Speak Out: Jobs and UD

Increase in jobs in February
Hiring in the United States jumped in February as employers added 273,000 jobs, evidence that the economy was in strong shape before the coronavirus began to sweep through the nation. The Labor Department said Friday that the unemployment rate fell to 3.5% last month, matching a 50-year low, down from 3.6% in January. The monthly job gain comes from a survey of payrolls in the second week of February, predating the viral outbreak.

• How many of these jobs pay living wages and offer good benefits? — Eric Morrison

• That’s a real good question. How many are entry level? Are they supposed to pay “living wages” too? What are you willing to pay for the things you purchase? How much do you think an employer should contribute to your well-being? How willing are you to encourage people to accept what they can get, learn from it and move up? I don’t know how many of these new jobs pay a living wage. But I do know, like myself and millions of others, one has to start somewhere, even if it isn’t ideal. How long do you think any company will last if they are forced to accept people with little to no training and/or experience? In short, why is anyone worried about how many new jobs are capable of paying what someone decides is a living wage? The issue is not about a living wage, it’s about getting people started on the path to securing their own future and a living wage along the way!— Dennis Mehrenberg

UD officials face questions
President Dennis Assanis faced more fierce questioning from lawmakers Tuesday. Appearing before a legislative budget committee for the second time in four weeks, top UD officials were forced to defend the university’s status as a quasi-public institution.

• Very surprising to see University of Delaware’s lawyer challenge the Delaware legislature with comments about UD being special and that you can’t change things unless we agree. The Delaware taxpayer, through the annual appropriations to the university, has over many years invested several billion dollars (in today’s dollars) towards the success of OUR state university. The University of Delaware, a state agency, needs to be held accountable according to a 70-year-old court ruling. In 1950, Delaware’s Chancery Court Vice Chancellor Seitz ruled in Parker vs University of Delaware that “I conclude that the University of Delaware is an agency of the State of Delaware under the common law and under the constitutional test required by the 14th Amendment. The actions of its Trustees must be judged in that light.” He also found “other statutes require the President of the University to make an annual report on all aspects of the University to the Trustees who shall transmit the same to the Governor to be by him presented to the Legislature. The accounts of the Treasurer of the University are to be audited by the Auditor of Accounts in the same manner as the accounts of ‘other State officers.’ “ I would encourage the legislature to clarify and codify our state’s relationships with all of our state institutions of higher learning. We have too much invested in this state agency (UD) to just walk away and suggest they just become a private university. — Bill Bowden
Supreme Court will decide the fate of Obama health care law
• Sure, end the last of pre-existing conditions protections. Best thing is to deregulate healthcare so they can charge an arm and a leg. Literally. — Craig Walter