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14.10.21

LA still vulnerable to outsourced democracy

If not for Republican Atty. Gen. Jeff Landry, Louisiana might have found its democracy outsourced in last year’s elections, and it has work to do to prevent that entirely.

Crunching numbers shows the deleterious impact of $419.5 million from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan on election fairness. Most of that money went to a special interest group favored by technology titans with a history of advocating for leftist voting policies in elections administration which receives its funding from large donors for liberal causes, the Center for Tech and Civic Life. Another group garnered the rest, doled out more specifically to inform the public on changes to election procedures and polling locations, and to recruit poll workers in response to the pandemic, which appeared neutral in impact.

Because the CTCL grant criteria clearly attempted to put a thumb on the scales of election outcomes. The strings it attached were for jurisdictions to maximize use of methods that compromised ballot integrity, including mass mail balloting, ballot harvesting, ballot “curing,” and unsupervised dropbox use, favored by Democrats and leftists.

13.10.21

Biden work policies exacerbating LA problems

Louisiana continues to suffer disproportionately from Democrat Pres. Joe Biden economic policies eagerly ratified by a compliant Congress, recent employment data reveal.

Last week, national numbers for September disappointed again in terms of job creation, even as the country’s unemployment rate dropped deceptively, as exiting the labor force mainly drove the decline that set the lowest workforce participation numbers since 1977. That low number came from women disproportionately and in large relative terms leaving the labor force.

August data measuring other employment parameters confirmed this dismal picture. Job postings fell, led by hospitality, and the quit rate, or people leaving employment, rose to its highest level since 2000 and setting a record in raw numbers. While this can be a positive indicator when the labor market tightens since people have to quit a job to move on to a better one, it is negative in the current slack environment by showing people are exiting the workforce.

12.10.21

N.O. minimum wage hike another economic blow

It might be good for some city employees and incumbents in city government running for reelection, but New Orleans’ minimum wage hike for city workers will make its citizens suffer even more.

Deciding to step on the gas on the matter, the City Council ratified a pay schedule that would push the wage to $15 an hour in 2023. Years ago, it established a minimum much higher than the state’s, which defaults to the federal level of $7.25, and indexed it to inflation. It will bump up more than a couple of dollars next year from the current $11.19 and then complete the rise, costing taxpayers around $10 million more.

It’s a sucker punch delivered to citizens as the city continues to reel from the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic’s impact its government’s overreaction to that. With its economy disproportionately dependent upon leisure and hospitality discouraged by the virus, compounded by a ridiculous vaccine passport requirement to patronize these kinds of commercial establishments, city quality of life has suffered more deeply. Just as one indicator that likely reflects worse numbers specifically for New Orleans, statewide 84 percent of restaurants reported reduced profits over the past three months while none noted an increase. Anecdotally, in New Orleans after the requirement kicked in sales dropped 30 to 40 percent.

11.10.21

LSU admits bankruptcy of its vaccine passport

The fa├žade has started to crumble. Yet the Louisiana State University System administration continues to back superstition over science, reason, and logic.

Last week, the school renounced its policy of requiring anybody (although presumably not the visiting team) entering its football stadium for a home game to show either proof of vaccination from or recent negative test of the Wuhan coronavirus. The official story for the move was explained as a declining number of cases and hospitalizations for the affliction.

This fig leaf should generate mirth among thinking people. These rates have fallen from levels that rivaled all-time highs to relatively moderate levels during the pandemic’s course, but almost every parish in the state, East Baton Rouge included, the state still rates as high risk for community spread. And theoretically gathering 100,000-plus people in a small space, even outdoors, still counts as a super-spreader.

10.10.21

Lowering business costs in LA achievable now

Once again, Louisiana finds itself on the wrong side of the fence keeping some bad company. Fortunately, fairly immediately some things can happen to improve matters.

Cloud software platform Approve.com released rankings for states where doing business is most and least costly. For the continental U.S. plus the District of Columbia, it reviewed four factors – average annual wage, top corporate income tax rate, and average prices for utilities like internet and non-residential electricity, equally weighed.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Louisiana’s western neighbor Texas came out on top. Equally predictable, among the top 20 states in the ranking politically red states comprised 18 with the other two being purple, and included most of the southern states.