Nationalizing Private Enterprise

OK, State-ifying private enterprise, for now, if this proposal goes through. Some California Progressive-Democratic Party legislators are setting up legislation that would have California pay unemployment benefits to strikers. The move also would put businesses and workers, both, at some risk from Government control, but never mind that.

A group of California Democrats are expected to propose handing out unemployment benefits to striking workers.
Language expected to be released in the coming days or weeks to provide striking workers with benefits from California’s unemployment insurance program that is $18 billion in debt. The move comes amid historic strikes by both screenwriters and actors, forcing many movies and TV shows to halt production.

This move would lessen the incentive for workers and their unions to build up strike funds. Uncle Sugar—or for now Daddy Gavin—will pick up increasing portions of the strike tab.

But this move is more dangerous than that in the longer term. This is an active assault on the free enterprise system that’s at the center of our economy, whether that’s the intention of this move or not.

Workers pay each other during strikes. That’s what a significant fraction of their union dues are for: setting up a strike fund so while workers are on strike, and so not being paid by their employer, still have money coming in to cover their critical expenses. The bigger the strike fund, the longer the strike can last, and the more the business(es) being struck can be damaged. It’s hard to find a bigger strike fund than Government’s control of its citizens’ tax remittals, which under this proposal would supplant union dues.

This move, if realized, would lead to Government saying to any business, individually or collectively, “Nice business you got there. Be too bad if your employees didn’t come to work for a while.”

This move also would put the labor force at risk of government control. With strike funding coming from Government under the guise of unemployment benefits, Government would be in a position to reward workers for not working striking, when Government wants to use them to pressure a Government-disfavored business. On the other hand, Government would be in a position to punish withhold benefits from workers who don’t strike this time from those who do strike on their own initiative at a later time, or who strike without Government’s prior permission.

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