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New US Treasury report confirms efficacy of unions. Submit your unreported documents NOW!

Image: Public Domain via OpenClipArt
On a recent browse of one of my favorite blogs, BoingBoing.net (daily reading along with Kottke!) there was a post about “New US Treasury report confirms that unions are good for everybody”. Of course I submitted an “unreported document” to GPO right away so this new report should show up in FDLP library catalogs across the country in no time flat!

Once again, I’d like to encourage my depository library colleagues to hunt down and report these documents to GPO when you find them. Ben Amata at Sacramento State University does an amazing job at this and frequently posts his golden finds on the GOVDOC-L listserv for others’ benefit. There are other master unreported documents hunters out there too. But there aren’t enough of us and SO MANY publications especially from the executive branch go UN-reported, UN-cataloged, and UN-preserved.

So I implore all govinfo librarians to make this a part of your work week: track on your favorite executive agency, comb through your favorite newspaper/news site for mentions etc. Whatever your regular process or workflow is, add this small side step of reporting these documents to GPO. If all 1100+ depository librarians submitted a couple of reports a week, we’d be so much closer to actually having a “National Collection” of curated, born-digital publications from all across our federal government.

The empirical research on unions suggests that middle-class workers reap substantial benefits from unionization. Unions raise the wages of their members by 10 to 15 percent. Unions also improve fringe benefits and workplace procedures such as retirement plans, workplace grievance policies, and predictable scheduling. These workplace improvements contribute substantially to middle-class financial stability and worker well-being. For example, one study has estimated that the average worker values their ability to avoid short-notice schedule changes at up to 20 percent of their wages.

Importantly, the positive effects of unions are not only experienced by workers at unionized establishments. Other workers see increases in wages and improved work practices as their nonunionized workplaces compete with unionized ones for labor. In turn, the higher pay and job security of both unionized and nonunionized middle-class workers can further spill over to their families and communities through more stable housing, more investment in education, and other channels.

Treasury.IO: A daily data feed for the U.S. Treasury

Ever wonder about the federal government’s checkbook? Well now you can take a peak inside for each day using Treasury.io. “Every day at 4pm, the United States Treasury publishes data tables summarizing the cash spending, deposits, and borrowing of the federal government.” Those data tables “catalog all the money taken in that day from taxes, the programs, and how much debt the government took out.”

One hitch: The Treasury’s data tables are (subjectively) ugly and (objectively) spreadsheet-unfriendly. So Treasury.io — an open-source civic project complete with a github repository! — continuously converts the files into good ol’ tabular data. You can download individual tables as CSVs, get the whole dataset as a big SQLite database, or query the API. There’s also a data dictionary and a Twitter bot.

HT to Jeremy Singer-Vine and his amazing Data Is Plural weekly newsletter of useful/curious datasets. If you haven’t subscribed, then you ought to go over there right now and do so post haste!

Every day at 4pm, the United States Treasury publishes data tables summarizing the cash spending, deposits, and borrowing of the Federal government. These files catalog all the money taken in that day from taxes, the programs, and how much debt the government took out to make it happen. It comes from a section of the U.S. Treasury called the Bureau of the Fiscal Service.

At a time of record fiscal deficits and continual debates over spending, taxation, and the debt, this daily accounting of our government’s main checking account is an essential data point that the public should have ready access to.

via Treasury IO: A daily data feed for the U.S. Treasury.

Historical digitized content from the Treasury Library to be made available on GPO’s FDsys

One of the many bright spots of last week’s Fall 2012 Depository Library Conference — the notes and proceedings will soon be posted on the desktop — was the announcement by the Government Printing Office (GPO) that GPO and US Department of the Treasury are partnering on a project to bring historic digitized Treasury publications onto the FDsys platform. This is a great step by GPO to provide a platform for Federal agencies to publish their historically relevant publications for better access to the public.

The U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) and the U.S. Department of Treasury have partnered on a pilot project to make historical digitized content from the Treasury Library available on GPO’s Federal Digital System (FDsys). Through the pilot project, Treasury Reporting Rates of Exchange, 1956-2005, which list the exchange rates of foreign currencies based on the dollar, are now available on FDsys. Over the next year, additional historical documents within the Treasury’s library collection will be made available on FDsys through this pilot project.

Ezra Klein explains daily treasury real yield curve rates

On yesterday’s Rachel Maddow show, I was excited to see the Washington Post‘s Ezra Klein (hosting for Ms Maddow while she’s on vacation) use a government document to make a very cogent point.

In discussing a story by the NY Times “Weather Extremes Leave Parts of U.S. Grid Buckling”, Klein opined that now is the perfect time for the Federal government to spend on infrastructure projects. He explained that the US Treasury’s Daily Treasury Real Yield Curve Rates are currently negative. That is, people are buying treasury bonds knowing full well that the return will be less than the original price of the treasury bond. Therefore, the US Congress refusing to spend on badly needed infrastructure rejuvenation (see NY Times article above) is “financial mismanagement on an epic scale!”

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Bailout Banks Grows to 26

ProPublica is keeping a running list of banks that are getting money from the Treasury Department bailout:

Which banks are getting the Treasury Department’s billions? As we noted earlier today, a slew of regional banks have signed up for the government’s capital injection program, but the government is not saying which banks are getting taxpayer money.

Based on news reports and press releases, we’ve cobbled together a partial list, totaling 26 banks at an overall investment of approximately $160 billion.