It’s a small-time crime story that wouldn’t ordinarily be fodder for a post, here, but the timing of Sara Cline’s Herald News article on a babysitter who’s been charged with theft makes the anecdote useful for illustrating a point:
A Rhode Island woman admitted to stealing thousands of dollars from a Rehoboth home where she worked as a nanny, Rehoboth police said. …
The victim told police O’Kane was previously employed as a coach at Prestige Gymnastics in Swansea where there were complaints of money missing from the business during the time she worked there, according to the police report.
We understand that this is wrong. Most of us would agree that there is no amount of money that a person can allowably enter a family’s house to take without their permission. We also understand that a larger number of thieves — multiple babysitters, say — doesn’t make the theft OK, and others outside the family can’t give the thieves permission to take the money, whether they are the thieves’ friends and family or the victims’ neighbors.
And yet, as Ian Donnis reports on RIPR, here comes a bunch of progressive Democrat state legislators who absolutely believe that they have the authority to force Rhode Islanders to give others money, almost literally at gunpoint. No doubt, they’d think the dollar amount in the Rehoboth incident would be high to take all at once, but there can be absolutely no question that they believe government could make the family give the babysitter more if the politicians thought she needed it.
If politically this “Fair Shot Agenda” package of legislation is little more than spin on theft, as an economic program it’s ridiculous. For example, on Dan Yorke’s WPRO show, left-wing ringleader Rep. Aaron Regunberg (D, Providence) cited a statistic that 60% of Rhode Island businesses already offer employees paid sick time, as the legislation would require. That means that, unless one assumes that the 40% are withholding the benefit out of greed — rather than (oh, I don’t know) insufficient revenue, the specifics of their business models, or the nature of their employment — this legislation will target the most vulnerable companies by applying blanket requirements.
The same is true of the minimum wage component, which also better illustrates the size of the legislators’ intended theft. The difference between the current $9.60 minimum wage and $15 adds up to over $11,000 a year for a 40-hour-per-week worker, which is obviously not the full extent of the grab, because $9.60 is already artificially high for some jobs.
But the legislators’ attitude is that when enough people have decided it’s just fine for people to take others’ money away, it becomes something other than a crime. While technically that might be true, morally it isn’t.