Today’s News and Commentary – October 18

Published October 18th, 2013 -  - 10.18.13


The New York Times reports that Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) workers in San Francisco are on strike as of midnight last night, after 28 straight hours of negotiation failed to resolve the impasse between union leaders and transit managers. The strike comes after the expiration a 60 day cooling-off period ordered by California Governor Jerry Brown, and will impact an estimated 400,000 daily users of the transit system.

Union leaders are stepping up pressure on Congress to repeal cuts made by the sequester and to protect social security and medicare in upcoming budget negotiations, according to the Wall Street Journal.

In the aftermath of the government shutdown, the New York Times describes its ongoing impact in the form of delayed reporting of crucial economic data, including jobs and employment numbers.

The Washington Post describes a new report on slavery, finding that near 30 million worldwide are held as forced laborers, child soldiers or in other forms of slavery. The story includes detailed maps showing the distribution of unfree labor around the globe.

A new study reported in the Wall Street Journal argues that extended unemployment benefits actually increase unemployment by inflating wages and decreasing employers’ incentives to create new jobs.

In the Boston Globe, columnist Joan Vennochi questions those who criticize local unions for securing expensive pay increases through binding arbitration, while giving a free pass to developers who take tax breaks from the city.

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