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Trust Republicans to Sabotage A Safe Return to Work
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“In the absence of clinical therapies or a vaccine for coronavirus, the successful return to work rests, very plainly, on the willingness of the citizenry to cover up, keep clean and keep a distance.” (“The Ethics of Social Distancing: A Libertarian Perspective.”)

If businesses want customers to resume consumption and workers to stay safe and productive on the job—they must, within reason, provide a safe working and shopping environment.

The market incentivizes business to protect customers and employees and thus to also reduce the spread of COVID. If business acts recklessly, customers will stay away. And if companies place workers in a precarious position, then the worker who gets sick on the job generally has recourse through litigation.

The free-market and the law—more so than government regulation—provide corrective mechanisms to ensure workers and customers are safe. Government regulations are generally agreements between industrial special interests and the state. Duly, they mostly benefit those interests alone.

By removing the incentives aforementioned, so necessary in a society based on ordered liberty, the government sabotages a safe return to work, as it fails to allow corrective mechanisms to work.

Trust the Republicans, then, to strive to remove the incentives for business to fit the workplace for success in the age of coronavirus.

To hell with the desperate young worker, who toils in a crowded, unclean, meatpacking facility, currently a “serious vector for the pandemic.”

Or, the flight attendant who was told by the airline she’d be fired if she wore a mask. If they get sick on the job because their employers refused to set up and suit up for COVID—the worker will have no recourse, courtesy of the Republicans’ liability protection guarantees.

With half of all U.S. states forging ahead with strategies for easing restrictions on restaurants, retail and other businesses shuttered by the coronavirus crisis, business groups have been pushing for protection against COVID-19-related lawsuits …The Trump administration is also pushing for liability safeguards … [Reuters]

The Hill:

GOP lawmakers have warned that without additional protections they believe business owners will be too fearful of litigation to reopen.

McConnell, during an interview with Fox News on Tuesday, called the extra protections his “red line.”

“Let me make it perfectly clear, the Senate is not interested in passing a bill that does not have liability protection. … What I’m saying is we have a red line on liability. It won’t pass the Senate without it,” he added.

Stripped of baffle-gab, this means that Republicans wish to shield business from the consequences of reckless disregards for the safety of shoppers and workers. For the courts will examine cases on their merit, and throw them out if they are frivolous.

Fail to allow corrective mechanisms like litigation to work—and you’ll increase illness, death and poverty and spread more devastation.

• Category: Economics, Ideology • Tags: Coronavirus, Lawsuit, Republican Party 
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  1. Quebecer says:

    I totally agree with this. Devastation is not too strong a word.

    Restarting the economy is a must, but so is doing it in a responsible way. Covid-19 is a reality, ignoring it will carry a steep price.
    Meat-packing plants are tinder-boxes yet are critical elements in our food chain.
    I see storms gathering in the distance.
    You thought a run on toilet was bad ?
    Just wait..

  2. When you read anybody criticizing the science, just remember there is a real and obvious conspiracy, in that there are trillions of dollars sloshing around out there wanting an immediate world-wide opening of the economy. By some wild coincidence, all of the conspiracy theorists suddenly have lots of reasons to go along with the trillions. Imagine that!

    • Replies: @The Alarmist
    , @Hibernian
  3. Realist says:

    Chicken Little lives!

    • Agree: By-tor
  4. @obwandiyag

    When you read anybody criticizing the science, just remember there is a real and obvious conspiracy, in that there are trillions of dollars sloshing around out there wanting an immediate world-wide opening of the economy.

    It’s not like scientists and researchers might hype their pet cause or disease to sluice boatloads of grant money in their direction.

    • Replies: @obwandiyag
  5. For the courts will examine cases on their merit, and throw them out if they are frivolous.

    Yeah that makes total sense. Trial lawyers have not ruined our society enough yet.’s_Restaurants

    Although a New Mexico civil jury awarded $2.86 million to plaintiff Stella Liebeck, a 79-year-old woman who suffered third-degree burns in her pelvic region when she accidentally spilled hot coffee in her lap after purchasing it from a McDonald’s restaurant, ultimately Liebeck was only awarded $640,000.

    Also total sense: If you catch a cold, sue the owner of the place where you think you caught the cold, because it was apparently his responsibility to ensure immortality on the premises.

    • Replies: @anon
  6. eD says:

    Lars Porsena put it better than me.

    As a thought experiment, lets say this was an actual plague or bio-warfare attack. And lets say the appropriate response was closing businesses, instead of closing borders and shutting down travel, for whatever reason. The way to reopen a business would be a certification from the health department that the business could safely reopen, and that certification would be sufficient. If someone still got the plague, they could sue the health department, not the business owner who reopened in good faith on the advice of the health department. No sane business owner would reopen otherwise, and face lawsuits from any nut who thought he or she got sick at the business, among lots of other possible locations.

    This being a media hyped illness might change things, but if you want businesses to reopen they still would need liability protection.

  7. jsinton says:

    Business don’t want to reopen because they’re afraid of being sued by employees and customers. Not because they really care about your health particularly. But how many virus deaths is enough to justify imploding the world economy and the millions, perhaps billions of people that will kill? The horse is out of the barn now, and we’re going into Soylent Green world if we’re lucky, and Mad Max world if we’re not. You needn’t worry about evil Republicans anymore since they won’t exist anyway.

    • Agree: AaronInMVD
  8. the lovely Corona-chan has exterminated

    thousands of urban Jews, pavement apes, and cosmic boomers.

    while sparing healthy, young White Nationalists.

    Ilana Issacsohn-Mercer must stop slandering Corona-chan!

  9. @eD

    The way to reopen a business would be a certification from the health department that the business could safely reopen, and that certification would be sufficient. If someone still got the plague, they could sue the health department, not the business owner who reopened in good faith on the advice of the health department.

    How is this different than the current policy?

    When the state allows these business to reopen, they’re effectively doing exactly what you suggest: the health department determines that the open business does not constitute a safety risk if they abide by other guidelines like masks and distancing. And then they officially permit them to open again, which is the same as a “certification.” If the safety guidelines actually are effective, and the business actually are following them, then corona won’t be spreading in an identifiable way at those businesses. So they won’t be sued.

    The problem is when a business ignores these guidelines. All the examples Ms. Mercer cited fall into that category, and in such a case the responsibility clearly falls on the negligent business, not the health department, which issued those guidelines assuming they would be followed.

    • Replies: @botazefa
  10. @The Alarmist

    If you think a little grant money is at-tall, in the least, even slightly comparable to 5 trillion, you need an arithmetic lesson.

    • Replies: @The Alarmist
  11. Here’s a bran-new fun fact for all you let-em-die, OK-boomer, comorbidity loser liars.

    I say let the children die. They’re just useless eaters.

    • Replies: @By-tor
  12. anon[185] • Disclaimer says:
    @Lars Porsena

    Trial lawyers have damaged our society because judges, R or D, are mostly egomaniacal thugs who use copies of the Constitution for toilet paper.

  13. Bartolo says:

    The GOP establishment is stupid and despicable.

    • Replies: @Realist
  14. @obwandiyag

    柔能く剛を制す – 柔能剛制

    In the evolving political climate in which we live, the oligarchs have figured out how to use media and science to take out the larger economy of the little people who have been nipping at their heels. Fostering a belief in the salutary effects of UBI and MMT is becoming a handy way to wean increasing numbers off the old fashioned belief in a need to work. $5 trillion is chump change in the system they are building.

  15. SteveK9 says:

    You’ve got it exactly wrong. For me, I want the ‘new normal’ to be the old normal. You know, before the World succumbed to mass hysteria over a new bug. Try watching this:

  16. Realist says:

    The GOP establishment is stupid and despicable.

    As is the DNC.

  17. Great, let’s run to the ambulance chasers.

    How about a dose of individual responsibility?

    What if he stopped allowing our fear hormones to rule us?

    What if we urged the elimination of sovereign immunity before insisting that the zone of duty be enlarged for profit-making enterprises?

  18. botazefa says:
    @Elmer's Washable School Glue

    The problem is when a business ignores these guidelines

    Well… I can foresee lawsuits regardless if the business followed the guidelines or not. It’s a shakedown. Unless you can afford aggressive attorneys to go after frivolous plaintiffs for damages, it’s the lawsuit that sinks you, not the judgement.

  19. By-tor says:

    You are a dark-skinned a useless eater welfare leech and maker of human waste ol’ Chief Pontiac. NY’s flu sub-population casualties: 96% have underlying conditions; 83% Are Unemployed; most are blacks and Lats. Comrade Cuomo feigned ‘surprise’ at the findings.

    Blacks ignore hygienic policies in the alien landscape of NYC:

  20. Hibernian says:

    There are trillions sloshing around hoping for a centalized authoritarian society, and for small business owners, gun owners, farmers, and other independent minded people, to meet their Waterloo.

  21. No there isn’t. You are a typical deluded American Nuthole.

  22. I agree with the Republicans on this.

    How much will this stupid OCD anti-germ protocols cost? If workers need to stand further apart, output will decrease per square foot. Or do they buy the neighboring land, knock out a wall, and stretch out the assembly line? $$$

    **** like this is why manufacturing moved to China. We heap burden after burden on businesses that increases costs. China doesn’t have any of this to pay for and can make it cheaper.

    Affirmitive action minority hires. $$$
    EEOC woman-American hires. $$$
    Sexual harassment classes. $$$
    LGBT quotas. $$$
    Transgender bathrooms. $$$
    Wheelchair ramps. $$$
    etc etc etc $$$

    Have employees sign a waiver (lawers $$$) “I acknowedge that this place of employment is infested with carbon units that use ambient oxygen for energy geneneration and that by inhaling this oxygen I accept all risk and liability.”

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