Mandatory coffee and Dunkin’ Donuts in the private sector

A Democratic Congressman in Florida wants to force employers to pay for vacations!

Having just concluded our three week east cost trip in Central Florida we stopped at a Dunkin’ Donut shop to pick up some of those high calorie, but great tasting, doughnuts before our flight back to LAX. We made that selection for two reasons. First. There are no Dunkin’ Donut shops in CA. Second. An editorial that I found in the Orlando Sentinel last week entitled “Reason takes a holiday.”

Every elected official should be commended for looking out for his or her district. In this case we read that tourism in Orlando was in the toilet. Having flown to Orlando many time in the past decade I could not believe that we did not have to stand in any long lines as we went through the TSA checkpoint before boarding our flight home.

Let me address the suggestion of “first term House Democrat Alan Grayson of Orlando” who is proposing legislation that would compel every employer “provide paid vacations for their employees.” Note: The Sentinel confirms that “three-quarters of all U. S. workers already get paid vacations.”

“Mr Grayson’s office said his proposal would ‘help rejuvenate the American economy’ by improving productivity and generating more business for U.S. travel and tourism industries once everyone has so much free time on their hands.”

Let us think about his proposal. As stated above I read that Orlando’s tourism has dropped substantially due to the recession and, Representative Grayson represents Orlando. So he proposes some self serving legislation that if passed would impact every other state in the nation. The editorial goes on to state that “In making the case for his proposal, Mr. Grayson’s office linked the lack of paid vacation law in the United states to higher anxiety and depression, lower life expectancy–even a falling dollar. “We’re still wondering why tooth decay and high humidity weren’t included.”

His office has”pointed out that the United States in the only industrialized country without a minimum annual -leave statute. The Sentinel responds by stating that “You might find that a convincing argument if you believe America should take its economic policy cues from Europe and Asia–including communist China, one of the countries cited by the congressman for his mandatory paid vacations.”

Representative Grayson doesn’t understand the free enterprise system.

In the early 80’s, prior to their outsourcing to Asia, our corporation conducted business with several major electronic firms in Silicon Valley. We witnessed as these firms would hire and train technical staff only to lose them to competitors in Sunnyvale, Santa Clara and San Jose, CA who offered better wage and benefit packages including gymnasiums for their employees to use on their lunch hours. Some would host Friday afternoon “happy hours” just to keep their employees from jumping ship.

My  point is that the “free market,” and not any state or federal mandate, should establish what fringe benefits employers provide for their employees with full knowledge that any “benefits” comes at a cost that must be passed onto the  consumer.

The Sentinel states “What’s next? Requiring companies to provide coffee and doughnuts? ..We’re all for regulations that address basic health and safety for workers and guarantee them a minimum wage. But government would be meddling way to deep by dictating employers’ vacation policies.”

Juice readers. Where do we draw the line with government meddling in the private sector?

As I try to catch up with the news I recall commentary that the government will establish pay scales for firms accepting TARP funds.

Questions. Did the TARP recipients have that knowledge prior to accepting said funds?

Should big brother micromanage these struggling private sector firms?


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