"But if it's good policy [for the employer to treat employees a certain way], why shouldn't the government require it?"It is because, my dear Employment Law classmate (yup, it's an actual quote from class), a benevolent tyranny is still tyranny, and how and under what authority the government makes laws is at least as important as the substance of the laws themselves.
It's because if the government makes a bad employment policy decision, we all suffer. But if one company makes a bad policy decision, only they go out of business, keeping the door of opportunity open to smarter businessmen.
It's because even good policy administered by a middleman government bureaucrat grows more costly and less efficient.
It's because government regulations cost employers money, which is then passed on to the consumer through the increased cost of the goods and services, sparking inflation. It decreases the number of employees that can afford to be hired, making jobs less plentiful for everyone. These things are not only bad for the economy at large, but they ironically impact the poorest people the most. A job with no benefits is far better than no job at all.
It's because good policy for one employer isn't necessarily good policy for another.
It's because employers have rights too, and the employers are the ones taking all the risk if their enterprise fails. Not the employee. Certainly not the government. And despite the socialist propaganda filling our casebook, even the Big Bad Corporations are not evil oppressors, nor do they have unlimited funds to hand out to the people they hire.
It's because when companies maximize profits, everyone benefits. Government revenue goes up without increasing taxes, companies can hire more people, and charities benefit.
It's because if government has the power to tell an employer he can't fire someone but for previously delineated reasons, the government has the power to tell an employee she can't quit but for previously delineated reasons. And if the later is slavery and an undermining of any concept of freedom of contract, than the former surely is as well.
It's because we have over a century of the history of World Socialism to show us the futility of state-micromanaged economies.
In essence, my erstwhile classmate is demanding that George W. Bush run every business in the nation. I wonder if putting it in those terms would make people think twice the next time they spout, "Why, the government oughta..."
Sigh. Forgive the rant. Two days in, and already the banal and juvenile tripe that so often passes for critical thinking in law school is in full sway. It is stunning that people so professedly concerned about the government stripping away of our civil rights are so willing to demand that this same government step in and manage our pocket books, our businesses, our health care decisions, our associations, ad infinitum. That the above truisms are hardly mentioned in an employment law class shows how badly the education I and the tax payers are buying suffers when ideological diversity among a university staff is so completely lacking.
Can someone please tell me again who exactly is threatening my liberty?