Progressive Values Devalue Human Work
Message to General Assembly leadership: #JustStayHome! By kowtowing to pressure from the progressive-left, the provisions in the proposed 2018 budget, along with other crippling legislation, send a disturbing, but clear message to Rhode Islanders: hard work is valued less than unearned worker privileges. Rhode Islanders’ natural drive to engage in gainful and honest work and to invest in new ventures is corrupted by false promises that they can become part of a new “I got mine” special-interest crowd.
Rhode Island suffers from the worst business climate in the nation, the 48th rank on the Jobs & Opportunity Index, and the 45th rank on the Family Prosperity Index (FPI). The major takeaway from the Rhode Island FPI report is that the best path for families to enhance prosperity, is through work and marriage. Yet lawmakers in 2017 will make matters worse, especially when it comes to work.
By capitulating to progressive-union pressure, and despite disingenuous claims that no broad-based taxes were imposed, Ocean Staters will once again bear increased burdens to pay for new taxes and regulations, more spending, and more union giveaways. Lawmakers chose to appease, rather than resist, the progressives’ job-killing, big-spending agenda.
Think of the anti-human-work messaging this progressive policy-creep sends:
By increasing minimum wage mandates, as evidenced in Seattle, fewer jobs, fewer hours, and lower overall wages will result for low-income families … many of them to be replaced by robots or other automation
By forcing employers to pay for costly paid-time-off, employees are incentivized to arbitrarily not show up for work for almost any reason they concoct, driving up business costs and driving down productivity
By providing free college tuition, the work and dedication it once took to get through and to support a higher education – as well as the diploma itself – are devalued
By dramatically expanding tax-free disability-pension-for-life rules, government workers are further incentivized to quit work early, leaving residents local and state taxpayers with the burden of paying for non-productive retirees
By raising commercial electricity rates via increased renewable energy mandates, more businesses will cut back on jobs and hours, may move out of state, or may shut their doors and lay-off their employees
By increasing residential energy prices and by imposing over $32 million in new internet taxes, plus increased cigarette taxes and vehicle registration fees, money taken directly out of our pockets, there is a lower incentive to work for a paycheck and instead rely on a welfare check
By continuing to hand-out corporate-welfare candy to a few insider companies, rather than improving the business climate for all companies, the competitive marketplace is unfairly disrupted, resulting in even more businesses choosing not to invest in Rhode Island ventures
Another progressive-inspired bill would end our state’s employment at will doctrine – a longstanding provision that protects employers when they make everyday employment decisions. Passing such a bill would mean businesses could be sued almost anytime they chose to terminate anyone’s employment
All combined, the progressive agenda is an assault on the human workplace. Indeed, Rhode Island is engaged in a battle of visions. The progressive vision is transforming our Ocean State – before our very eyes – into an anti-human-work hell; where businesses face onerous regulatory and financial burdens; where worker attendance and productivity are compromised or replaced by automation; and where Rhode Island becomes a less attractive place for employers.
Contrast this regressive progressive vision with a positive, merit-based, market-friendly and pro-family vision of success and achievement; where more Rhode Islanders realize a better quality of life, because more and better businesses are free to create more and better jobs so that more of our people can engage in meaningful, soul-fulfilling work.
The folly of this whole session is the spin by misguided political leaders who claim success. Unless one believes that advancing anti-work, progressive values is a good thing, the 2017 legislative session, with its proposed 2018 budget, should not be fully enacted. Therefore, the Speaker and the Senate President are encouraged to #JustStayHome this summer and fall and officially close this destructive legislative session … so they do not inflict more damage on our state’s workforce.