What they intend to do is fill top jobs with foreign nationals to work domestically on corporate strategy while sending US workers overseas to work low level jobs as ex-pats. Your family will be torn apart in the pursuit of employment. This is why Third Way corporate democrats are keeping unemployment high.....remember, it is as high today as 40% if you consider people working part time wanting full time. They already have a record number of college grads heading to the military for work, often overseas. So, the Immigration Bill is an extension of this market-based International Trade Agreement that works simply to exploit workers of all kinds.....it has nothing to do with helping Hispanics get citizenship.
The Trans Pacific Pact or TPP is about to be unleashed.....probably this Fall and it will completely eliminate all of American citizen's rights to legislate; it will end local, state, and national sovereignty as regards the needs and wants of global corporations. AS I WAS TOLD AT A CONFERENCE OF THESE SOCIOPATHS......IT WILL REQUIRE REWRITING THE US CONSTITUTION SINCE NONE OF WHAT THE TPP DOES IS LEGAL.
This is why they have simply suspended Rule of Law.....they intend on changing all the laws. THIS IS A COUP D'ETAT....THIRD WAY CORPORATE DEMOCRATS ARE WORKING AS ENEMIES OF THE STATE TO UNDERMINE THE CONSTITUTION. This is not the Tea Party call to arms over Federal overreach......this is a complete dismantling of what we see as national sovereignty. It is why Reagan simply transferred all payroll taxes to the Treasury rather than sending it to the Trusts with no legal authority.....it is why Federal Reserve Greenspan was allowed to tell 50 states attorney general in 2005 that the massive mortgage fraud would continue unabated......a crime of treason.....and it is why there are almost no acts of justice regarding white collar crime today......THEY HAVE SUSPENDED RULE OF LAW AND INTEND TO REWRITE THE US CONSTITUTION.
All of this was allowed to unfold because Bill Clinton took the democratic party.....the people's party whose platform protected us from these kinds of actions....and handed it to corporations under the guise of Third Way corporate democrats. They use a few social issues to claim 'progressive' as they work as neo-liberals with republicans creating policy like this New Economy.
THE DEMOCRATIC BASE IS 80% OF THE PARTY AND SIMPLY NEEDS TO RUN AND VOTE FOR LABOR AND JUSTICE RATHER THAN ALLOWING THE THIRD WAY DOMINATED DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL PARTY CHOOSE THE CANDIDATE.
We can easily turn this around if we become engaged!!!! In Maryland we will have labor and justice candidates running against Third Way incumbents at all levels!!!!
Below you see a good definition of New Economy and note that it was written in 2000.....when Bill Clinton had take control of policy to shift the country to this path. Note as well how this article written in 2000 describes just what we have today......AND IT IS NOT GOOD. DO YOU REALLY THINK GLOBAL CORPORATIONS ARE GOING TO BE BENEVOLENT DICTATORS??????? REALLY?????
New Economy vs. Old Economy
The term "New Economy" has become firmly entrenched in the business lingo of America and is a concept that has been so widely embraced that it has come to be seen as an established fact, much like the law of gravity. It is now popular among the financial press to distinguish between the "Old Economy" and the "New Economy" in their coverage and commentaries of the financial realm. But in their zeal to embrace a popular (not to say dubious) economic concept, the adherents of the New Economy theory have overlooked several major tenets of economics. Moreover, several important questions have gone unasked and, consequently, have remained unanswered. Our purpose, then, in writing this analysis is to examines the concept of the New Economy—its meaning, its import, its desirability, and its likelihood of succeeding. Serious discourse on this subject has been entirely lacking in the mainstream media, and we hope we have provided here a filling of this vacuum.
To begin, what exactly is the "New Economy"? A formal definition of this economic concept has never been provided, thus we are left to presume what its actual meaning may be. By "New Economy," we understand this to mean a national financial and economic infrastructure characterized chiefly by the predominance of services and technology (i.e., intangible assets), and the abolition of the former infrastructure of physical manufacturing and industrialism (i.e., tangible assets). Hence, the "virtual" economy of computers and electronic commerce replaces the "old" labor-intensive economy involving manufacturing and the movement of physical commodities. Think of it as the ascendancy of the virtual over the real.
What does this concept of New Economy imply? The implications of manifold, and we have not time here to delineate them in their entirety. We will only concern ourselves with the most obvious implications. First and foremost, a workable New Economy (which is now supposedly in place) requires the complete subordination of industrialism to service-oriented modes of commerce. It entails that within the U.S. economy, the former industrial infrastructure has been disassembled and transplanted to Third World countries whose standard of living is considerably below ours (this tacitly assumes that industrialism is not worthy of a well-developed nation but instead should be relegated to ignorant and backward peoples who are treated as mere economic slaves of the industrial barons). It further implies that whatever industrialism, or physical economy, remains is run by the Corporate State (that insidious admixture of Big Business and Big Government) and has been removed from the hands of the individual. The New Economy is ubiquitous, monolithic, all-encompassing and unstoppable; thus, the lives of the entire citizenry are made dependent upon the success and continuation of the New Economy whether they like it or not.
Under the New Economy, even agricultural production, the staff of life in any country, has been transferred into the hands of the Corporate State to the exclusion of the independent farmer. Furthermore, foreign (often hostile to United States interests) are given preferred status in matters pertaining to trade and commerce (agricultural or otherwise) and are allowed liberal access to our markets, while we are greatly inhibited in our ability to access theirs. In trade disputes, foreign nations more often than not are allowed to prevail over U.S. interests.
This leads us to our next observation of the New Economy—it is global in nature. It is predicated upon the economic interdependence among nations, even those nations that are politically, religiously and ideologically antithetical to one another. In many ways, the New Economy represents a revival of the Tower of Babel, only instead of bricks and mortar, it is bound by a reticular web of technology and transportation. The subsistence and success of this brave new Tower of Babel (which P.Q. Wall styles the "Church of American Technology") depends on international cooperation, with the U.S. serving in the role of chief financial facilitator and political mediator among nations. It was created largely by the U.S. and is being held together almost entirely by the U.S. The United States is thus the epicenter of the global New Economy. For the first time in U.S. history, national prejudices and questions of sovereignty and national interest have been laid aside at the altar of mammon. Trade with virulently anti-U.S. nations such as China and the Former Soviet Union is allowed and even actively sought in the New Economy since the profit motive is the impelling force—concerns over political and ideological differences (including the murder of innocent civilians in the foreign nations we do business with) do not even merit consideration. In the New Economy, money is everything.
Since the New Economy assumes the dominance of the profit motive, it can be further assumed that the motives that used to govern men's actions, including religious, patriotic and moral considerations, have been cast aside in a state of desuetude. Every paradigm must have an internal appeal (i.e., spiritual anchor) and the religion of the New Economy is that of consumerism. The New Economy presumes that men are inherently economic animals who have no higher purpose in life than to seek happiness and satisfaction for their wants and needs in a purely material manner. The New Economy trumpets the triumph of free-market capitalism over communism, yet it has this much in common communism: that it is inherently materialistic and purely economic to the exclusion of all other considerations. In this sense, the "New Economy" really isn't new at all.
Another common feature that the New Economy shares with old-line communism is the predominance of the Corporate State above the individual and independent business enterprise. Under communism and its sister, socialism, the State was exalted above the individual, especially in matters dealing with production and finance. The New Economy, due to its vast size, is successful only insofar as it is able to achieve economies of scale. It attempts at catering to a worldwide mass consumer market and must therefore treat the peoples of the world as a gigantic lump, which they call a "mass." Old concepts such as niche markets and specialty markets are cast by the wayside since they can't possibly turn over a big enough profit to satisfy the voracious appetite for fast profit that a monolithic structure such as this possesses. Small, independent business is the backbone of the economic strength of the U.S. economy. It is what, from a financial point of view, made America great. And small business survived largely because of its willingness and ability to target small, regional and specialty markets. It did not cater to some nebulous mass whose tastes were uniform and therefore demanded mass manufacturing. It was not forced to cater to the lowest common denominator of consumer preference. It was free to target its own markets and at its own leisure. That is no longer the case under the New Economy. Small businesses are swept aside by the tentacles of the leviathan that is the Corporate State. This is achieved through such measures as onerous levels of taxation, superfluous regulations and laws governing business, super-saturation marketing (often funded with federal tax dollars) designed at encroaching on the markets of small business and eventually stealing them away, and a variety of other methods. It is nothing less than a concentrated effort on the part of the State/Big Business axis (which we will call the "New Axis") to annihilate all forms of independent enterprise and of making every living soul dependent upon the government and corporations which constitute the New Economy.
The money question itself is of paramount importance in our analysis of the New Economy. Free and unrestrained production of money (albeit, fiat money) is the established policy and backbone of the New Economy. Fluid liquidity is the very lifeblood of global commerce and the New Economy aims at facilitating this through a fiat money policy. Old Economy staples like gold are dismissed and even demonized as a "barbarous relic;" silver as an antiquated "industrial metal." Of course, such denunciations are made because they remove power out of the hands of the New Axis and place it into the hands of the individual. Thus, a gold standard and gold ownership are passionately discouraged (and even fought against) in the New Economy.
Yet another aspect of the New Economy is blurring of national and cultural. This is yet another attempt at resuming the task the builders of Babel left unfinished. Unification and concord at any cost is the mantra of the New Economy adherents. They freely gloss over any national, ethnic, economic and ideological boundaries that stand in the way of global commerce. This is one element of the immigration debate that has gone largely unnoticed. It has been suggested that one reason for the open immigration policy in the U.S. is to facilitate the movement of Third World peoples into America and to integrate them into the economic infrastructure. This is predicated on the belief that Third World peoples are more docile, less independent, less educated and less likely to question and rebel against the New Economic Establishment. In other words, Third World immigrants can be more easily controlled by the Corporate State; thus, Old Economy jobs are shipped overseas to them while at the same time many are invited to descend upon the U.S. in order to facilitate them into our economic infrastructure so that they can fill the servile capacities that remain.
On a more pernicious note, we observe that even the military is redefined under a global New Economy. Our forefathers created this great nation of ours in large part due to the military aspects of the tyranny of Great Britain. A strong, citizen-controlled military was always seen as the underlying safeguard of liberty and of protection from enemies both foreign and domestic (including the government itself). Military has historically served a patriotic obligation to its citizens; now that has given way—like virtually everything else—to financial considerations. The military of today has degenerated into the role of the official protector of Big Business. Consider the strategic placement of U.S. troops in various parts of the world—invariably they are placed only in those areas in which a significant U.S. economic interest must be safeguarded, not so much a human interest. The U.S. military skirmishes of the past decade, without exception, have been fought over an economic interest of some sort (whether oil, minerals, access to foreign markets, etc.). The U.S. military, like U.S. business itself, has been integrated with foreign interests, including those who are antipathetic to U.S. political and military interests (witness the merger of the U.S. military into the U.N. "peacekeeping" forces). So even the military has a role to serve in the New Economy, although it is a considerably altered role than the one it served in the Old Economy.
The New Economy concept assumes that the Old Economy has been firmly replaced and will eventually die off completely. But is this true, and if so, what will be the consequences? We have already established that the Old Economy is composed chiefly of physical manufacturing and industrialism. In this light, the New Economy is frequently presented as just another stage in the economic development of the U.S.—the agrarian economy of the early years gave rise to the Industrial Revolution, which in turn is in the process of being replaced by the New Economy. But is it possible to live in a post-industrial world and still retain the quality of life we have grown accustomed to? Can an intangible, electronically-based economy ever fully replace the bricks-and-mortar economy? Here are some serious questions the New Economy advocates should ponder before diving headlong into the sea of the great unknown: since the U.S. has relinquished her role as the chief industrial economy, for how long are we willing to rely on foreign economies for our physical subsistence? Who manufactures the clothes on our backs and what happens when they, for whatever reason, stop manufacturing them? It is a known fact that American textile manufacturing has largely gone the way of the dinosaur and most of our clothing comes from overseas. What of our food production? Are we willing to relinquish control of our all-important food supply to a monolithic Corporate State, and to be dependent upon the whims of foreign countries and their ability (or inability) to meet payment for our exports? What of our machine tools (the backbone of any capitalistic economy)? Who is making them now, and what guarantee do we have that we will always be able to have unfettered access to them at any time? What of our national borders? How can we be sure they will be duly protected in time of foreign aggression when our troops are integrated into the army of the New Axis? What of our financial systems? How can we safeguard our savings when the U.S. banking structure is tied inextricably to the banking and financial systems of a hundred other countries and economies, many varying greatly with ours? And what of off-shore money havens? What assurance do we have that they will always remain open and free under the New Economy? With the unification of global governments, it isn't too difficult to envision a scenario in which a safe-haven country like, say Switzerland, is persuaded to cooperate with the invasive schemes of another government, such as that of the U.S. These questions are only a handful of a panoply of possible questions that could, and should, be asked concerning the New Economy. We have only brushed the surface.
Of immediate concern to us in our examination of the New Economy is what is likely to happen this Fall when the U.S. stock market is expected to collapse under the combined forces of several major cycles due to turn down at that time. Of course, when the U.S. financial structure collapses, so too will the financial structures of most other major nations around the world; thus, we will get our first true test of the resiliency of the New Economy. The ultimate question remains, "What will happen when/if the New Economy fails to pass the test—what will take its place?" The answer may arrive sooner than we think.
16 March 2000 Clif Droke is editor of the weekly Leading Indicators newsletter, covering the U.S. equities market outlook from a technical perspective as well as the general economic outlook. He is the author of the recently published book, Technical Analysis Simplified. For a free sample issue of Leading Indicators, send name and mailing address to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to: Leading Indicators, 816 Easely St., #411, Silver Spring, MD 20910
AS I SHOWED LAST BLOG MARYLAND LEADS THE PACK IN USING TAXPAYER MONEY TO DO CORPORATE JOB TRAINING AND INDEED THAT IS PART OF WHY UNEMPLOYMENT REMAINS SO HIGH. CORPORATIONS ARE HOLDING US HOSTAGE TO SHOULDERING EVER MORE COST SIMPLY TO HIRE. THE BANKS ARE WITHHOLDING BANK LOANS FOR THE SAME REASONS.
THIS IS NOT A GAME PLAN FOLKS. WE CANNOT BE HELD TO THE LOWEST COMMON DENOMINATOR JUST TO HAVE JOBS! STOP ALLOWING THIRD WAY CORPORATE DEMOCRATS FRAME THE SITUATION THIS WAY!
WE SIMPLY NEED TO RETURN TO THE SMALL/REGIONAL BUSINESS MODEL WITH SMALL BUSINESSES IN COMMUNITIES, NOT ALLOWING THIS BEHEMOTHS TO GOBBLE THEM UP!!!
This is why Governor O'Malley has taken tons of higher education funding to create these job training certification programs......IT IS RIDICULOUS!!!
The Skills Gap Myth: Why Companies Can’t Find Good People
By Peter CappelliJune 04, 2012 Time Magazine
Last week’s disappointing unemployment report has refocused attention on the question of why, despite modest signs of economic recovery in recent months, American companies aren’t hiring.
Indeed, some of the most puzzling stories to come out of the Great Recession are the many claims by employers that they cannot find qualified applicants to fill their jobs, despite the millions of unemployed who are seeking work. Beyond the anecdotes themselves is survey evidence, most recently from Manpower, which finds roughly half of employers reporting trouble filling their vacancies.
The first thing that makes me wonder about the supposed “skill gap” is that, when pressed for more evidence, roughly 10% of employers admit that the problem is really that the candidates they want won’t accept the positions at the wage level being offered. That’s not a skill shortage, it’s simply being unwilling to pay the going price.
But the heart of the real story about employer difficulties in hiring can be seen in the Manpower data showing that only 15% of employers who say they see a skill shortage say that the issue is a lack of candidate knowledge, which is what we’d normally think of as skill. Instead, by far the most important shortfall they see in candidates is a lack of experience doing similar jobs. Employers are not looking to hire entry-level applicants right out of school. They want experienced candidates who can contribute immediately with no training or start-up time. That’s certainly understandable, but the only people who can do that are those who have done virtually the same job before, and that often requires a skill set that, in a rapidly changing world, may die out soon after it is perfected.
One of my favorite examples of the absurdity of this requirement was a job advertisement for a cotton candy machine operator – not a high-skill job – which required that applicants “demonstrate prior success in operating cotton candy machines.” The most perverse manifestation of this approach is the many employers who now refuse to take applicants from unemployed candidates, the rationale being that their skills must be getting rusty.
Another way to describe the above situation is that employers don’t want to provide any training for new hires — or even any time for candidates to get up to speed. A 2011 Accenture survey found that only 21% of U.S. employees had received any employer-provided formal training in the past five years. Does it make sense to keep vacancies unfilled for months to avoid having to give new hires with less-than-perfect skills time to get up to speed?
Employers further complicated the hiring process by piling on more and more job requirements, expecting that in a down market a perfect candidate will turn up if they just keep looking. One job seeker I interviewed in my own research described her experience trying to land “one post that has gone unfilled for nearly a year, asking the candidate to not only be the human resources expert but the marketing, publishing, project manager, accounting and finance expert. When I asked the employer if it was difficult to fill the position, the response was ‘yes but we want the right fit.’”
(MORE: The Wimpy Economic Recovery: Is it Turning into a Recession?)
Another factor that contributes to the perception of a skills gap is that most employers now use software to handle job applications, adding rigidity to the process that screens out all but the theoretically perfect candidate. Most systems, for example, now ask potential applicants what wage they are seeking — and toss out those who put down a figure higher than the employer wants. That’s hardly a skill problem. Meanwhile, applicants are typically assessed almost entirely on prior experience and credentials, and a failure to meet any one of the requirements leads to elimination. One manager told me that in his company 25,000 applicants had applied for a standard engineering job, yet none were rated as qualified. How could that be? Just put in enough of these yes/no requirements and it becomes mathematically unlikely that anyone will get through.
What do we do about this situation, where jobs are going unfilled while good candidates are out there? For starters, employers should ask themselves whether their current practices are truly working for them. Then they need to ask: Wouldn’t we be better off helping good candidates complete the requirements to be a perfect fit rather than keeping positions open indefinitely?
A generation ago, employers routinely hired people right out of school and were willing to provide almost all their skills. Apprenticeships and similar programs provided ways for the employees to essentially pay for the training themselves. Employers — and especially those who expect colleges to provide most of their skills — should also work more closely with educational institutions to develop the candidates they need.
It makes no sense to expect that a supplier will produce what you want if you give it no advanced warning of what that might be and no help developing it. But the first step is to recognize that this problem is self-inflicted.
THIS IS ONE OF MANY MANIFESTATIONS OF THIS NEW ECONOMY......WE ARE LOSING OUR ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE AS CORPORATIONS ARE ALLOWED TO SHED HEALTH PLANS AND PAYROLL TAX CONTRIBUTIONS AND HEALTH FRAUD EMPTIES GOVERNMENT TRUSTS AND COFFERS.....ALL FOR CORPORATE PROFIT.
The Affordable Care Act was always designed to allow corporations to shed health benefits and send workers into government insurance systems that will give a very basic level of care.....keep in mind.....over 80% of Americans will fall into this substandard care.
THIS IS THIRD WAY CORPORATE DEMOCRATS WORKING FOR WEALTH AND PROFIT.....RUN AND VOTE FOR LABOR AND JUSTICE NEXT ELECTIONS!!!
Union Health Plans Will Suffer under Obamacare March 18, 2013 / James McGee
Members of Service Employees 32BJ demonstrated for Obamacare outside the Supreme Court—but now it looks like the health care law will harm multiemployer benefit funds like theirs. Photo: David Sachs, SEIU International.
“From each according to his ability, and to each according to his need”: does this sound like a model for health care reform?
At a January meeting of the Labor Campaign for Single Payer, a French unionist used these words to describe how health care works in France. But you don’t have to travel to France to see the principle in action. It’s at work right here within the U.S. labor movement.
That model is “multiemployer health care plans,” bargained by unions and jointly administered with employers, that provide continuous coverage even for part-time and seasonal workers through periods of unemployment (see box below).
WHAT’S A HEALTH INSURANCE EXCHANGE? The new “exchanges” are the centerpiece of the Affordable Care Act. They will open for business January 1, 2014. Ideally they will offer one-stop shopping for people and small employers who want to buy health insurance.
An individual or small business can go to the exchange website in their state, or in some cases a storefront, and determine eligibility for Medicaid or for subsidies to buy insurance, and then compare plans.
Plans must offer “essential health benefits” that meet minimum federal standards. Plans will be designed to cover different percentages of medical expenses: Platinum 90%, Gold 80%, Silver 70%, Bronze 60%.
Subsidies are available for individuals earning up to 400 percent of poverty, but only if the plan is purchased on the exchange.
Yet what should have been a model for health care reform now faces an uncertain future. Because the Affordable Care Act (ACA) tilts the playing field to disadvantage multiemployer plans, this decades-old gain of the labor movement may be irreparably damaged.
FUNDS HAVE BEEN GENEROUS In a health care market that thrives on exclusion, multiemployer funds cover members and families not just while they are working intermittently but through periods of unemployment and even during retirement. They provide the same coverage for everyone, regardless of age, family status, or health status.
This means that to the employer, they cost more, per member, than traditional single-employer plans. The increased cost puts member employers, 90 percent of them small, at a competitive disadvantage.
As health care costs have become unsustainable, so has the funds’ generosity—and their ability to subsidize periods of low employment. Unions hoped that the ACA, with its requirement that more employers provide health insurance, would level the playing field by bringing more small employers into the system.
Instead the ACA appears to disadvantage multiemployer funds by permitting competitor employers access to the new health care exchanges while denying the funds the same access. The result is that employers will have every incentive to get out of the funds when union contracts expire.
ADVANTAGES OF LEAVING As it is now, Jim’s (unionized) Plumbing Shop pays into a fund per hour for all his employees, full- and part-time. But Jim competes against Joe’s non-union Plumbing Shop. Joe probably covers only his full-time permanent workers, with a traditional insurance plan.
In the new exchange world, Joe will be eligible for tax credits to make it easier for him to cover his employees. He will have access to a more stable insurance market through the exchange that will likely lower his costs. Or he may decide to stop offering coverage and just give his employees money to buy coverage on the exchange.
HOW DO TAFT-HARTLEY PLANS WORK? Multiemployer health care plans, sometimes called Taft-Hartley plans, are benefit funds administered by a joint board representing both union and management. Employers, usually small ones, in the same industry and geographic location pool their health care contributions to create a single fund.
Such funds are found in industries with temporary or seasonal employment: construction, theater, longshore, transportation, hotel workers, food service workers. Whereas the Auto Workers or Steelworkers will negotiate that an employer provides benefits itself, the Ironworkers, UNITE HERE, or Teamsters often negotiate for bargaining units to participate in multiemployer funds.
The advantage for workers is obvious. They maintain continuous coverage as they work for multiple employers in an industry, and even during periods of unemployment. Eligibility is determined by the fund, not by the employer.
The funds have found innovative ways to provide health care for low-income and part-time employees. For example, hotel workers in Las Vegas and Atlantic City have established primary care clinics. Thus these funds become useful in organizing efforts, since the chance to belong to the fund is a persuasive attraction for potential members.
There is also an advantage to the employer, who can tap into a skilled labor pool that has access to health care. Employers can hire a stagehand or a steamfitter for a weekend, a week, or a year. The employers’ only obligation is to write a check. They do not have to deal with insurance carriers or handling insurance complaints from their employees.
For the employer, participating in a multiemployer fund is like a defined-contribution plan. He pays a certain amount per hour worked into the fund. In the construction industry, for example, the rate may be more than $10 per hour.
When the employer hires a worker for a week, he doesn’t know whether that worker has established eligibility under the rules of the fund; that’s up to the fund. He doesn’t know whether the worker is single or covering a family. His contribution goes into a pool that the fund determines how to use.
A fund may set a rule such as “150 hours per month are needed for eligibility.” The hours worked may come from one employer or from many. Funds sometimes have “hour banks” that let workers accumulate hours one month and use them later.
Thus the “steady Eddies”—those who work year-round—subsidize the costs for those who can only get work intermittently.
Jim will not have access to any of these options—unless he manages to defeat the union and opt out of the plan altogether.
If Jim left the multiemployer plan, he could lower his health care expense by taking advantage of subsidies available in the exchanges. Subsidies can go to those earning less than 400 percent of poverty ($90,000 for a family of four, $60,000 for a family of two). Jim could pay his workers to purchase health care on the exchanges, and save money.
Even employers of 50 or more, who are subject to the “free rider” penalty if they don’t offer insurance, can come out ahead. The lobbying group for multi-employer plans offers this example: A family at 200 percent of poverty purchases a $10,000 plan on the exchange. With subsidy, that coverage would cost only $2,778.
The employer could give the employee the $2,778, throw in say $600 for the worker’s increased taxes, pay the $2,000 penalty—and still save almost half.
Many experts argue that the exchanges will encourage employers in general, especially in low-wage industries, to abandon coverage. Where Obamacare was first tried, in Massachusetts (where it was called Romneycare), employers did not drop their insurance in big numbers. But Massachusetts does not offer the level of subsidies that the ACA does.
WHAT’S THE SOLUTION? Several national unions are working with the administration to see if multiemployer plans could be allowed to use the subsidies. But so far the administration has not been very open to such fixes, which would be complicated in any case.
If multiemployer plans are decimated by the ACA, it will be doubly a tragedy, because these plans offer a model for health care reform that already addresses many of the issues the ACA was supposed to address. They offer small employers coverage with minimal overhead. They do not exclude people by using their medical information to evaluate them. And they address one of the recognized problems with the ACA—“churn.”
“Churn” is how health policy wonks describe people who will move between Medicaid, subsidies on the exchange, and coverage from a job. At each of those stops, the patient/employee experiences different benefit designs, provider networks, reimbursement levels, and cost sharing. Plus an application process, and more delays.
As the policy wonks fret, the model was there all the time. Follow the example of the multiemployer plans.
The regulations to implement the ACA are not yet settled. But it’s clear: failure to level the playing field could cause employers to stop participating and many plans to go under.
It’s not surprising that policymakers ignored the model of the multiemployer plan. The ACA was designed by insurance executives, who only understand a model where insurance is paid for in full, one month at a time, by a single individual, family, or business.
The other reason the multiemployer plan escaped the comprehension of policymakers is the logical extension of the model. If you expanded the concept to a national or regional level, you would have to replace the current, sometimes cumbersome, eligibility rules with universal eligibility. Then it would look like—France.
James McGee is executive director of the Transit Employees Health & Welfare Fund, which provides benefits to workers in the Metro system in Washington, D.C. He is also a member of Plumbers Local 520. Twitter @Jimmy1920.
A version of this article appeared in Labor Notes #408, March 2013. Don't miss an issue, subscribe today.
PLEASE TAKE TIME TO LOOK AT THE NUMEROUS RESOURCES OFFERED IN THIS ARTICLE. WE ARE GEARING UP FOR A FIGHT AS SOCIAL UNREST WILL BE INEVITABLE ONCE THIS PLAN IS UNVEILED. KNOW WHAT IS COMING, HOW IT WILL AFFECT YOUR FAMILY, AND WHAT RESOURCES AND ORGANIZATIONS ARE ALREADY IN PLACE TO FIGHT THIS MOVEMENT.
MOST IMPORTANT.......RUN AND VOTE FOR LABOR AND JUSTICE NEXT ELECTIONS....GET RID OF THIRD WAY CORPORATE INCUMBENTS
- TPP: Corporate Power Tool of the 1%
- Have you heard? The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) “free trade” agreement is a stealthy policy being pressed by corporate America, a dream of the 1 percent, that in one blow could:
- offshore millions of American jobs,
- free the banksters from oversight,
- ban Buy America policies needed to create green jobs and rebuild our economy,
- decrease access to medicine,
- flood the U.S. with unsafe food and products,
- and empower corporations to attack our environmental and health safeguards.
- Learn how TPP's investment rules harm Public Access to Essential Services, Public Health and the Environment
- Memo: Updated and Expanded -- U.S. Pharmaceutical Corporation Uses NAFTA Foreign Investor Privileges Regime to Attack Canada’s Patent Policy, Demand $100 Million for Invalidation of a Patent
- Memo: U.S.-Peru FTA Investor Rights: Lessons Learned and New Approaches Needed for TPP (available in Spanish here)
- Memo: Election 2012: U.S. Polling Shows NAFTA-style Trade Deals Becoming Even More Unpopular
- Fact Sheet: TPP: Un TLC Recardgado con el Mundo (in Spanish)
See more featured resources: Expand List
- (02/27/2012) Letter: Groups to Obama: Reject "Unprecedented Level of Secrecy" in Trade Negotiation
- U.S. Civil Society to United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk
- Peruvian Civil Society to Minister of International Trade Jose Luis Silva Martinot
- (03/01/13): Press Release: Ahead of Singapore Round of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Negotiations, U.S. Public Opposition to Deal Grows
- (12/11/12) Statement: A Supersized NAFTA: 15th Round of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Negotiations in Auckland Ends
- (09/14/12) Media Advisory: Public Citizen Experts Available After Trans-Pacific Partnership Lead Negotiator Press Briefing in Leesburg, Va., Saturday Morning
- (08/31/12) Reporters' Memo: While Obama Criticizes Job Offshoring and Touts Transparency, His Trade Officials Will Be Negotiating a Secretive Deal That Would Send More U.S. Jobs Offshore
- (07/10/12) Press Release: Growing Attention to Obama Trans-Pacific Trade Pact Threatens to Undermine Offshoring Attack on Romney
- (06/27/12) Press Release: Congressional Democrats Escalate Criticism of Substance, Process of Obama's First Trade Pact - the Trans-Pacific Partnership
- (03/04/2013): More Than 400 U.S. Civil Society Groups Write Congress on TPP and Fast Track, Calling for Transparency and Outlining Core Principles for International Economic Pacts
- (02/19/2013): U.S. Civil Society Groups Urge Obama Administration to Ensure U.S. Trade Policy is Consistent with Global Development Goals
- (02/04/2013) U.S. Civil Society Organizations Write USTR Calling for Transparency and Stakeholder Engagement in TPP Negotiations
- (11/30/2012) 24 Senators Send a Letter to President Obama Laying Out Guidelines and Calling for Congressional Consultation for the TPP
- (10/25/2012) Members of Congress Send a Letter to USTR Calling for Protection of Dolphin-Safe Tuna labeling in the TPP
- (10/17/2012) 10 Senators Send a Letter to USTR Calling for a Strong Environment Chapter in the TPP
- (9/20/2012) Rep. Lofgren Sends a Letter to USTR Calling for Transparency in TPP Negotiations (see the letter here)
- (09/14/2012) Over 700,000 Avaaz activists sign petition to stop the TPP corporate death star
Closed-door talks are on-going between the U.S. and Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam; with countries like Japan and China potentially joining later. 600 corporate advisors have access to the text, while the public, Members of Congress, journalists, and civil society are excluded. And so far what we know about what's in there is very scary!
Get informed - Threats Posed by TPP More Power to Corporations to Attack Nations Read how foreign corporations would be empowered to attack our health, environmental and other laws before foreign tribunals to demand taxpayer compensation for policies they think undermine their expected future profits.
Threats to Public Health U.S. negotiators are pushing the agenda of Big PhaRMA – longer monopoly control on drugs for the big firms. This would mean millions in developing countries are cut off from life-saving medicines & higher prices for the rest of us.
Bye Buy America & Jobs
Read how special investor protections incentivize offshoring by providing special benefits for companies that leave. Plus, TPP would impose limits on how our elected officials can use tax dollars – banning Buy America or Buy Local preferences.
Undermining Food Safety
TPP would require us to import food that does not meet U.S. safety standards. It would limit food labeling.
Son of SOPA: Curtailing Internet Freedom Thought SOPA was bad? Read how TPP would require internet service providers to "police" user-activity and treat individual violators as large-scale for-profit violators. Plus, TPP would stifle innovation.
Financial Deregulation: Banksters' Delight TPP would rollback reregulation of Wall Street. It would prohibit bans on risky financial services and undermine "too big to fail" regulations.
What's the Big Secret?
Worldwide Campaign to Release the Text
Read more from the TPP press room: Expand List
Members of Congress & Others Speak Out
Read more statements and letters: Expand List
Other ResourcesTPP Resource Archive