Today's News & Commentary — February 6, 2016
Nearly a hundred tech companies—including Apple, Facebook, and Google—filed an amicus brief in the Ninth Circuit in opposition of the Trump administration’s recent immigration and refugee ban, according to the New York Times. The brief focuses on economic policy, arguing not only that immigrants create jobs in the United States, but also that the executive order will harm the companies’ ability to “recruit, hire, and retain some of the world’s best employees.” Several companies note that some of their employees have already been “ensnared in the Order’s travel restrictions.” The uncertainty the executive order has created, they argue, reduces the incentive for companies and potential employees to sponsor and obtain work visas.
The Times also reports on a recent study showing that the number of women and minorities on Fortune 500 board seats has increased—but only slightly. The number equals about 31% of total board seats; the rest are filled by white men. The Alliance for Board Diversity has set a target of 40% of board seats to be filled by women and minorities, but at the current rate of increase, that number will not be hit until 2026. “This is not acceptable,” said its chairman.
The New Republic has a feature today by history professor Erik Loomis with an attention-grabbing headline: “The Unions Betraying the Left.” The piece focuses on building trade unions, which have met in person with President Trump and were ecstatic about his decision to start construction back up in the Keystone XL Pipeline, the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the Mexican border wall. Loomis walks through the history of trade unions and industrial unions—and the tensions between creating jobs and progressive politics. “[T]he trade unions,” he writes, “seem incapable of realizing that the Trump administration is not their friend.”
Several outlets have weighed in on Secretary of Labor nominee Andrew Puzder. The Atlantic notes that Puzder still has not submitted the requisite paperwork to the Senate, causing labor committee chair Sen. Lamar Alexander to delay his hearing four times now. The Chicago Tribune has an in-depth piece contrasting the Department of Labor under the Obama administration and what it may be under Puzder. One large difference? Perspective. The Obama administration saw low-wage workers as struggling to support families; Puzder, on the other hand, may simply see them as teenagers earning pocket change.