March 31, 2011
Seattle City Councilmember Tim Burgess is sponsoring legislation to make "wage theft" a crime.
Of course cheating someone out of earned wages is wrong and should incur serious consequences, which it already does. The proposal is to add criminal penalties.
The primary motivation here seems to be making a show of helping illegal immigrants, while not holding them accountable for their own violations.
Ironically, this measure could have the unintended consequence of helping to reduce illegal immigration. One of the attractions of illegal immigrant labor is its greater willingness to work outside the constraints of labor laws. As the regulatory gap between illegal immigrant and other labor narrows in practice, there will be fewer jobs available to illegals and consequently less of an incentive to relocate here illegally.
Burgess was a conservative Republican before reinventing himself as a left-wing Democrat to run for Council. Even if inadvertently, he might be advancing conservative policies at City Hall after all.
Posted by Stefan Sharkansky at March 31, 2011
09:30 PM | Email This
1. I keep getting large portions of my paycheck stolen from me. Unfortunately it is the politicians from both parties that not only allow it but support it.
2. The primary motivation here seems to be making a show of helping illegal immigrants, while not holding them accountable for their own violations.
The primary motivation is to prevent theft from our most vulnerable workers:
Now, many workers, in such industries as construction and janitorial, are staying on the job without pay for weeks or even months, hoping things will get better. In the end, when they do quit -- or are fired -- many are unable to get the pay employers owe them.
Even severely twisted logic can't hide the basic point:
As the regulatory gap between illegal immigrant and other labor narrows in practice, there will be fewer jobs available to illegals and consequently less of an incentive to relocate here illegally.
Which is a convoluted way of saying, if we make exploitation and theft harder for dishonest employers, such employers will have less of an incentive to seek vulnerable employees.
Who here amongst us is supposed to hate capitalism, again? Because admitting that laws are needed to protect workers sounds pretty left-wing to me.
Stefan, if one wished to stop illegal immigration based on cheap availability of jobs, such as in Arizona, surely the swiftest way to do so would be extreme criminal penalty and enforcement on the employer, by the same token?
If you made it, say, a felony to aide illegal employment, what sane person would hire someone undocumented if they risked a felony rap?
4. Hey Joe the State of Washington regularly hires and supports illegal aliens with Taxpayer Funds, what should happen to Gregoire and Comapany?
Leftists are just one continual stream of unintended consequences and unfortunately that's not an April Fool's joke.
For example the new $2 billion bailout discovered in Obamacare. Easter Eggs of hypocrisy and deficit. That's what is in store when you support the left.
6. Well, no problem: we can fix the entire city wide illegal alien problem by disqualifying illegals from this protection, inviting employers to rip them off the same way they rip us off by being here.