Stephen Moore: Paid Sick Leave Is Going To Turn New York City Into Detroit

up

The talking heads on Fox continue with their attacks on New York City's newly elected mayor, Bill de Blasio.From this Friday's Your World with Neil Cavuto, Cavuto and his guest, the WSJ's resident hack, Stephen Moore, took to trashing the mayor for his push to give nearly every worker paid sick days, calling it "very dangerous."

Except of course, it's not: Despite Big Business’ Warnings, There’s No Evidence That Mandated Sick Leave Causes Job Loss:

Requiring that businesses provide employees decent amounts of sick leave doesn’t cost jobs, according to research by the consumer advocate group Public Citizen. The researchers studied three examples of sick leave policies — the San Francisco paid sick leave ordinance (which requires general paid sick leave), the wider California Paid Family and Medical Leave (which requires paid time to take care of children or sick family members), and federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA, which mandated job-protected, but unpaid sick leave).

In each case, Republicans and industry advocates like the Chamber of Commerce warned that sick leave would kill jobs. In each case, the evidence after the fact proved them wrong.

Take the San Francisco law, both the most progressive of the three laws (in that it mandated paid sick leave for a wide set of reasons) and the clearest case of success. Here’s what Public Citizen found: [,,,]

The reason for the gap between industry predictions and reality, as Public Citizen notes, is clear: “Productivity, and thus profitability, suffers when workers are forced to come to work when they are sick. One study on the impact of illness on productivity estimates that businesses lose twice as much money to workers who show up at work while sick then when workers stay home due to an illness.”

As Media Matters has documented, this is just part of a larger pattern over at Fox to misinform their viewers on the issue: Ill-Informed: Fox Pundits Mislead On Beneficial Paid Sick Days Laws.

These two have their script and they're sticking to it. I wonder how the two of them would like being served lunch or dinner by someone who came into work because they couldn't afford to stay home when they had the flu?


↓ Story continues below ↓

CAVUTO: Forget just New York City, is this enough to make small businesses to start getting nervous in every city. New York mayor Bill de Blasio announcing big changes to the city's paid sick leave law – at least his goal is to do that.

He wants to revise it so that businesses with as few as five workers now have to give workers at least five sick days. As it stands now, the minimum is twenty workers, so a lot more could be caught under this change. And other cities could follow suit and that's the big concern.

Why Steve Moore says it is not up to government to make these decisions anyway. But Steve, the mayor's going full steam ahead.

MOORE: He sure is and these policies may sound familiar. They're very much like what happens in Europe where they basically treat businesses like they're social welfare agencies. If somebody gets sick, you know, we feel bad about it. If they get injured, we feel bad about it, but the question is Neil, should the burden of paying for that be on the backs of small businesses?

I calculated this one change would cost small businesses in the city of New York about $50 million and small businesses don't have that kind of money.

CAVUTO: Alright, now, the argument for it is that you get more bang for the buck in terms of employee morale and it improves the good sense of payback for the boss and bosses being understanding and blah, blah, blah. What do you think of that?

MOORE: Well, a couple of things. I mean, first of all, I would say that a lot of these businesses really can't support the cost. They're operating on small margins. They're sick of being treated like ATM machines and some businesses will move out of the city. They'll move somewhere else that is more businesses friendly.

Others may just go out of businesses, not just because of this Neil. I mean, this is a new administration that's taking over that is hostile to business. They want to raise tax rates. They want to raise the regulatory costs of these businesses. And I would say this Neil. You know this. New York City is famous and rich because it is the financial capitol of the world and when you look at all of these new regulations, all of these taxes on capital, you wonder how long New York City can keep that status.

CAVUTO: I'm wondering too whether the mayor knows this might be a losing fight as it would be to try to raise taxes on the wealthiest of the city, because that's something he'd need approval from Albany, the capitol and a state mandate there. But he doesn't care that he would be sending a message “I am going to go after businesses I think are not doing enough.”

MOORE: I think that's right and you know, what's interesting about this is that if you look at other cities and other places where Democrats rule, a lot of these politicians are looking at de Blasio in New York and saying hmm, maybe we'll want to do this here, or in Philadelphia, or Pittsburg or Chicago. So this is the tip of an iceberg.

I think it's very dangerous for cities. If you want to know the end game of where this all goes when you treat businesses like they're cash machines and when you pour new regulations and new taxes on them, the end game here is Detroit where businesses leave and they become like wastelands. Look, New York is not that, but I think it's moving in that direction.

Comments

We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service (revised 3/17/2016) for information on our posting policy.