These are the basics, but don’t forget other conveniences of modern life, such as antibiotics. President Calvin Coolidge’s son died from an infected blister, which he developed while playing tennis at the White House in 1924. Four years later, Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin. Or think of air conditioning, the arrival of which increased productivity and, therefore, standards of living in the American South and ensured that New Yorkers didn’t have to sleep on outside staircases during the summer to keep cool.
David Henderson rightly admires the speech given by Danny DiVito’s character, Lawrence Garfield, in Other People’s Money. [DBx: I recall being bummed to learn that DiVito himself greatly admires Bernie Sanders. Danny DiVito is no Lawrence Garfield. Sigh.]
In August 2022, Starbucks filed a complaint with the NLRB over what it said was improper conduct in a union election in Overland Park, Kansas. The election was supposed to be conducted by mail, but the company reported that NLRB personnel had improperly communicated with the union and allowed some pro-union employees to vote in person.
According to the IG’s report, the NLRB also shared confidential information with the union on the progress of the election while the voting continued. That information can give a union the chance to identify specific individuals for pressure. An NLRB hearing officer at the time determined that the conduct of the NLRB and the union “casts doubts as to the fairness of the conduct of this election.”
The election misconduct was corroborated by a career NLRB professional. In February 2023, a Brooklyn-based NLRB hearing officer reported that the conduct of NLRB officials put the election results in doubt and called for a new election. Starbucks says similar conduct occurred in union elections in the Buffalo, N.Y., and Seattle regions.
Once, I would have lamented funding cuts for the @NIH. Now, I view them as an appropriate response to an out of control agency that funded dangerous research, conducted devastated takedowns of scientists, and hid unclassified documents from public scrutiny.