America’s legacy of unparalleled copyright protections and free market orientation has cultivated…
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“Blanket Licensing” – a Collectivist, Bureaucratic, One-Size-Fits-All Deprivation of Property Rights Proposal

America’s legacy of unparalleled copyright protections and free market orientation has cultivated a music industry unrivaled in today’s world or throughout human history.

From the first days of the phonograph, through the jazz age, through the rock era, through disco, through country, through hip-hop and every other popular musical iteration since its advent, it’s not by accident that we lead the world in the same manner in which we lead in such industries as cinema and television programming.  We can thank our nation’s emphasis on strong copyright protections.

Unfortunately, that reality doesn’t deter some activists from periodically advocating a more collectivist, top-down governmental reordering of the music industry in a way that would deprive artists and creators of their…[more]

July 06, 2020 • 02:32 PM

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Jester's CourtroomLegal tales stranger than stranger than fiction: Ridiculous and sometimes funny lawsuits plaguing our courts.
"Save Local Business Act" Before Congress Can Accelerate Job and Economic Growth Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, August 31 2017
[T]he 'Save Local Business Act' (H.R. 3441) would rescind one of the Obama Administration's most egregious bureaucratic abuses and restore decades of prevailing labor law.

Whatever evanescent controversy happens to induce media hysteria on any particular day in the Trump Era, jobs and economic growth remain the top priorities for Congress, the White House and the American public. 

To that end, this week brought a pleasant surprise when second-quarter economic growth registered at a more robust 3%, exceeding expectations and earlier estimates. 

And in the effort to cultivate even greater growth and job creation going forward, much-needed comprehensive tax reform has understandably taken center stage. 

As tax reform wrangling begins and actual legislation slowly takes form, however, there's already a bill before Congress that can ignite instant business confidence and job growth. 

Namely, the "Save Local Business Act" (H.R. 3441) would rescind one of the Obama Administration's most egregious bureaucratic abuses and restore decades of prevailing labor law. 

Here's the background, and why the bill is so important. 

Under longstanding court precedent and National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) interpretation, an "employer" for purposes of applying the nation's labor laws was generally defined to include only those businesses that determined the essential terms and conditions of employment. 

As a textbook illustration, imagine a franchise arrangement whereby the franchisee determines whom to hire, whom to fire, wages and other everyday working conditions.  The distant franchisor, in contrast, obviously doesn't fly every potential franchisee employee in for an interview at corporate headquarters or micromanage its franchisees' working conditions. 

On that logic, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in NLRB v. Browning-Ferris Industries (1982) that the appropriate standard for defining an employer with regard to a particular set of employees was established by the U.S. Supreme Court in Boire v. Greyhound Corp. (1964).  It held that only businesses exercising control over "those matters governing the essential terms and conditions of employment" were subject to collective bargaining requirements and liabilities. 

Two years later, the NLRB formally adopted that standard, ruling in separate cases that "there must be a showing that the employer meaningfully affects matters relating to the employment such as hiring, firing, discipline, supervision and direction."  In other words, an "employer" for purposes of labor law mandates required direct and immediate control over the terms and conditions of employment. 

That stands to reason, since it makes no sense to impose legal liability upon employers that don't actually control a bargaining unit's employment conditions. 

In August 2015, however, Obama's NLRB suddenly and needlessly upended that established legal standard by redefining what's known as the "Joint Employer Doctrine."  Essentially, the Joint Employer Doctrine allows multiple businesses to be held legally liable and responsible for the same set of employees. 

Thus, in the infinite wisdom of the Obama NLRB, even employers with indirect or even merely potential ability to affect employment terms could suddenly find themselves subject to federal labor law mandates. 

As you probably guessed, that reversal constituted a gift to union bosses and liberal politicians who receive union campaign donations.  It instantly allowed unions to target deeper pockets and streamline organizing campaigns.  As union membership continues to decline and unions’ ability to control elections has progressively waned over recent decades, they're desperate for methods to retain power and funding sources. 

Here's why all of that matters in terms of America's economy and job growth. 

Today, nearly 800,000 franchise enterprises exist in the United States, accounting for approximately 8.5 million jobs.  And according to an American Action Forum study, the Obama NLRB decision could reduce private sector employment by 1.7 million jobs, including 500,000 in the leisure and hospitality industry alone. 

In addition to the direct impact of jobs lost, that also translates to taxpayer pain in the form of more unemployment payments, Medicaid enrollment and other forms of government assistance. 

That's why the Save Local Business Act is of such immediate importance. 

The bill would overturn the Obama NLRB's recent joint employer redefinition, and restore decades of judicial and NLRB precedent by subjecting only actual employers exercising direct and immediate control over the essential terms and conditions of employment to federal collective bargaining liabilities. 

It was simply unfair and illogical for the Obama NLRB to extend federal labor requirements to businesses that do not hire, fire, set wages or supervise employees, and it jeopardizes thousands of businesses and potentially millions of American jobs. 

So while important tax reform negotiations begin in Washington, D.C., Congress can take an easy and important step toward improving economic and employment conditions by passing the Save Local Business Act. 

 

 

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