Tuesday, June 9, 2015

It's Not Like Workers Are Human Beings

Just as progressive advancements for federal workers - the new $10.10 minimum wage, for example - tend to expand through the economy, so do regressive, feudal attacks on workers' rights.

No, gutting the only thing that allows injured workers to keep feeding their children is not the act of a Socialist.

The idea that working people are a bunch of lazy slackers who really want to get out of work is a right-wing myth that goes back to the first proposals for workers compensation. Companies have always concern trolled the American working class by wondering what generous benefits like making a percentage of your former wage when your arm is cut off by a machine would do to the national work ethic. I expect such lies from Republicans and corporations, but it’s quite disconcerting to see the Obama administration accept some of these arguments.

There is only one appropriate figure for workers compensation benefits and that’s 100 percent of the workers’ former wages until that worker is cleared by a doctor to return. The idea of workers trying to game the system and stay at home insults them because it completely ignores that people take pride in work and for the most part don’t want to live on government benefits. Yes, some people would try to stay at home, but the large majority would want to return to work. Only with a 100 percent benefit do employers have the necessary incentive to make work safe. The reason the focus is on slacking workers instead of lazy employers is power–companies and the government has it, workers don’t. But there’s no evidence that workers are more likely to abuse the system than employers.
The Obama administration needs to reverse this position immediately.

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