• Firing Charlie Sheen

      That’s what Bill O'Reilly wants to talk about tonight.

      Sometimes O’Reilly drives me crazy.  Yesterday, his producer tells me:

      “Bill would like to know your thoughts on Peter King’s upcoming hearings on Islamic extremism.  Is it legit for him to bring Muslims and single them out for hearings?”

      So I spent the day researching that.  Today he changed the topic.   I like this one better anyway.  

      One reason capitalism creates jobs is that companies can fire people.  Europe makes that hard.  Why hire someone if it will be hard to fire them?   

      Of course, American Civil Rights Law decree that employers can’t fire someone because of their race, color, age, sex, national origin, religion, disability.   That sounds like it protects workers, but it hurts them too. 

      The Americans with Disabilities Act was passed to help more disabled American get jobs by making it illegal to “discriminate”.   But fewer disabled people get hired now, because employers fear they me be sued if they fire a person classified as disabled. When the ADA was passed, 59% percent of disabled people were in the workforce… Now just 49% are.

      Companies need to be free to fire.  When General Electric was a real growth company rather than a freeloader off the government, it fired 10% of its workforce every year.  CEO Jack Welch said:  “The bottom 10 percent in differentiation, there is no sugarcoating this -- they have to go.”

      Workers don’t own their jobs.  Just as I can quit, Fox should be free to fire me.

      Unless I have a contract.

      Sheen’s contract reportedly says he can be fired “if Producer in its reasonable but good faith opinion believes Performer has committed an act which constitutes a felony offense involving moral turpitude under federal, state or local laws.”

      They can also fire him for “incapacity.” According to TMZ, Warner Bros says: “There is ample evidence supporting Warner Bros. reasonable good faith opinion that Mr. Sheen has committed felony offenses.”  

      Probably true.

      Then there’s the union problem.

      I like the way Florida State Economics Professor Jim Gwartney sums that up: 

      Employees have the same right as employers: the right to contract…  

      Employees may bargain collectively but no one should be required to join a union as a condition of employment. Certainly, no citizen should be required to join a union as a condition of working for their government. In my judgment, the Republicans have made a big mistake by focusing on limiting collective bargaining rather than merely indicating they would not enter into a contract requiring employees to join a union as a condition of employment …  State and local governments should simply indicate that they will not enter into such contracts because it reduces the freedom  of their citizens.

      Of course, unions say everyone has to join a union because some workers will "free ride" if they are not required to join. But when they are required to join , many workers are "forced riders."  

      I was a “forced rider” when I worked at ABC.   I tried to quit the union, but in New York State, I could not, if I wanted to work for ABC.  That’s wrong.

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