What a concept!

The Labor Department plans to enforce labor laws. The Chamber is aghast.

The Labor Department proposes to enforce the labor laws.

Naturally, the Chamber of Commerce is outraged.

Oh, but I forgot: Obama has been in office sixteen whole months and failed to bring about the Messianic Age, so all true progressives should say nasty things about him to encourage him to do better, and sit on their hands while Republicans retake the House this fall to punish the Democrats for insufficient radicalism. After all, there’s no reall difference between a party that wants to enforce labor laws and one that wants to subvert them.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

9 thoughts on “What a concept!”

  1. By all means enforce labor laws vigorously. As to scoff law employers who play "catch me if you can", the Labor Departmant should institute severe penalties. There is no excuse for violating basic workers rights, whether it be safety regulations, wage/hour cheating, mandated benefits, basic civil rights protections… And it should not be the employees' responsibility to fight for it.

    I ran my own business for years and I never even thought of trying to cheat a worker out of what they earned. That is theft, pure and simple and should be treated as such both legally and morally. The penalties for cheating a worker should be so onerous and frightening to an employer that the thought of running afoul of the law would keep the responsible person awake at night.

  2. As I posted my comment a vision ran through my mind of a public service ad with Mister T looking at the camera saying "I pitty the fool who cheats a worker."

  3. I entirely agree. It pays to be reminded that deeper principles exists, even if at times they seem clouded by compromise and maneuvering. As oil ravages the gulf coast as we speak, and Obama is chided for proposing the expansion of drilling, we'd best remember which party is about anti-regulation and pro-business-at-any-cost, and which is for protecting the environment and the common good.

  4. Mark 'Inhaled?' Kleiman: "Oh, but I forgot: Obama has been in office sixteen whole months

    and failed to bring about the Messianic Age, so all true progressives should

    say nasty things about him to encourage him to do better, and sit on their

    hands while Republicans retake the House this fall to punish the Democrats

    for insufficient radicalism. After all, there’s no reall difference between

    a party that wants to enforce labor laws and one that wants to subvert them."

    Mark, WTF do you say such things? To me, this is like Brett's comments,

    or some right-winger who can't write a paragraph without the terms 'libtard',

    'The One' or 'The Messiah'. It becomes a marker that the writer shouldn't

    be taken seriously.

    And by now, hippie-bashing is clearly just a sign that the writer is a

    liberal who's scared of being call liberal by right-wingers,

    and who is trying to shore up his Very Serious Person cred in the

    cheapest way possible.

  5. As long as stealing from or endangering employers is criminal and stealing from employees is civil it's not clear how well this is going to work.

  6. Well–from the other side of the fence, let me just say that the endless hassle over contractors makes small-scale construction a much more miserable business than it needs to be. (Because when you are a 2-person business, and need an extra person for 2 days, paying him as a contractor is much much less hassle than paying him as an employee.)

  7. No, Mark has played this line before, and was serious, as far as I could tell back then. And please note the foolishness in his previous post ('A biometric work eligibility card is not a national ID card').

Comments are closed.