Weekend News & Commentary — March 3-4, 2018
In response to E.U. threats of retaliation against his proposed steel and aluminum tariffs, President Trump threatened that he would levy a new tax on cars imported from the European Union. Presently, the United States levies a 2.5 percent tariff duty on cars made in Europe. In addition to the European Union, China, Canada, and other major U.S. trading partners have threatened retaliatory measures if the president follows through on his decision to impose a 25% tariff on all steel imports and a 10% tariff on all aluminum imports.
The West Virginia teachers’ strike will go on at least through Monday. After the teachers’ unions struck a deal for a 5% raise with Republican Governor Jim Justice earlier in the week, the state senate refused the 5% deal and offered 4% instead. Dale Lee, the president of the West Virginia Education Association, consequently announced that all public school remain closed until the state senate honors the 5% deal.
Hot on the heels of West Virginia, Oklahoma teachers are planning to go on strike sometime in the coming weeks. A group of teachers met on Friday to discuss strike plans. After less than a week in existence, the Facebook group “Oklahoma Teacher Walkout – The Time is Now!” boasts nearly 30,000 members. Standardized state testing in Oklahoma occurs during the first week of April; some teachers have proposed strike action during that time.
A study by the MIT Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research finds that Uber and Lyft drivers make a median wage of $3.37, after driver expenses like gas and depreciation are taken into account. The study also finds that 74% of drivers earn less than their state minimum wage, and 30% of drivers are actually losing money from driving. Uber’s in-house economist has responded to the claims, describing the study design as “flawed.”