Idaho Dispatch

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Op-Ed: Our “Jungle”—some business regulation is warranted

By • July 29, 2021

Get vaccinated, or lose your job. This is the dilemma many Idahoans are facing right now. “We dare not get involved with ANY regulating of business…” That isn’t an exact quote from our Idaho governor or legislators, however, it is the sentiment. Many of our politicians are “conflicted” on what to do. Just so you know, I am not.

Capitalism is a good system that allows for prosperity in a free society. It is better than the alternatives that we have seen through history, but… it is not without dangers. Unless we recognize the potential pitfalls, like the one we now face, we will mistakenly lay our personal Liberty down at the altar of business/capitalism.

If all we take into consideration is the business owner, or the corporations, we will repeat the same horrors that we saw in this very country not all that many years ago. We must not forget the rights of the individuals that are working for those companies.

Why do we have a standard forty hour work week? Why are there overtime laws? Why can’t an employer force you to work 20 hours a day for weeks on end? It wasn’t always like this. I wonder if any of our state or local politicians have read the book The Jungle by Upton Sinclair? If they did, apparently it didn’t impact them the way it did me or the nation of that era.

Many of the laws that regulate business for the sake of the worker can be traced back to the release of The Jungle in 1906. It was recommended to me as a fifteen-year-old because I was working in a slaughterhouse at the time. It made reading about the sickening working conditions of the Chicago slaughterhouses of Sinclair’s day, all the more real. Even though the story is fictional, it gripped the nation because the workers of the day knew it was their story.

“Blacklisted”—this term originated with an employer putting a fired employee on a list that was passed around to other business owners. All agreed that they would refuse to hire anyone on the list, regardless of cause. Unchecked power in the hands of men has a dark side that must be guarded against. Blacklisting was outlawed.

I wish our governor and legislators would at least look at the history of the silver industry in our own state. During the Coeur d’Alene labor strike of 1892, working men were pushed past their limits. Miners were required to work ten hour days, SEVEN DAYS A WEEK, with the “occasional” Sunday off. So, tell me again Governor Little, how government shouldn’t get involved with regulating business?

I actually find it laughable that politicians act like businesses aren’t regulated now? And in most cases, too much for sure. What world do they live in? Maybe the governor hasn’t heard of OSHA? They have one…or two regulations, plus itsy bitsy fines when those rules are broken (please note the sarcasm). There are MANY regulations that should be done away with, but not all.

We keep hearing, “Go get another job”. Fine, but just like in the days of the mines, most of the hospitals are all forcing the same rules, UNCONSTITUTIONAL mandates on their employees, so where are the nurses supposed to go? They have been, quite literally, “blacklisted”. This comes down to personal freedom that is ‘endowed by our Creator’—our rights do not come from man.

I am running to be mayor of Lewiston. The foremost reason is because we are not being protected at the state or federal level the way we should be. The current city council with their manager and attorney have participated in trampling on our rights, by shutting us out of meetings and mandating masks and fines. The last mask mandate was narrowly defeated by one vote. With “new strains” mentioned weekly, who knows what the council will do when their fears surpass their ability to use common sense.

In just the past few weeks Dr. Fauci has said that the current administration supports ”local vaccine mandates”, and Governor Little has parroted that same line. This is why we need to protect —Liberty at the local level—. If we don’t, who will?

Employees are not slaves. What does that mean? That a person does not lose their God given liberties when they take employment. I just want to live free and see my children and grandchildren live free. I will give my all to that end. WITHOUT THE FREEDOM TO CHOOSE WHAT GOES INTO OUR VEINS, WE ARE NOT FREE.

As mayor I will insist on an ordinance that will protect employees and customers from any vaccine and worthless mask mandates. Businesses that attempt to require those would lose their licensing immediately. These are personal choices that should be left up to the individual. See more at bootsformayor.com


Tags: Covid-19, The Jungle, Vaccination, Wilson Boots