News & Commentary

January 23, 2018

The government shutdown is over.  Monday night, President Trump signed a spending bill ending the three-day shutdown.  Senators reached agreement, reportedly with the help of a talking stick, after Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced that it was his “intention” to address the status of “dreamers.”  Some are skeptical, and disappointed that Senate Democrats retreated without holding McConnell to more.  The end of the shutdown relieves hundreds of thousands of federal workers of uncertainty with respect to whether they would be forced to take unpaid leave, and for how long.

The full effects of President Trump’s tax law remain to be seen.  At the New York Times, Jim Tankersely writes that a trickle down impact is not yet clear.  Tankersely criticizes President Trump’s praise of companies that have disclosed “tax-cut-fueled bonuses and wage hikes” as premature and distorted.  The bonuses Bank of America announced will cost it 5% of its expected savings from the newly lowered corporate tax rate.  Apple Inc.’s bonuses will likewise constitute just a fraction of the $40 billion it is expected to save.  These announcements have nonetheless proved politically valuable and have precipitated increased support for President Trump’s tax plan.

Last week, Volvo agreed to settle a claim by a prospective employee who was denied employment because he was taking a prescription drug to treat his opioid addiction.  We have previously covered the impact of the opioid crisis on employees and the workplace (here, here, and here).

At CNN, Ronald Brownstein juxtaposes areas driving economic growth and which candidate those areas voted for to reveal that—“[c]ounties that voted for Hillary Clinton against Trump in 2016 accounted for nearly three-fourths of the nation’s increased economic output and almost two-thirds of its new jobs in the years leading up to his election.”  Brownstein attributes the trend to the diffusion of digital technologies, most prevalent in large metro areas, which are a dominant factor of economic growth.

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