In recent weeks, I have written about how governments do things to unintentionally harm the economy and destroy jobs. States like California, New York and Connecticut are examples. Under the auspices of making life better for their citizens, they are driving citizens to move elsewhere to raise a family and start businesses. New York State has had a net loss of population of over 100,000 each year for a decade. Connecticut is doing almost as bad. Many new Virginians have come from those high regulation states. Likewise, Texas, North Carolina and Florida have grown from those escaping the laws and taxes in states that think they know better for families and individuals than the citizens themselves.
Currently, the Virginia Senate and House of Delegates have been fighting to prevent some legislators who would create a new New York right here in Virginia. Here is a list of legislation that was offered in the General Assembly this year alone. Some of the bills may have merit, but with them come the loss of existing jobs, or, more likely, cases of job creators not considering Virginia a place to have a business that hires your friends and family
They proposed to eliminate our “Right to Work Law.”
Employees would be forced to join – and fund – unions as a condition of employment.
New restrictions on employment would include productivity-reducing work rules.
Incorporating rules to limit employee cross-training and merit-based promotions by requiring employees to only do the job they were hired to do rather than jump in and help in another area. Likewise, if an employee is doing well, their pay would be in lockstep with others with fewer incentives to better themselves.
They proposed hikes in minimum wage by government mandate rather than value to the business. While this sounds good for those at lower pay levels, it would require businesses not hire or layoff employees that are a drain on the business. As well, some proposed to create a hodge-podge of regulations by localities to create their own minimum wage.
They offered legislation that would dictate how businesses operate with no consideration of the well-being of that business.
Requiring paid sick and parental leave.
Requiring 40 percent of corporate boards be selected by employees even when they have no investment in the business.
Require businesses to take into consideration all stakeholders, not just shareholders.
They proposed higher taxes, particularly at the local level.
They wanted to roll back Republican tax cuts and increase the corporate tax rate.
Just this year, in 2019, Republicans passed a comprehensive tax package for individuals and corporate tax cuts.
Democrats proposed a $1.2 billion tax hike to pay for $2 billion in new spending.
Likewise, they sought to offer tax credits for individuals not paying taxes.
In 2019, Governor Northam proposed giving thousands of dollars in taxpayer funds to individuals not paying taxes.
They want to end use of coal, natural gas, and nuclear power prior to finding affordable replacement power sources that heat and cool our homes. This would drive up the cost of energy exponentially.
All sorts of bills were offered to increase regulation.
Republican initiatives in the General Assembly have restricted and minimized state government regulation despite Democratic administrations.
Increase regulation from localities as Democratic General Assembly send more power to localities.
They have proposed one-size fits all government-run health care.
Calling for elimination of private health insurance. Ideas such as this will reduce competition and dramatically increase the cost of health care, increase wait times, require government approval for procedures, and rationing of care.
They offered legislative ideas to undermine our voting regulations by ballooning the voter rolls with non-citizens and prisoners, and allowing felons to vote before completing the terms of their sentence.
Putting all these ideas together will undermine the entrepreneur spirit that has made Virginia and the United States the best place to live and do business. Every time we make it easier to rely on government for our needs rather than ourselves, we change who we are as a society.
Frank Ruff Jr. represents Lunenburg in the state Senate. His email address is Sen. Ruff@verizon.net.