Monday Edition

1. Biden’s Relationship With Unions Is Complicated

While he may call himself the most “pro-Union” president in history, Joe Biden is struggling to wrap up the labor vote. (Politico)

Union leadership is lining up behind Biden: He’s picked up endorsements from the United Auto Workers, the United Steelworkers Union and the North America’s Building Trades Unions.

Politico reporter Catherine Kim: “[Biden] is the first sitting president to walk a picket line, has appointed union-backed advocates to the Department of Labor and the National Labor Relations Board and has pledged to create millions of union jobs through bills like the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. In the last week alone, he’s banned noncompete agreements, increased the number of people eligible for overtime pay and cracked down on bad retirement savings advice.”

But the president’s losing blue collar workers and rank and file union members.

  • Biden's approval among union households has dropped from 56% in 2020 to 50% according to an NBC news poll conducted earlier this year.

  • Biden's lead over Trump among union households in Michigan decreased from 25 points in 2020 to just 12 points today.

  • Biden's margin over non-white working-class voters shrank from 48 points in 2020 to 16 points in recent polls.

Immigration and the economy might be hurting Biden with these voters.

  • A plurality (44%) of Americans say the economy’s in poor shape, which might be why union members aren’t responding to Biden's pro-labor policies.

  • Blue-collar workers also seem to prefer Donald Trump’s tougher stance on immigration, which they see as a threat to union jobs.

Bubba’s Two Cents: Labor unions are a unique case in that the leadership still leans heavily liberal, while blue collar workers themselves are shifting right. It’s kind of a mirror of the Democratic Party itself, which is resonating less and less with non-college Americans.

2. Heading for Trade War

President Biden is following Donald Trump’s lead on Chinese tariff policy. (WSJ)

The Biden administration reportedly plans to increase tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles from 25% to approximately 100%.

  • The move comes following a yearlong review of Trump tariffs on $300 billion of Chinese goods and is aimed at protecting the U.S. auto industry.

What Wendy Cutler, a former trade official, told the Financial Times: “The Biden administration is trying to get ahead of the curve and ensure that the US car industry does not suffer the same fate as the US solar industry, which was virtually decimated by unfairly traded Chinese imports.”

In January, the Washington Post reported Trump was considering a 60% tariff on all Chinese imports during a potential second term.

  • Trump’s also floated a 10% universal tariff on all imports into the country.

  • A Tax Foundation analysis of Trump’s proposed 10% universal tariff estimated it would shrink the U.S. economy by 1.1% and result in 825,000 lost jobs.

Related: A recent World Trade Organization analysis found that declines in poverty are linked to increases in global trade.

Stephen Moore, Club for Growth founder and former economic adviser to the Trump campaign: “Globalization, the free flow of capital, goods, and people across borders, is a powerful driver of human freedom and prosperity. Trade boosts living standards and reduces poverty globally. Data confirms: as trade increases, poverty decreases!”

Bubba’s Two Cents: You can see why in theory we’d want to protect vital American industries and jobs, like auto-manufacturing, but the data indicates that global trade is good for economic growth and prosperity. Is China the tariff exception to maintain our preferred global world order? Or will we see more universal tariffs appeasing the ‘America First’ crowd?

3. Checking In On Guns

  1. A new study found Democrats and Republicans are 20% less likely to want to live near someone, if that person owns an AR-15 rifle.

  2. Gun incidents at K-12 schools are up 324% from the previous decade, per a recent Axios report.

  1. A new analysis of FBI data by the gun safety group Everytown found that the rate of guns stolen from cars in the U.S. has tripled in the last decade, making them the country's primary source of stolen firearms.

Context: Firearm deaths have steadily risen over recent decades, fueling an ever-more contentious gun debate in America.

  • There were a lot of mass shootings last year: 656 in total.

  • Last year, 43,000 people were killed due to gun violence.

Bubba’s Two Cents: America's relationship to firearms is more complicated than the rest of the world’s due to our deep-rooted gun culture and the Second Amendment. We seem to be stuck in a sort of stasis where neither pro- nor anti-gun advocates want to give any ground. But these gun violence problems aren’t going away, and every new mass shooting thrusts us back into the debate.

4. Being a Social Justice Warrior Can Be Bad for Business

Conservatives who feel shut out by mainstream institutions and cultures are using boycotts to make their voices heard. (NYT)

The latest: Target is scaling back its Pride Month merchandise, offering items mostly online and in select stores.

  • The move is a response to the backlash and boycotts the company faced from conservatives last year over Pride displays.

  • Some displays featured children's books on transgender issues and gender fluidity.

Last May, shortly after the Pride Month boycott, Target's stock value dropped by $13.8 billion.

  • And it’s taken the company roughly an entire year to get back to its previous stock value.

It’s not just Target: A conservative boycott of Bud Light over the company’s partnership with a transgender influencer reportedly cost Anheuser-Busch InBev 1.4 billion in lost sales.

Bubba’s Two Cents: One of the reasons we’ve been seeing more boycotts is because it’s become more common for companies to take political stands. It’s a bad idea for a lot of reasons, but perhaps most of all because Americans just plain don’t like it when corporations get wrapped up in social causes. A recent Morning Consult poll found only 29% of Americans think companies should use their influence to impact political and cultural issues.

5. One for the Road

All the big organizations created to keep countries connected and cooperating appear to be trending in a not-so-great direction. (The Economist)

The Economist: "The institutions that safeguarded the old system are either already defunct or fast losing credibility. The World Trade Organisation turns 30 next year, but will have spent more than five years in stasis, owing to American neglect. The IMF is gripped by an identity crisis, caught between a green agenda and ensuring financial stability. The UN security council is paralysed.”

Rising geopolitical tensions, plus a changing global economy, threaten to destabilize the America-centered liberal international order that formed after World War II.

For instance, the rest of the world’s economies are becoming increasingly less dependent on the West and America.

Meanwhile, people are souring on democratic forms of government.

  • A recent Pew Research Center survey of 24 countries found a median of 59% of citizens are dissatisfied with how democracy functions.

Bubba’s Two Cents: There's a growing movement, even within the U.S., to end the America-led liberal international order. Despite this system’s flaws and failures, it’s led to decades of relative peace, stability, and prosperity, particularly here at home. As they say, the grass is always greener.

Did you like an item in today’s edition? Do us a favor and forward it to a friend to help spread the word about $001 News. Also, click here to subscribe today.