Fergus Hodgson (page 5)

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    Frustrated with immigrants (legal or otherwise)? Just wait until they leave

    The enforcement of laws against illegal immigrants remains a bone of contention between states and the federal government (and on the GOP presidential campaign trail), and the U.S. Supreme Court has now agreed to weigh in on the issue. There is, however, an irony to this…
    Fergus Hodgson, December 20, 2011
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    The open bar at a wedding: union activity on the taxpayer dime, “official time”

    The Capital Research Center has released an overview, as of November, of what is now a regular part of federal activity: taxpayer-funded union activities. Yes, federal employees carry out this "official time," which can be unrelated to their jobs, and still collect their government salary. According to the report, some employees have even devoted 100 percent of their time to union activities. "In one instance [this year], John Reusing, a Social Security Administration employee who was also third vice president of [the American Federation of Government Employees] local 1923 in Baltimore, Maryland, reported that... 'senior union officials offered him 100 percent official time for the rest of his career' if he agreed to keep quiet about the abuse." Silence is hardly necessary, though, since AFGE has acknowledged this activity, albeit in a less brazen form. “For nearly 50 years, federal employees who serve as volunteer employee representatives have used official time to engage in representational activities while on duty status.” CRC authors, Vincent Vernuccio and Trey Kovacs, point out that measurement of this activity is limited and avoided by many agencies. When pressured, however, the federal Office of Personnel Management has acknowledged 2,991,378 reported hours of official time in 2009. That comes to an estimated cost of $129,100,798—"equivalent to the salaries of a workforce of 1,500 full-time government employees, all working on union business but paid by the taxpayer."
    Fergus Hodgson, December 18, 2011
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    A post-partisan United States

    This morning I heard an intriguing interview with Robin Koerner, a columnist for the Huffington Post and publisher of WatchingAmerica.com (a website with translated articles from other countries regarding current events in the United States). Koerner, like me, is an immigrant here, originally from the United…
    Fergus Hodgson, December 16, 2011
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    Subsidios corporativos a Chiquita Brands International: Un triunfo para la falacia de lo que vemos y lo que no vemos

    En medio de las noticias acerca de que Chiquita Brands International ha decidido trasladar sus oficinas a Charlotte, Carolina del Norte, se ha escuchado también que fueron necesarios meses de reuniones y grupos de presión sobre autoridades, además de aproximadamente 22 millones en subsidios corporativos. Esto incluye alrededor de $5 millones provenientes del Municipio de la Ciudad de Charlotte.
    Fergus Hodgson, December 12, 2011
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    Entrepreneurship Council: North Carolina 37th in nation, worst in South, for small business policy climate

    A new ranking from the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council places North Carolina in the bottom third of the nation for its public policy friendliness towards small businesses—37th and well behind all bordering states. Tennessee is the nearest at 25th, while South Carolina is 5th, Virginia 10th,…
    Fergus Hodgson, December 8, 2011
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    The NDRA is on its way—the National Debt Relief Amendment, that is.

    Following the latest American Legislative Exchange Council gathering in Scottsdale, Arizona, the National Debt Relief Amendment (which I’ve promoted before on the Locker Room) now has seven new states with committed legislative sponsors: Alaska, Colorado, Georgia, Mississippi, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Wyoming. That brings the…
    Fergus Hodgson, December 6, 2011
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    Chiquita’s corporate welfare: a triumph for the fallacy of the seen and the unseen

    Si prefiere en español. Amid news that Chiquita Brands International has decided to move its offices to Charlotte, North Carolina, we’ve also heard that it took months of meetings and lobbying and approximately $22 million in corporate welfare. That includes around $5 million…
    Fergus Hodgson, December 2, 2011
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    Time to account for state property, and purge what is unnecessary

    North Carolina’s auditor, Beth Wood, recently attempted to assess how to better insure the state’s 15,000-odd properties. Unfortunately, this mission proved all-but-impossible, since a comprehensive list of state properties does not exist. Embarrassingly, NC’s Department of Administration lists 406 buildings not reported by the Risk Management Division, and…
    Fergus Hodgson, November 29, 2011