In a twist worthy of a Kafka novel, the national council of Actors Equity, the union of American stage actors, this week rammed through a proposal that would essentially rip the heart out of the Los Angeles theater scene, even though the proposal had been voted down by two-thirds of its Los Angeles voting membership.
We're not suggesting that everyone who gives retirement investment advice is taking advantage of their clients, since many advisers do act in their client's best interest. But, because the law does not require them to do so, far too many do not. That's why the President's recent action is so important.
Gov. Bruce Rauner on Monday declared that Illinois state employees who do not wish to belong to a union can no longer have "fair share" fees deducted from their paychecks. In doing so, he likely set in motion a legal proceeding that will be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court and could have a major effect in labor law across the country.
Ever since the Department of Labor proposed several years ago to close regulatory loopholes that allow financial firms to offer conflicted retirement advice without having to act in the best interests of the retirement savers who rely on that advice, financial services firms have been nearly apoplectic in their opposition.
The last couple of days have been a provocative view of the near-term future of American politics. There are four major teams on the scene at the same time, coming from four different corners of the field, and they all have some amount of political juice. On the Republican side, there is the increasingly conservative -- but apparently never extreme enough -- establishment wing of the party led by Boehner and McConnell and the big business lobby, and there is the Tea Party anti-establishment wing. The two wings of the Democratic Party are similarly the insiders and the populists. How they end up interacting and competing with each other will be the driving political story for quite a while into the future.