Thursday, August 29, 2002

Here’s a really bad idea explained in a poorly written and biased "news" article from the San Jose Mercury News. The California Assembly passed a bill that would require employers to allow employees to take six weeks of paid leave at 55% of their weekly pay. The bill must still be passed by the California Senate and signed by the governor.

When you read the article, notice how someone making $36,000 per year only has to pay $27 per year in taxes to fund this program, but someone making $65,000 per year has to pay $520 per year in taxes. You know damn well people making $65,000 per year will never use this program, meaning this is a redistribution of wealth, not a “self-funded program.”

The article mentions that the original bill would have allowed workers to take up to 12 weeks of paid time off, with the costs to be shared by both the employee and the employer. The author writes that to counter opposition, the bill “cut the paid time in half and eliminated the requirement that employers pay for the program.” If the writer had any inkling of economics, he would know there is no difference, because the employer would have passed on the cost of the “program” in lower wages and benefits.

This article was filed under the “local news” section of the San Jose Mercury News. When you read this entire “news” article, you’ll notice how biased it is. The article uses loaded words like “poised”, “offer”, “landmark”, and “forefront.” The author also uses the term “payroll deduction” instead of “tax.”

The article features a mother “who was recently confronted with the death of her father and the adoption of a newborn child at the same time.” This woman complains she and her husband were able to juggle their schedules, “but neither of us was able to spend the first six weeks or so of quality bonding time -- which is extremely important.'' This woman knew she was adopting a child, chose to adopt a child, and was able to care for her child, but she complains she didn’t get “quality bonding time.” If this had been so important to her, she would have saved enough money to take time off, which she was allowed to take off according to the Family Medical Leave Act.

The author finishes the piece with a biased picture of the United States. He writes, “[O]f the 130 countries that have some sort of program, only Ethiopia, Australia and the United States do not offer paid time off.” Yeah, and America doesn’t have 12% unemployment and a social welfare system crushing productivity and the entire economy.