Monday, December 07, 2009

My Guess is None

It wasn't too many years ago when Republicans adopted the "me too" attitude and supported minimum wage hikes. These hikes flew in the face of sound economics and were guaranteed to help raise the unemployment rates of teenagers and other entry level employment seekers while at the same time making Michigan's labor force more costly than competing labor forces of surrounding states.

But, minimum wage hikes had already won the debate in the main stream media, so these self-loathing Republicans decided it was easier to adopt a poor and damaging policy rather than fight the debate on its merits. I am not dumb enough to say that Michigan's economic doldrums are entirely the fault of a minimum wage hike, but it would be dumb to say that this hike has had nothing to do with Michigan's astronomical unemployment rate overall, and on Michigan's higher than astronomical unemployment rate among teens.

Still, Republicans got what they wanted, the winning side of a losing policy that helped smudge the founding purpose of a common sense party. Principle was allowed to lapse for the purpose of embracing a populist position.

Well, now they are at it again, this time in support of a smoking ban that will firmly plant the state government's huge nose in a private area where it does not belong; into the realm of individuals who wish to allow patrons to smoke within their own private businesses, and into the personal lives of people who wish to visit businesses in which they are allowed to smoke.

A Senate Republican leader says he believes he has the votes to pass a workplace smoking ban with exceptions for the Detroit casinos, cigar bars and tobacco specialty shops.

Senate Appropriations Chairman Ron Jelinek, R-Three Oaks, said the Senate is scheduled to take up the smoking prohibition measure this week, and he will propose an amendment that allows smoking on the floor of the three city gaming halls and in smoking specialty shops.

"Yes, I think we can get the votes," Jelinek said on Detroit talk radio, adding he's been told the legislation will be acceptable to the House.

House Speaker Andy Dillon, D-Redford Township, told The Detroit News on Friday that approving the smoking ban bill is one of top three items on his agenda before the Legislature adjourns Dec. 17 for its holiday recess.
Ron Jelinek probably means well as he tosses individual rights into a pit, but the platform on which he is standing is one that would get his butt kicked if he had the misfortune of facing one of the Founding Fathers down on Main Street.

But what else should we expect? People these days are very quick to support measures that impact the lives of others. We want others people to pay more of their wages in taxes. We want them to help educate our kids and to fix potholes. We want them to stop using incandescent light bulbs and to buy high efficiency windows. We want them to get better gas mileage, travel at the posted limit, to wear seat belts, and if we drive off a cliff in a speeding gas guzzler without our seat belt on, we want them to pay for the hospital bill too.

If Republicans can no longer be trusted to stand correctly on issues of individual liberty, what issues can they be trusted to stand on? My guess is none.


Hershblogger said...

Rep. Jelinek is no friend of business or consumers.

The possibility that he means well is buried in the consequences he advocates ... and does not comprehend.

The Rougman said...

And today we are blessed by a Freep editorial that implores the Michigan legislature pass anti-smoking legislation to "End Michigan's Shame."

That would be the shame of liberty I suppose.