As I told you a few weeks ago, "income inequality" is going to be the catchphrase of 2014. Democrats--unable to run on public support for the Affordable Care Act or an improved economy--are going to pound the message that it is blatantly unfair that some people make more than others. And yet, the first opportunity to allow people here in Wisconsin to make more money has Democrats screaming bloody murder.
I'm talking about a bill that would repeal the state's current restriction on working more than six consecutive days. Under the current law, if someone working in manufacturing or retail who needs the money wants to work seven days in a row their employer is strictly prohibited from allowing them to earn it. That's right, the State says even if you want to work (or need to work) you must sit home on that seventh day "for your own good". How that is supposed to help the poor and even the middle-class to to bridge the "income gap" defies logic.
Of course, many Wisconsinites do get around the six-day work limit by simply working two--and even three jobs. It's the "old-fashioned, non-progressive" way of improving one's economic situation. But if the same person supplementing their income with a part-time gig was able to commit as many days as they wanted to their primary job they would likely get even farther ahead. While Democrats claim that employers will "force" people to work an eternal number of days in a row, overtime laws will still apply. For those already working 40-hours a week, that extra day or two in a row would be on time-and-a-half--likely a higher pay rate than what they were going to make at a part-time position. And if the position in question is just part-time, employers would still be forced to keep it under 29-and-a-half hours on average per week to avoid a "full time employment" designation under the new Affordable Care Act.
When Democrats talk about addressing "income inequality" they don't mean giving people opportunities to earn their way closer to the top. They want to just waive their legislative wands and make putting fries into a cardboard container worth $3 an hour more than it was yesterday--even if it requires no more skill and there is no more demand for that "talent" than there was last week. Or they want to make not working more lucrative--by "redistributing" the wealth gained by those who have been working.
Oh and by the way, there are about 10,000 Wisconsin farmers on the line wondering where they can sign up for that "only work six days in a row" deal.