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We don’t even need Scrooge or the Grinch this year. Washington is ready to ruin everybody’s Christmas over the fiscal cliff.
Bernanke told reporters yesterday that the fiscal cliff, a combination of steep tax increases and spending cuts set to kick in Jan. 1, is already bringing down the already-fragile economy. Businesses aren’t investing and consumers aren’t buying because of the uncertainty of a deal between Republicans and the White House.
And House Speaker John Boehner told his GOP colleagues that they need to be prepared to stay in the nation’s capital — quite possibly until New Year’s Eve — to be able to cast a vote if a budget agreement is struck.
You work out your abs and glutes — why not your face? Watch our Justin Rocket Silverman try out “Face Yoga.”
American students are still falling behind Europe and Asia in math and science, according to international test results released yesterday.
Fourth-graders tested closer to the top students in reading and made some advancement on math since 2007, but other scores were statistically the same.
In math and fourth-grade science, South Korea and Singapore were top-ranked. Eighth-grade science was led by Singapore and Taiwan.
American fourth-graders were 11th in math and seventh in science; eighth-graders were ninth in math and 10th in science.
THE NAME IS MISLEADING
It isn’t about a right to work but rather a right for workers to choose whether they want to join a union or pay fees similar to union dues. The Michigan laws would make membership in a union and payment of dues voluntary and would cover both the private and public sectors, except for fire and police unions.
IT’S NOT THE FIRST STATE …
The right-to-work drive in Michigan is the latest of a series of setbacks for labor unions in the U.S., beginning in 2011, when Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker pushed through the legislature limits on teachers’ and other public-sector unions. The Wisconsin limits on unions are on hold while the issue is challenged in court. Earlier this year, Indiana passed right-to-work legislation, and two cities in California voted to curb the pensions of public-sector workers. In all, 23 other states have some sort of right-to-work laws on their books.
… BUT IT MAY BE THE BIGGEST
The symbolism of turning Michigan into a right-to-work state is strong because it is the home of the U.S. auto industry and the place where autoworkers first began to demand better wages and working conditions in the assembly-line automotive plants built by industrial barons such as Henry Ford in the 1920s. Michigan is a stronghold of the union movement in the United States. Some 671,000 workers, or 17.5 percent, were members of unions in Michigan in 2011.
Democrats and unions already are planning to challenge the state measures in court.