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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press It's Hard to Find Good Help: Chicago Cubs Edition

It's Hard to Find Good Help: Chicago Cubs Edition

Friday, 22 August 2014 12:40

The media have been full of reports of employers who are too incompetent to raise wages and therefore can't find the workers they say they need (e.g. here). Today Talking Points Memo gave us a story of an employer that apparently doesn't even know the basics of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

According to the story, the Chicago Cubs cut back the hours of their grounds crew to keep them under the 30 hour weekly limit above which employers are required to provide insurance or pay a fine. As a result of not having the crew available, the team was slow to get out a tarp to cover the field during an expected rainstorm. The poor condition of the field later led the umpires to call the game, which would have left the Cubs with a victory.

However the San Francisco Giants protested the decision, since the poor condition of the field was due to the failure of the Cubs to protect the field promptly. The league agreed with the protest; the first time a protest had been upheld in 28 years.

The problem with this story is that employer sanctions are not in effect for 2014. In other words, the Cubs will not be penalized for not providing their ground crew with insurance this year even if they work more than 30 hours per week. Apparently the Cubs management has not been paying attention to the ACA rules. This is yet another example of the skills gap that is preventing managers from operating their businesses effectively.

Comments (11)Add Comment
written by Last Mover, August 22, 2014 1:30

They can't even keep the story straight and claim they can't find enough ground crew workers with necessary skills due to structural unemployment.

Oh wait, somehow those skills suddenly disappear if an employee works more than 30 hours a week don't they. Yeah, that's it, skill exhaustion from overuse.
It almost seems like a paradox...
written by Dave, August 22, 2014 1:49
… that the skills gap is most apparent in retail labor, restaurant labor and management.
The Cubs Are Not the Problem, Low-rated comment [Show]
Oh, johnny
written by EMichael, August 22, 2014 2:28
Yeah, the ACA is complicated cause of Obama. Not the Reps. Not the SC. Obama.

Johnny is partly right
written by ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®©, August 22, 2014 4:00
We need single-payer.

Our problem is our political debates are restricted to the turf between right-wing Republicans (e.g. Obama) and today's insane G.O.T.P. (Grand Ole Treason Party)
not payer, provider....
written by pete, August 22, 2014 8:52
Why payer....why not single provider...national health service??? Like Americorp only health care... Single payer seems obtuse. Most counties had single providers, oounty hospitals, for the poor, which is of course the issue. Most people who were not on medicare had insurance. Some people who had neither were on medicaid. Others like me from 21 to 38 yrs or so, were on the kindness of strangers (or like me paid for every visit, much less than 17 years of premiums). It would have been better to adopt a plan where there was a constant $ per person, which could be applied to health savings, or insurance. Skin in the game would keep costs down, as it has for example in closely related dental care, or lasik eye surgery, or cosmetic surgery. There, with similarly trained professionals, costs have fallen, not risen.
written by Shantanu Saha , August 23, 2014 2:33
These are the Cubs we're talking about! A proud hundred year tradition of incompetence. They seem to be so bad at Human Resources, it's not surprising nobody in their HR department can read a book of health regulations.
Commenter "Johnny" is entirely right ...
written by John Puma, August 23, 2014 2:42
There is competence in the private health care insurance management? That industry has a 10-fold higher "overhead" rate than Medicare.
Oh, Johnny
written by Bart, August 23, 2014 11:11

All management issues with the Cubs should be referred to George Will.
Hard to Find Good Help
written by dick c, August 23, 2014 11:48
Apparently it's even harder to find good bosses.
Being a Cubs fan, and demented, but I repeat myself
written by sherparick, August 23, 2014 4:05
I note that the Cubs have a current value of $1.2 billion dollars, with annual revenue of $277 million dollars, and net operating income of $27.3 million dollars, and much of the expenses are "loan" repayments to the owners, Ricketts family and Sam Zell to avoid payment of capital gains on hte sale of the team in 2008. As for single payer, I would like that to, and a unicorn, which I expect to get the next time liberal Democrats get a 60 vote filibuster proof majority in the U.S. Senate elected from places like Texas, Kansas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, etc. Although called "Obamacare" for all sorts of propaganda purposes, the Affordable Care Act was written committees of the House and Senate, principally in Max Baucus's finance committee. It is amazing that it is extended insurance and health care to 30 million people who have it now and did not have it before, as well as ensuring that if you move on from your old job and still get decent insurance.

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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.