The dictionary defines “conundrum” as “A paradoxical, insoluble, or difficult problem; a dilemma.” And that is what we have in this country at the moment. We have a significant need for job creation. Yet we have governments, both federal and state, that vilify businesses. They create an adversarial situation and seek to punish businesses. I have written several times about this, see US Department of Labor: It’s War! And Employers Are The Enemy , but it continues. And more people are jumping on the bandwagon. (Click the link for a definition of the term).
Fellow blogger/Twitterer, Stephanie R. Thomas @ProactiveStats posted a tweet about a new piece of legislation passed in the State of New York. The unbelievable title of the legislation is the Wage Theft Prevention Act! It is bad enough that the USDOL Sectretary of Labor, Hilda Solis, calls all employers thieves in a speech, but then to have a state pass legislation that essentially labels all employers as thieves. Here is a list of the kinds of activities I am talking about:
- Secretary of Labor claims to be “the new sheriff in town” and will stop employer thievery
- USDOL hires over 250 new wage & hour investigators and 200+ OSHA investigators and announces they will be pursuing criminal penalities rather than civil solutions
- The USDOL partners with the American Bar Association to team complaining workers with attorneys willing to sue employers and supplying them with all the paperwork and data needed.
- The DOL announces they will enforce regulation through embarrassment and intimidation.
- The White House announcing a coordinated effort between the DOL, OFCCP, EEOC and the IRS to punish “wrong doing” by an employer by having them investigated by all the agencies, regardless of what they may have been accused of .
- Increasingly onerous legislation being passed that make day to day life in a business difficult.
- The NLRB overturning 100s of previously decided cases in order to make the environment friendlier for union activity.
- Executive Orders are issued requiring ALL work places doing business with the Federal government to allow union organization or have their contracts with the government pulled.
- And of course taxes and healthcare requirements almost don’t need to be mentioned. The United States now has the highest corporate tax rate in the world. Talk about driving business away!
- And now states are passing anti-employer legislation.
Now I don’t know about you but I find this discouraging. I have had several clients in the past of days ask why things have turned this way. I tell them that I feel it is driven by two things. First, it drives revenue. And governments are broke and need tax dollars. We hear all the time about the favorite whipping boy of government, the “rich.” Well businesses are as equally reviled and seen as the best source of revenue. The second reason, as I see it, is philosophy. The current administration, heavily steeped in union connections, exhibits many of the same socialistic (even communistic) tendencies that labor leaders have. In these philosophies employers are evil and do nothing but exploit workers and thus must be controlled, even punished. Hence we have the current situation. (Even though many labor leaders and legislators are themselves rich by most peoples standards, and unions would not even exist if businesses did not. After all they are a business that is in the business of making money off of organized workers. If no dues were paid unions would not exist just for the “good” of workers.
Given the current situation it is more difficult to run a business. If I were considering starting a business I might be hesitant to do so. If I had a business I might be hesitant to do any expansion. However, business creation and job growth is what drives the economy, so business men and women step up and work against the odds and they make things happen. And it is that spirit of entrepreneurship that then picks my spirit up. But it certainly would be a lot nicer and easier if the government didn’t fight us every step of the way.
For further information on the Wage Theft Prevention Act see Governor Patterson Signs Wage Theft Prevention Act by Nicholas Fusco.