Originally published February 3 2014
California to accelerate economic implosion by forcing businesses to pay for sick days of hourly workers
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) There is one thing to be said about having a desire to help those in need, but when that kind of compassion turns into a cult-like political ideology, it can turn into something ugly and harmful.
A new measure being considered by the uber-progressive Democratic majority in the California Assembly would require - require, mind you - California employers to provide all employees with paid sick days.
According to The Sacramento Bee:
Hourly workers in California would be able to accrue paid sick days under a bill introduced by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego.
Gonzalez cast Assembly Bill 1522 both as a financial security net for workers and as a public health measure. She noted that many workers who do not receive paid sick days work in the food industry, where sick workers risk infecting consumers, or with more vulnerable populations such as young children and the elderly.
The arguments for this measure don't make sense
"If you're an hourly worker and you're sick you have to choose if you're going to pay the bills or take a day off," Gonzalez said, adding that single mothers can face a challenge caring for sick children if they cannot otherwise take a day off from work.
Her measure, if passed, would require all California employers to provide paid sick leave to employees who have worked in a particular job for at least 90 days. Under the measure, employers would be able to cap each worker's total sick days at three per year. No word in reports as to how Gonzalez expects businesses to pay the extra wages.
She also says that providing employees with guaranteed sick days would somehow translate into lower healthcare costs, by both preventing diseases from spreading for lack of treatment and by not requiring workers to be forced to resort to emergency care - though these arguments only make sense to a policy wonk.
"We know that it's about four times more expensive when a mother takes her child to the emergency room after hours rather than being able to take time to take them to a doctor to prevent further sickness or address sickness," Gonzales said.
Where does forcing businesses to do things they don't want to do end?
The SacBee reported that the California Chamber of Commerce has not yet taken a position on the measure, but the organization - as well as other business interests - have voiced opposition to such measures in the past, and for good reason; they not only increase costs of doing business, but those costs would have to, ultimately, be passed on to consumers.
"A series of paid sick day bills by former Assemblywoman Fiona Ma could not attract enough votes to overcome pro-business arguments," the paper said.
Showing "compassion" is easy when you do so with other people's money. As evidenced by Gonzalez's professional history, she has never owned a business herself and has lived on the public dole for much of her professional life, which makes it not so surprising that her "solution" to this problem would be one that hurts businesses.
It's not clear that Gonzalez's measure will eventually pass, but the notion of government forcing businesses to provide benefits to employees is anathema to American economics and principles of freedom. If government can force this measure on businesses in the state, what other costly measures can it force businesses to comply with? And where does it end?
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