FROM Kenneth Dau-Schmidt
Campaign promises and economic realities Last week, Donald Trump tweeted progress on a campaign promise: Carrier Air Conditioning might not move 2000 jobs to Mexico after all. Does that mean American manufacturing is making a comeback? Probably not — although Trump will get headlines if Carrier stays in Indiana. Meantime, what's it like to work at a company that might or might not be there tomorrow? Is that what drove former Obama supporters to vote for Trump? In any case, they're faced with stark circumstances. Would infrastructure rebuilding help? Should it be privatized or financed with federal taxes?
'Right to Work' Laws in an Election Year Under federal law, employees don't have to join unions, but labor contracts require that they pay for the representation that unions provide. "Right to work" laws say they don't have to pay any more. Democrats argue that weakens the power of unions. Republicans think corporations are better off. This week Indiana became the twenty-third state where Republicans have prevailed. Why did Republican Governor Mitch Daniels change his mind ? Will new companies locate in Indiana, a manufacturing hub surrounded by states that don't have "right to work" laws? Will wages and benefits be reduced? Will there be union protests in Indianapolis during Super Bowl weekend?
Trump's ethical conflicts pile up as transparency diminishes President Trump's refusal to reveal his income tax returns is just one example of a lack of transparency that could be hiding conflicts of interest. Other conflicts are already obvious from his appointments. And he's being sued for using his job to increase his profits.
Is Venezuela becoming a dictatorship? Venezuela may have the world's largest oil reserves, but it's a nation in trouble… economically and politically. Is a populist promise to rescue democracy turning out to be a prelude to dictatorship?
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.
The flight bumping heard around 'round the world Recent video of a passenger forcibly removed from a United Airlines plane is a worst-case example of what's happened since consolidation into just four US-based carriers. Management seems to be tone-deaf to a decline in service — and even abuse — of passengers.