Last Tuesday, a meeting of the Miami-Dade County commission rejected the Earned Sick Time legislation on its first reading. The legislation, developed on November 19th by commissioner Barbara Jordan, was aimed at forcing employers to pay their employees even when they are sick and aren’t able to work. The media expected this law to pass easily because of South Florida’s traditional attachment to liberal reforms, but it failed, with 8 commissioners voting against and 4 in favor.
Jordan has announced that she was interested in introducing the legislation once more in the near future, saying, “We just need to educate the community a little bit better.” True, the community needs to be educated on many things a little more, but education has nothing to do with the rejection of the Earned Sick Time law. It is about logic and reason.
It is easy for government officials such as Commissioner Jordan to talk about forcing businesses to spend money on unproductive things, especially since she has never had to run a business in her life. Businesses are struggling across the country due to inflation, punitive taxation, and excessive regulations. The loss of customers and wealth is already bad enough for the County to tell the private market how to deal with employees.
Small businesses are most likely the main ones to be hurt with such a legislation, had it passed. Small enterprises depend heavily on the productive capacity of each employee and very often do not earn enough profits to spend on employees that aren’t showing up to work. Pressing business owners to waste profits in paying unproductive workers can only hurt them.
According to Jordan, such a law would actually decrease unemployment and stimulate the economy. But this claim is nothing more than a Keynesian pretense, by which the economy grows only thanks to increased spending. In the real world, economic growth is created thanks to wealth-creation and savings, lowering real interest rates without risking inflation. The Jordan bill would have further wasted away profits unto unproductive targets and hurt the wealth creation process of the market economy.
Now, it is clear that workers might favor in the labor market employers that offer vacation pay and sick time pay. But only certain businesses might actually afford such spending and not all small restaurants, especially not in such times.
This is logical deduction. Apparently, Miami-Dade County achieves a few good things once in a while and this instance is one of those achievements. Refusing to pass the Earned Sick Time law boosts trust for our county government a little up. After all, it might just be Barbara Jordan who needs to be educated “a little bit better.”