Today’s News & Commentary — June 12, 2017

Published June 12th, 2017 -  - 06.12.1715


This week, President Trump will make the expansion of apprenticeship programs the center of his labor policy.  The Wall Street Journal reports that these programs could help fill the record number of job openings—6 million in April.  While Trump’s proposed budget continues steady funding for apprenticeship, it cuts funding for other job-training programs by 40 percent.

At Fuyao, a Chinese-owned automotive glass plant in Dayton, Ohio, the New York Times reports that “a major culture clash is playing out on the factory floor.”  As foreign companies work to align themselves with the Trump Administration’s promise to create U.S. jobs, Fuyao’s experience reveals potential challenges—including union campaigns and workplace condition lawsuits, both of which are unfamiliar to Chinese executives.

Although U.S. women account for just 57 percent of students enrolled in colleges and universities, they owe $833 billion in student loans (up from $223 billion in 2004), which is almost two-thirds of the national student loan debt of $1.3 trillion.  While there are a variety of reasons for the disparity, the persistent gender pay gap is one key explanation.

In the Boston Globe’s opinion pages, Jeff Jacoby argues that even though income inequality rose during the same time period that union membership fell, revitalizing labor unions today will not reduce inequality.  He points to globalization, automation, the Internet, and other large-scale changes in the workplace as reasons that unions are no longer relevant as major players in American life.

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