Monday, September 26, 2011

A License to Be.

The "right to work" is universal. Don't let me stop you, go and work.

The right to get paid for it is between you and an employer or customer. Not universal, because it involves a contract. But still something that should only be between you and the person/people you're contracting with. In a sane world, nobody else would get a vote.

Progressives would certainly not agree with this. Elizabeth Warren, or whoever the talking head is this week, would trot out some clause in the "social contract" that puts the Benevolent Government in a position to make final decisions - and rake off huge percentages from all parties.

Conservatives don't agree with it, either. Oh, they'll say they agree with it in principle, but It's Not That Simple. That's why we need Benevolent Government, to create explain the complications. Just ask congressvermin Lamar Smith (R-TX), and he'll tell you that the sky will just fall down and break like a china plate if the federal government doesn't arrogate to itself absolute final veto power over whether you're allowed to hold a job.

Don't believe me? Check it out!
On Wednesday, September 21, the House Judiciary Committee voted along party lines to send Rep. Lamar Smith's (R-TX) Legal Workforce Act (H.R. 2885) to the House Floor. Now the rest of the House of Representatives will get a chance to debate this monstrosity.

The Legal Workforce Act, if it becomes law, will mandate universal use of a massive new workplace regulation called E-Verify, an electronic employment verification system designed to weed out undocumented workers. It would require all employers to feed the identity information of every prospective employee into a federal database that verifies the information with the Department of Homeland Security and state DMVs.

If the worker is cleared for employment, as happens 95.3% of the time, then that employment is legal. If the worker is not cleared to work and a tentative nonconfirmation (TNC) is issued, the worker and his employer then have a certain amount of time to contest the decision or identify and correct errors and inconsistencies in the worker's identification. If the worker is unsuccessful in contesting the government's decision, he is issued a final nonconfirmation (FNC) which means the worker MUST be fired.
Of course they don't mean YOU, citizen! No, it's those evil brown people, from whom you need to be protected. You don't want them taking your jobs, do you? Who'll watch out for you? Just give ol' Lamar this one little power - or never mind, he'll take it for himself - and then you can be sure that everybody in the whole country will have proven their legal status. And then everything will be all right. Government lists always work out well, you know that.

And you don't have to worry that the list of things that can get you that "Final Nonconfirmation" will grow. Or if it does, it'll only be for bad people. You know, like sex offenders. Or drug users. By the way, is your drug-free certification up to date? Or people who haven't paid their taxes. Or vehicle registrations. Or E-Verify fees. Or didn't buy Federally-approved health care vouchers. Or violated the Social Contract in some other way. Evil people. You don't have to worry, just obey the law and you'll be fine.

A license to work is a license to eat, to find shelter, to raise a family. I can't imagine anything more sinister than this "Legal Workforce Act" that doesn't involved barbed wire and gun towers. And those things are at least more honest.

May your chains rest lightly upon you.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

People interpret equal work for equal pay in regards to women, but how many people would agree that men should give up a part of THEIR salary and give it to women so that it is equal. Most people think it is the employer that should raise the wage of women unilaterally, leaving the men's wage alone.

Why should employers be in any hurry to do this? Will raising this pay cause production to go up? Probably not, people are pretty much working to their capacity right now. Will the quality of work improve? Again, probably not, the incentive to get a raise (or stay employed) is pretty high already. Would raising women's wages probably cause a reduction in hiring BOTH men and women? Maybe, I mean there is only so many pieces of the pie that can get cut.

Anonymous said...

I can't wait for the first E-Verify discrimination suit to happen.
Wait until somebody fresh off the boat calls the ACLU and screams racial inequity because Punam Singh didn't hire them to slather mustard on a roll.


Buck.

Craig Cavanaugh said...

All the more reason to be self employed. Or an "employee" of an individual rather than a company. Kinda like you and GC guy. Or me and piggy perch neighbor. Nothing there but a verbal agreement sealed with a handshake, just the way it used to be. The way it still should be. There are a few of us left, but not many...

Six said...

I have to admit, when I read this post my first reaction was "Yeah. And?" A little introspection has led me to see your point. I do believe in secure borders and guest worker program. I just don't believe open, unguarded access is a good idea. I also don't believe in social benefits for illegals nor that they should be allowed to stay if they're found. Illegal is illegal.
That's also where our efforts should be, securing both borders and enacting a sensible guest worker program.
The more I think about this bill the more I can feel the chill run down my spine at this idea. Every time (and I do mean every time) a new enforcement program is instituted it goes further than it was originally intended.
Example.
When I was a police officer in California I remember when the mandatory seatbelt law was passed. The lawmakers assured us it was a $20 fine and no points on your record and could ever (we swear!) be a primary PC for a traffic stop. Fast forward to today and the fine is running in the hundreds, it's a point count on your record and it is indeed a primary PC for a traffic stop. Exactly what they promised would never happen.
Is this the Libertarian coming out in me? I guess I need to go be fitted for a wookie suit. Do they come in XXL?