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Small-business owners say national paid sick leave wouldn’t hurt their bottom line

Small-business owners say national paid sick leave wouldn’t hurt their bottom line

Republican arguments against laws that guarantee paid leave for workers often hinge on the notion that the policy would damage small-business owners, the backbone of our society. But what happens if you ask the small-business owners what they want? A new survey comfortably debunks the myth: Almost two-thirds of small-business owners support a national policy for paid medical and family leave.

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“A super majority of small-business owners do support—have continued to support—a national paid-leave policy,” says Dawn Huckelbridge, director of Paid Leave for All, the nonprofit that conducted the survey. The results appear to conflict with the widely held public perception that small businesses may be opposed to the policy, which would require businesses to give paid days off to workers for things like illness, bereavement, or parental leave. For many reasons, Huckelbridge says, the reverse is true. She contends that a paid-leave policy can help small businesses stay competitive and sturdy their bottom lines. “It helps with productivity and performance and profitability,” she says. “It makes for a happier worker, and there’s less turnover.”

Paid Leave for All started in December by bringing together various groups that had been advocating for a national leave policy, to align their goals and resources. The organization partnered with Main Street Alliance, a network of small-business owners that aims to give that community a voice on public policy issues. The survey respondents consist of 600 owners of businesses with up to 49 employees; the poll also deliberately over-samples racial minorities, by including 100 Black business owners and 100 Latino, Asian American, or Pacific Islander owners. About half (48%) of the respondents say they do not currently provide any type of sick, family, or medical leave.

From a public health standpoint, the coronavirus crisis has reinforced the advantages of—and dire need for—policy

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White House’s line on economic aid descends deeper into incoherence

White House’s line on economic aid descends deeper into incoherence

It was six days ago when Donald Trump, after weeks of confusing and contradictory messages, announced that he was pulling the plug on bipartisan talks on an economic aid package. White House officials said the process was over and negotiations would not begin anew before the elections.

It was four days ago when the president, realizing he’d “messed up tactically,” began calling for renewed talks on economic aid.

And it was three days ago when Trump told Rush Limbaugh that his newest position was the opposite of the one he’d held earlier in the week.

“I would like to see a bigger stimulus package than, frankly, either the Democrats or the Republicans are offering,” Trump said on an appearance of the Rush Limbaugh Show on Friday, acknowledging it was “the exact opposite” of his initial demands.

I realize that the president doesn’t generally keep up on current events, but when he mentioned the package “Republicans are offering,” he was referring to the proposal floated by his own White House. It’s his own team that’s responsible for making the “offer,” which in turn created an awkward dynamic: Trump effectively told Limbaugh that he’s against Team Trump’s plan.

While the president was delivering that message, his team was extending a new pitch to congressional Democrats: a $1.8 trillion aid package, well below the $2.4 trillion package House Democrats recently approved, and roughly half the $3.4 trillion proposal Democrats pushed several months ago.

Trump told Fox News yesterday that GOP lawmakers are fully on board with the $1.8 trillion offer. That wasn’t even close to being true: Senate Republicans actually wasted little time letting the White House know they’re staunchly opposed to the latest proposal, as are House Democrats. In fact, if Trump’s comments to Limbaugh were sincere, even he’s against his own

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Airbus Takes a Risky Course and Holds the Line on Production

Airbus Takes a Risky Course and Holds the Line on Production

Airbus (OTC:EADSY) ended last month with a whopping 7,501 commercial jet orders in its backlog. That’s close to a record high and represents more than eight years of production at 2019 production rates.

This big order backlog hasn’t shielded Airbus from the COVID-19 aviation downturn, though. The European aerospace giant has been forced to cut production significantly this year. With air travel demand showing no signs of recovery so far, Airbus faces pressure to cut output even further. So far, it is resisting this pressure, according to a recent Reuters report. This is a risky strategy that could pay off if demand rebounds meaningfully within a year or so, but could backfire otherwise.

Airbus has reduced production

Airlines across the world are bleeding cash and have cut capacity dramatically. As a result, even those that had aggressive growth or replacement plans entering 2020 now have no need for new jets in the near term. This led to a sharp drop in aircraft deliveries at both Boeing (NYSE:BA) and Airbus last quarter.

An Airbus A350 flying in front of a cloud.

Image source: Airbus.

Boeing is radically slashing production to match demand. Wide-body production will decline by about 50%. Demand for freighter and military variants of the 747, 767, and 777 is the only thing preventing an even bigger output cut. Meanwhile, it plans to gradually ramp up 737 MAX production to a rate of 31 per month by early 2022. That would still be 46% below its previously planned production rate of 57 per month. But with more than 450 737 MAX jets in storage waiting to be delivered, it can’t go any faster.

Airbus has also reduced its near-term wide-body production plans by nearly 50%, albeit from a lower base. However, it made more modest adjustments to its narrow-body output, cutting A320-family production by about a third and

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