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More hotel unionization harmful to New Orleans

Great; just as New Orleans finally has struggled past its pre-Hurricane Katrina tourism benchmarks, it takes a step backwards with an unnecessary escalation in some lodging prices that will deter visitors.

That will happen as a result of unionization of its largest hotel, the Hilton New Orleans Riverside. UNITE HERE and management currently negotiate a contract for around 500 workers, although bringing them into the cartel’s fold increases union penetration into the city’s overall hospitality industry only to four percent.

Advocates of the development spent some effort blowing sunshine up people’s skirts. Leftist interest groups took note and booked more business at it. Workers obviously ignorant of how the world works crowed about how they could get a “fair share” Hilton’s profits. Even an academician, clearly not trained in economics, thought this could make more jobs into “middle class.”


On LA juries, racism argument proves insufficient

If the U.S. Supreme Court someday were to incorporate the Sixth Amendment in its entirety, the facile argument to do so that it recently dismissed without even granting it a hearing should play no part.

Last week, upon announcing its agenda for its 2017-18 session, the Court notified that it would not hear a Louisiana case challenging the exceptional nature of the Sixth Amendment’s application, which governs conduct of criminal trials. This case asked that the high court incorporate through the Fourteenth Amendment the unanimous jury requirement that justices in 1972 ruled applies to federal trials. Uniquely among the Bill of Rights’ contents, the Sixth Amendment contains the only right split between federal and state governments and therefore treated differently.

Only Louisiana and Oregon have opted to use non-unanimous juries for convictions, both born from allegedly racist motives. One theory floated in Louisiana’s case argues that it standard, ten of twelve for conviction, came because the state had a population then about 15 percent black; thus, a typical jury would contain two blacks (men, in those days).


Only one LA amendment merits voter approval

This upcoming Saturday, Louisianans have just three constitutional amendments to wade through at the voting booth, although these hit on the all-too-familiar themes of state and local taxation.

Amendment #1 would preclude levying taxes on property under construction and not yet in use. Currently, the Constitution and statute give next to no guidance on this matter, nor do any rulings by the Louisiana Tax Commission. This leaves subject to local interpretation what an assessor should do in the case of incomplete projects that can take a long time for building to conclude, with treatment ranging from no taxation at all on improvement until finished to taxing on the entire value of the end result even if not entirely operational and everything in-between.

The amendment would allow assessors to use discretion in determining the usefulness of the improvement and value it all from there. It seems to strike a good balance between having a known standard and allowing for tackling matters on a case-by-case basis. Further, the relative predictability it would bring will encourage economic development, as it will remove incertitude on this issue for decision-makers regarding locations and expansions. Yes.


Case remains to merge, demote LA universities

President of the University of Louisiana System Jim Henderson recently made some remarks regarding the role of higher education in the state which deserve comment and challenge.

Meeting with the Baton Rouge Advocate’s editorial board, Henderson answered questions over his first year on the job. In particular, two topics brought up merit amplification.

During the interview, he shilled for a plan devised by the system that, among others things, pledged to increase the number of graduates. It hopes to increase by 20 percent this figure by 2025, a number which comes from two inputs: the amount of individuals eligible for university education and the skill at which institutions utilize to confer degrees upon them.