The Pretense of Legislative Knowledge

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So, progressive legislators in the Rhode Island General Assembly are looking to “compromise” on a policy forcing Rhode Island businesses to give a minimum sick-leave benefit.  The notion of this as “compromise” is a complete perversion of the very notion of compromising, which requires all parties to have some direct investment in the result.  The indirect benefit of being able to collect votes that you’ve bought from one party to the “negotiation” by forcing the other party to do something doesn’t count.

Pay particular attention to this quotation from Katherine Gregg’s “Political Scene” article in the Providence Journal:

Last week, [Progressive Democrat Representative from Providence Aaron] Regunberg and Senate Majority Whip Maryellen Goodwin — the sponsor of a matching Senate bill — acknowledged the need for compromise.

In a commentary piece targeted for publication, they wrote: “We feel confident that it’s possible to strike the right balance between employers and employees.”

Psst, folks.  That isn’t your role.  “The right balance” depends on the job, on the employer, and on the employee.  It’s for them to figure out in full, specific consideration of the pay, the nature of the job, the availability of other opportunities, and so on.  It’s their role, their right, and their responsibility as fully autonomous adults.

The arrogance of these politicians to think that they can figure out among themselves what must work for every two Rhode Islanders in an employee-employer relationship throughout all of Rhode Island from now unto forever is astonishing.



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