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SCHWARZWALDER: Workers don’t need Labor
Question of the Day
The Department Labor performs some important functions - for example, collating data on labor statistics and evaluating them to determine the nature and needs of the American work force, of benefit to employers, training institutions and workers. But this could be done by the private sector, by state governments - or, if we deem this role so essential, we could amend the Constitution to allow a federal bureau to do it.
In tandem with this, small business is the engine of the economy: Large corporations, from high-tech firms such as Microsoft Corp. to industrial giants such as the Boeing Co., rely on thousands of small contracting firms. Data from the Small Business Administration shows that small companies created up to 80 percent of the new jobs in the past decade. Big Labor - the notion that hard-working men and wo- men need to clumsy arm of unionization draped over their shoulders - is increasingly irrelevant simply by virtue of the nature of small-business employment.
Finally, consider the long legacy of corruption in the unions that now have such great influence in the Labor Department. As documented in the Weekly Standard, current Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis “was a board member of a pro-union organization, American Rights at Work, that has been lobbying Congress” on legislation that Mrs. Solis herself co-sponsored (“The Nominee Who Lobbied Herself,” Feb. 2, 2009).
T. Michael Kerr, formerly a top-level official at what arguably is the most corrupt union in the nation, the Service Employees International Union, is now a Labor assistant secretary. His former boss, the dubious Andy Stern, spent $60 million of SEIU’s money to help elect Barack Obama and boasts of visiting the White House once a week.
America’s working men and women are not well-served by an unconstitutional, inefficient, duplicative and Big Union-influenced federal mammoth. That is why Labor’s strident defenders on the left like it so much: The department fosters a spirit of labor-management tension and “nanny state” dependence at the heart of liberalism.
Unlike in my union days, I now sit in an air-conditioned office high above the streets of Washington. But I will never forget my years of manual labor or the weary satisfaction of knowing I had done my physically demanding job well. Nor will I forget my friends, all unionized and mostly Democratic, who worked so hard along with me. They, and laborers across the country, deserve better than the money pit that is the Department of Labor.
Rob Schwarzwalder, senior vice president of the Family Research Council, has been chief of staff to two members of Congress and served in the George W. Bush administration.
By Andrew P. Napolitano
Fourth Amendment says Obama is not at liberty to collect metadata
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