Today’s News & Commentary — September 26, 2017

Published September 26th, 2017 -  - 09.26.178


American cities are going wild as Amazon looks for a place to build its second headquarters and employ 50,000 people.  Tucson businessmen sent a 21-foot cactus to Jeff Bezos’ office.  Philadelphia and Tulsa have expressed openness to modifying their tax codes.  Canadian cities, meanwhile, highlight their more stable political environment and looser immigration policy.  Contemplating local impacts, the Cary, North Carolina News & Observer notes that enticements have not been necessary to attract Amazon projects in the past; does this new competition among cities amount to ‘corporate welfare’?

Retail firms that usually hire temporary workers for fall and winter are facing low unemployment and competition from e-commerce firms.  Target will try to attract workers by raising the lowest wage to $11 per hour.  Walmart plans to avoid hiring temporary store employees by assigning more hours to its regular employees.  In general, Walmart regards 34 hours per week — the threshold above which more employee benefits would be required — as full-time work.  Anecdotes suggest that employees will welcome additional hours.

The first woman ever to complete the Marine Corps’ Infantry Officer Course graduated yesterday.  She will soon lead a platoon of 40 in a service that has been much criticized for its misogyny.  Infantry roles have only been open to women since April 2016.  A New York Times op-ed analogizes the contemporary debate around mixed-gender units and leadership to the recent debate around repeal of Don’t Ask; Don’t Tell.  The op-ed quotes a RAND study finding that “performance of a group influences its cohesion more than cohesion influences performance.”

Management-side attorney William Emanuel was confirmed yesterday as the NLRB’s fifth member.  (We wrote about Emanuel’s confirmation hearing here.)  The Board now comprises three Republicans and two Democrats and is expected to reverse changes made by the Obama NLRB.

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