A Capital Strike

Here is an argument for not doing business with the Federal government at all. It’s rapidly becoming not worth the cost—in hassle, in dollars, in business’ ability to control over their own operations. This is another of President Barack Obama’s barrage of Executive Orders, and this is how The Wall Street Journal described it over the weekend:

Under the order signed last week, contractors and subcontractors who receive more than $500,000 in federal money will be obliged to report to government agencies any labor-law violations going back three years. The order covers violations of everything from family and medical leave to federal wage and hour laws in the three years before applying for a contract.


When unions are in a collective bargaining fight with a company, they typically file complaints with the likes of OSHA, the National Labor Relations Board and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Under the new executive order, the government will have the ability to revoke the contracts of those with violations. That’s punishment above and beyond any remedies meted out by the NLRB.

That would be another finger on the scales to force settlements on terms favorable to the President’s political allies. If you’re a government contractor, any time a union files an unfair labor practices charge, the pressure to settle becomes overwhelming. Choose to fight and you face not only the civil penalties of violating a law but the risk of having your federal contracts revoked or suspended.


[T]he executive order includes a transparency provision that requires contractors to provide their employees with information about pay, overtime pay, and deductions as a condition of receiving a federal contract. The plaintiffs bar has complained that inadequate record-keeping is a stumbling block to their litigation. Now, via the Obama pen, they’ll have more data to feed lawsuits over the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Who needs this nonsense, this continued attack on private enterprise? Maybe it’s time for private enterprise to go back to being private and stop being dependent on government contracts. Maybe it’s time for private enterprise to stop doing business with the Federal government.

After all, this EO applies only to government contractors and subcontractors. So far.

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