Bad ideas take a person only so far.
Proponents of a widely destructive policy may be loath to relinquish it altogether when destructive consequences loom. Yet they may also loathe to see it applied consistently — because of the pain it’ll cause their particular gang.
Harm to others inflicted by lousy ideas? Fine!
Harm to yourself? Not fine!
Hence the semi-reversal by Los Angeles union officials of their demand for a minimum wage of $15 an hour, recently approved by LA’s city council. Union leaders have been among the most ardent proponents of the new minimum, which until now they’ve insisted must be imposed equally, no exemptions for special hardship.
But now union reps like Rusty Hicks want exemptions for unionized companies so that unions are free to negotiate an agreement that, as Hicks puts it, “allows each party to prioritize what is important to them.” Wow! Sounds like he might favor free markets, in which parties to a trade participate, voluntarily, only when priorities are aligned and each expects to gain.
Many motives for Hicks’s contradictory stance are plausible. One is that the requested exception would encourage companies to unionize to escape burdensome new costs. Accept one burden to escape a worse one.
Instead of letting unions cripple all workplaces but their own, let’s “allow each party to prioritize what is important to them” across the board, by letting employers and employees negotiate without any political interference whatever.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.