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Why are you opposed to all these worker protections? Or, more directly, why do you hate workers?

Posted by on | July 11, 2018 | Comments Off

This is from the questions and comments I am getting on my Summer 2018 Regulation cover story, “How Labor Regulation Harms Unskilled Workers.”   Here is my typical answer:

I don’t and I am not.  But this sort of reaction, which you can find in the comments of this and other similar articles, is typical of how public policy discussion is broken nowadays.  When I grew up, public policy discussion meant projecting the benefits of a policy and balancing them against the costs and unintended consequences.  In this context, I am merely attempting to air some of the costs of these regulations for unskilled workers that are not often discussed.  Nowadays, however, public policy is judged solely on its intentions.  If a law is intended to help workers, then it is good (whether or not it will every reasonably achieve its objectives), and anyone who opposed this law has bad intentions.  This is what you see in public policy debates all the time — not arguments about the logic of a law itself but arguments that the opposition are bad people with bad intentions.  For example, just look in the comments of this and other posts I have linked — because Coyote points out underappreciated costs to laws that are intended to help workers, his intentions must be to harm workers.  It is grossly illogical but characteristic of our post-modernistic age.

I will retell a story about Obamacare or the PPACA.  Most of my employees are over 60 and qualify for Medicare.  As such, no private insurer will write a policy for them — why should they?  Well, along comes Obamacare, and it says that my business has to pay a $2000-$3000 penalty for every employee who is not offered health insurance, and Medicare does not count!  I was in a position of paying nearly a million dollars in fines (many times my annual profits) for not providing insurance coverage to my over-60 employees that was impossible to obtain — we were facing bankruptcy and the loss of everything I own.  The only way out we had was that this penalty only applied to full-time workers, so we were forced to reduce everyone’s hours to make them all part-time.  It is a real flaw in the PPACA that caused real harm to our workers.  Do I hate workers and hope they all get sick and die just because I point out this flaw with the PPACA and its unintended consequence?

 Why are you opposed to all these worker protections?  Or, more directly, why do you hate workers?  Why are you opposed to all these worker protections?  Or, more directly, why do you hate workers?  Why are you opposed to all these worker protections?  Or, more directly, why do you hate workers?

 Why are you opposed to all these worker protections?  Or, more directly, why do you hate workers?

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