Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Why Blue States Lose Businesses

Typical of Democrats; absolutely no clue about elementary economics:

OLYMPIA — Democrats in the state Legislature say they have their best chance in years to give Washington employees up to five weeks of paid family medical leave — and a guarantee that they would still have a job when they return.

The proposed benefit, which would be one of the most generous in the country, has roiled the state's business groups, who say it would drive up costs and weaken Washington's recovering economy.

But supporters say the bills would help thousands of workers who are forced to choose between losing their job or staying home to take care of a newborn baby or ailing parent.

"People who are making beds at the hotels, serving dinner ... are living on the edge," said Sen. Karen Keiser, D-Des Moines and the bill's prime sponsor in the state Senate. "They have no sick leave, they have no vacation leave."

Employees could use the leave to care for a newborn baby or to bond with a newly adopted child or a new foster child. They could also use it to care for an ailing family member or for personal sick leave.

Or, just loll around watching soap operas, go hunting, play golf, or do a thousand other things that are more pleasant than working. Some other bright ideas Washington state has instituted (with predictable results):

If passed, the legislation would further Washington's reputation as a labor-friendly state. The state has the highest minimum wage in the nation, $7.35 an hour with an annual inflation adjustment, and among the highest unemployment benefits, a maximum of $496 a week.

So, unless the courts overturn Democrat Christine Gregoire's 'victory' in the third count of the state's gubernatorial ballots, there will be one more reason for not hiring new employees, nor retaining marginal old ones.

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