now it’s confirmed that Prince was the latest high-profile victim of America’s opioid painkiller epidemic, as he sought to deal with chronic pain from injuries he suffered over the years while performing. So today, the Entire Staff of the Stand wants to celebrate him again. Do yourself a favor and crank up the volume on this falsetto funkfest, Prince’s first successful single, released in 1979. (He later revealed that the song was about his crush on singer Patrice Rushen of “Forget Me Nots” fame.) R.I.P. Prince Rogers Nelson.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.