Archive for March, 2009

Don’t count EFCA out yet

Monday, March 30th, 2009

It’s a full-time job just keeping up with the headlines on EFCA. While it initially appeared to be a “lock” for approval, it has now become mired in controversy and looks to have less than a 50% chance of success in its proposed form. But while the future of the act (as proposed) is in question, there is no question that it is far from a done deal.

Most of the swing votes in the U.S. Senate that have “swung away” from supporting the act have done so on the basis of timing, not ideology. It’s more about the weakness in the economy than the in any fundamental issue with the act.

But the unions are pragmatic enough to consider some of the compromise language that has been bandied about by a group of high profile business leaders, including Howard Schultz of Starbucks. They know that “a version” of the act is better than “no act at all.” Especially because they are patient enough to wait for another bite of the apple.

So if you are waiting to hear the “death knell” for EFCA, you could be in for a long wait. The better strategy is to manage your business in such a way as to make the future of EFCA moot. It involves engaging the people in the business as only you, their employer can. Now is the time to be more concerned about leading, than lobbying.

Recession, Unemployment and You

Friday, March 27th, 2009

Research indicates that the stock market, because it is forward looking, recovers¬† well in advance of the bottom of a recession. Unemployment however, peaks in the 2-3 months following the formal end of a recession. So what are we to make of current events? (more…)

Specter “no” on EFCA

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

So the always enigmatic Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, has reversed field and decided to vote “no” on EFCA. This clearly damages the likely approval of the bill, especially as proposed, but it is far from dead. Specter was quoted in the Wall Street Journal today as saying “the problems of this recession make this a particularly bad time to enact” the bill. So clearly, his concern is more one of timing, than ideology. (more…)

Bailout bonus beat-down

Friday, March 20th, 2009

The furor over the A.I.G. (and soon bailed-out bank) bonuses have dominated the headlines over the last few days. What’s more, Washington’s favorite activity- “the blame game” is in full swing. It might be entertaining, if it wasn’t so infuriating, and avoidable. (more…)

Another day, another headline for EFCA

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

Today’s Wall Street Journal features an article explaining how the fight over EFCA is focusing on three senators in the states of Pennsylvania (Arlen Specter), Colorado (Michael Bennet) and Arkansas (Blanche Lincoln). These lawmakers, all up for re-election in 2010, are being heavily lobbied by pro-business and pro-labor groups. It is not known which way these senators will vote (though there are lots of opinions). Specter, for one said “I will vote my conscience.” Scary. (more…)