Red and Black Cafe closes: Lessons in capitalism from a socialist coffee shop
Portland’s Red and Black Cafe recently announced its closing via Facebook with a sad kitten photo. Red and Black sounds like a coffee shop straight out of a Portlandia episode or an article in The Onion. It’s an all-organic, wheat-free, vegetarian coffee and food shop. It’s run as a collective, it’s employees are represented by the IWW union, […]
Employment situation stagnating in developed countries
The rate of unemployment across the 34 nations that are members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development rose in February. After three months of slowly declining unemployment, the recent uptick is viewed as a setback for the global economic recovery. The OECD reports the unemployment rate for its members—made up mostly of countries […]
Ups and downs in Oregon employment
First, the good news: In 2013, Oregon outperformed the nation in job growth. Add to that, the good-but-don’t-too-excited news: U.S. employment is now back to where it was before the recession. And finally, the news that makes the first piece of good news look pretty weak: Despite last year’s growth, it’ll likely be nine months to a […]
The jobs and profits connection: Does it exist?
Under the headline of Soaring Profits but Too Few Jobs, the Wall Street Journal’s William Galston complains that “Companies have not boosted hiring in line with revenues, or wages in line with productivity.” This somewhat new line of thinking seems to ignore the observation that productivity gains have allowed businesses to increase sales without adding workers. […]
Oregon employment trends: Things look different here
State employment numbers came out this week. This ultimately leads to press releases and prognostications that now, things are starting to look better for job seekers. The good news: At 6.9 percent, Oregon’s unemployment rate fell its lowest rate in more than five years. The not-so-good news: Oregon’s employment growth is lagging the nation. The bad […]
Raising the minimum wage: Is it worth the fight?
Oregon’s minimum wage workers rang in the New Year with a raise. At $9.10 an hour, the state now has the second highest minimum wage in the country. Add in payroll taxes and benefits, such as paid time off, and the typical minimum wage worker in Oregon costs an employer about $12.75 an hour. People […]
Right-to-work: A spark to light Oregon’s employment engine
A little less than a year ago, Michigan became the 24th state to enact right-to-work legislation, a development that has been closely associated with the temperature of Hades dropping. Since then, right-to-work supporters have sought to enact similar legislation throughout the United States. Even here in the Northwest. In Oregon, the Public Employee Choice Act […]
Income inquality: Is it such a big deal?
Comedian Louis C. K. famously noted that “everything is amazing right now and nobody is happy.” We live in a world of unprecedented prosperity and are much better off then our parents and grandparents were. Since 1950, the average house size has doubled, while the average family size shrunk. We’ve gone from kids sharing a […]
Testimony: Damages from alleged wrongful discharge from employment
Calculated foregone income resulting from alleged wrongful discharge. Calculations included evaluation of foregone income and retirement contributions as well as increased costs of medical insurance coverage. Gordon Ogawa v. Malheur Home Telephone Company dba Malheur Bell and Qwest Corporation, United States District Court for the District of Oregon. Report and testimony.