So, recently over at Applied Rationality we have been discussing legislating Mandatory Sick Leave. Dave seems to be of the opinion that we should mandate paid sick leave to all employees while I maintain that such a benefit more resembles increased pay and would reduce the incidence of labor. Minimum wage has long been a favorite of mine and this new legislation seems to be another version of the same.
I think it’s exactly this type of legislation where we as conservatives fall down and really fail to serve the public. As champions of this type of legislation, it is the Left that is doing the PR job of getting out there and shaping the message. They are in front of the cameras talk about laws that will help the “Average American”, the “Working Man” and “America’s Middle Class”. They are getting the message out in the nightly newscasts, newspapers and magazines. And they are doing it well. They have been able to successfully shape the public opinion to the point that most of the nations feels that it is the Liberal Left and the Democrats who are standing up for the rights and well being of the average guy.
And we are letting them.
We don’t have anyone that is able to go out and change the shape of the conversation. We don’t have anyone that is willing to take this law, conduct the research and bring the message into the homes of all people everywhere that this tpe of legislation HURTS the very people it is aimed at helping. By mandating such demonstrably bad policies, what we are doing is legislating those of us who can least afford to be out of a job–out of a job. We are building a scenario where employers are going to reduce the number of employees on their payroll. And they are going to begin with the least skilled most marginal among their employees. Rather than helping people, this law and others like it is destructive.
And we are letting them.
Now, I’m not willing to give the Democrats enough credit to come up with one of these Black Helicopter theories that says they are doing this on purpose in order to create a dependent Nation. I really really don’t think they are that, umm, well, thoughtful. I really do think that they are trying to actually help people. I do. But they are wrong. They are taking the easy way out and, it just so happens, that this easy way out plays very well in the court of public opinion. But the facts remain, this is horrible legislation and we know it. Or should. And we should be singing and shouting it out from rooftops all across America. And we should be changing the tone of the conversation that it is Conservatives who are championing policies that actually DO help people.
Of course, we should then actually enact that policies…but thats another post for another day.