Paid sick leave is a smart idea. It is smart because it encourages sick people to stay home when they are sick. That does two things – it speeds recovery and it reduces the spread of infectious diseases. So if it is smart for the broader interests of modern industrial capitalism, we should see those motivated by capitalism supporting it…
Meanwhile in reality: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/feb/11/paid-sick-leave-koch-brothers-nfib
A group called the National Federation of Independent Business, funded by the pseudo-libertarian Kock brothers has been campaigning against local laws for paid sick leave. The campaign follows an NRA-style model of demanding vaguely for ‘reasonable’ laws whilst attacking any positive proposals using generic arguments without regard to the specifics of the proposal.
Compared with the scale of other issues in the USA right now or internationally, this may seem a relatively minor fight. However, consider it in terms of what kinds of political consensus there can be. Paid sick leave, depending on the actual scheme, is probably of net economic benefit under modern capitalism. The gains may be vague for a specific business but the potential benefits are not difficult to work out in terms of improved productivity. The opposition arises because of something deeper than ideology. Instead, it is a deep-seated fear that somebody, somewhere who is ‘undeserving’ might get something for nothing.
So much of modern rightwing thought can be traced back to this pathology – a deep-seated fear that somehow ‘lesser’ people are taking the ‘deserving’ people for a ride. ‘Lesser’ need not be defined in terms of race, or social class or ethnicity or nationality or gender or disability but each of those plays a role. As an idea, it is poison – undermining simple schemes to alleviate poverty and disadvantage by requiring less efficient and more costly baroque approaches designed to combat possible ‘fraud’ i.e. to make it as hard as possible for those in need to get something that will help them.