Speaking more generally, conservatives have never been as strong as they could have been when it came to defending the contract between worker and employer. In a perverse way, the finding in Roe v. Wade ensured that that weakness would continue. Those who would make the argument that abortion should be decided by state law also found, for the sake of consistency, that a Supreme Court impulse regarding workers’ hours must be discounted: Employment policy was up to the states.
This trend, however, misses the point: The relationship between employer and worker does matter. The employer who cannot set his business’s wages, or who must, whether or not he can afford it, increase wages, is an employer who is less likely to invest in his relationship with his employees. He is also less likely to hire and more likely to use a temp agency, to “nickel and dime” in the way that progressive cartoons mock. States and towns rarely supply institutions as wonderful as the Andrew Carnegie libraries. When rules intrude, the loss to personal ambition, workplace satisfaction, and civic culture is great. So great that perhaps someone will eventually figure out a way to quantify that.
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