Today’s News & Commentary — August 7, 2017
The Wall Street Journal reports that Americans are less likely to be laid off than at any point in at least 50 years. In July, only 66 of every 10,000 people in the workforce claimed new unemployment benefits, trending at the lowest point on record going back to 1967. While these figures mean that Americans have more job security than they realize, it also reveals a number of other factors that have mixed implications: elevated levels of long-term unemployment, an aging workforce, a decline in manufacturing work, and more risk-averse businesses.
In Tennessee, local leaders worry about the Trump Administration’s anti-trade rhetoric, as they rely on foreign companies that bring jobs to their region. The New York Times reports that more than two dozen companies from 20 countries have built factories in Chattanooga and the surrounding region, which has generated billions of dollars in investment and employed thousands of workers. The foreign investment has helped drive Tennessee’s jobless rate to 3.6 percent in June, which is a record low for the state. Even though Tennessee is a conservative stronghold, political and business leaders are concerned that attacks on trading partners could lead to protectionist tariffs and import restrictions that hurt consumers and workers.
Today, the city of Chicago plans to sue the U.S. Department of Justice over new stipulations placed on federal law enforcement grant money requiring local police departments to assist in federal immigration actions. Mayor Rahm Emanuel said, “Chicago will not be blackmailed into changing our values, and we are and will remain a welcoming city. The federal government should be working with cities to provide necessary resources to improve public safety, not concocting new schemes to reduce our crime fighting resources.” Chicago is standing by its Welcoming City ordinance, which “prioritizes effective local law enforcement and crime prevention over federal civil immigration issues.”
A transgender CIA officer published a story in The Atlantic about the transgender men and women who serve alongside her in the U.S. military. “We represent America to governments that imprison LGBT people, and we cannot defend freedom abroad if we abandon it at home,” she wrote.