Unions Have a Powerful Friend

Congress receives plenty of attention — and rightfully so as its decisions carry far-reaching impacts. But many in the business world are more concerned about what is taking place in regulatory agencies in Washington — and rightfully so.

One can only draw that conclusion when Labor Secretary Hilda Solis is reported as saying her agency seeks to enact as many as 90 rules and regulation intended to "give more power to workers and unions." Included in that lengthy list is greater disclosure on how employers deal with unions.

Advice from consultants to employers is currently not required to be reported. The Labor Department, however, has said this exception should be narrowed and an official is quoted as saying, "Our goal is that through greater openness and transparency, we increase compliance without having to send an investigator into the workplace."

So the government wants businesses to report consulting advice under the guise of "transparency," not an attempt to increase the withering number of private sector union workplaces? It might be a new year, but sounds like the same old story out of Washington. 

Trip to the Pump Not Quite as Painful, Still There is Work to be Done

When you have a 17-year-old daughter who must pay for her own gasoline, each time the pump price comes down is a cause for celebration. I even received a call Wednesday afternoon asking if she should fill up (despite still having half a tank) when she saw the $1.98 a gallon price.

For someone burned by far too many of those hard-to-explain Thursday increases, I went out on a limb and said "No, you can wait." Oil prices are supposed to decrease even further and the down economy (reality and fears) that is contributing to the pump relief unfortunately isn’t going to change overnight.

The Heritage Foundation’s Ben Lieberman offers some deeper perspective, warning that Congress must not go back on its easing of drilling restrictions. It also should reduce the red tape and avoid costly oil and gas regulations. Short-term gain will be replaced by long-term pain if we don’t act wisely.

Read Lieberman’s analysis.