The push for higher minimum wages is overshadowing another rights-violating trend— a push for mandated paid sick leave. In Newark, New Jersey, councilman at large Carlos M. Gonzalez penned an op-ed pushing his proposal for "earned sick-leave legislation" in Newark.
Gonzalez wants to force employers in his city to provide this "benefit." Like all statists, Gonzalez believes his whims supersede reality and justice. "Paid sick leave is a basic workplace right," declares Gonzalez, without a shred of evidence to back up his claim.
Others did a good job of making the economic argument against this new mandate.
I rounded out the case against with the moral argument:
There is no such right. A right is not a claim to material benefits that others must be forced to provide. A right is a moral sanction of an individual's freedom of action in relation to other individuals. Rights are rooted in the factual requirements of man's nature as a rational being who must perform productive work in order to survive and thrive. Rights do not pop into existence out of the whims of politicians or anyone's needs. Rights simply guarantee that every individual is free to take the actions necessary to satisfy his own needs, by his own effort, and in voluntary association, trade, and contract with others. All people possess rights equally. The proper purpose of government is to protect rights equally and at all times.
If the employer is being legally forced to pay his employee for sick time, the employer's right to freely act on his own judgement is violated; in this case, his right to set the terms and conditions of employment for his business. There is nothing earned about "earned sick-leave" mandated by law. Paid sick time is often a powerful tool employers use to attract and keep competent dedicated workers. But sick time is only earned through voluntary agreement between employee and his employer. Anything else is a handout forcibly extracted by violating the rights of those who create and maintain jobs.
I submit that this Orwellian misnamed "earned sick-leave legislation" is fundamentally immoral. It seeks to empower some people to escape the responsibilities of life, and shift that responsibility onto the shoulders of others by law.
We'll never have a fully decent society until we all learn what rights are, and legislate law accordingly. This means getting rid of laws that force some members of society to provide unearned benefits to others. If some people are forced to provide for others, what does that make the provider, essentially? Such lawmaking is nothing less than a reincarnation of the master/slave relationship.
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