More coronavirus policy ‘fails’
Have foot, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf will stick it in his mouth. Sometimes up to his knee.
As Spotlight PA reported:
“Pennsylvania cannot widely enforce workplace protections and (Gov. Wolf) suggested employees refuse to go to work if they don’t feel safe.”
Or, as the governor himself put it:
“In the end, they have the ultimate sanction, which is just to say, ‘Well then, I’m not coming to work’,” Wolf told reporters Tuesday last. “And, as a former employer, I know that would be the most powerful thing that any worker can do.”
But as the Spotlight PA report continued:
Workers and their advocates also noted “that refusing to go to work is often tantamount to quitting and also could jeopardize their ability to collect unemployment compensation.”
“When asked to clarify Mr. Wolf’s comments, a spokesperson, Lyndsay Kensinger, denied he was encouraging people to quit their jobs but did not explain what the governor meant.”
Clarity, as with transparency, never has been this administration’s strong suite.
Do remember, this is the same governor who, faced with the fact that pandemic unemployment benefits – layered on top of standard jobless benefits — disincentivized those laid off to return to work – chastised employers to pay those workers more to begin with.
What, with Benjamins fresh off the Magic Dust Cash Printing Press?
When it comes to fundamental economics, this governor redefines ignorance. And we are left to wonder how many feet he can fit in that mouth.
Spotlight PA also reports that that same governor who, to paraphrase Alfred E. Neuman (of MAD Magazine fame), likes to ask “What, me not transparent?“ does not support a bill that would give the public and press access to government records during a disaster declaration.
That’s despite the measure passing the state House with overwhelming bipartisan support.
The Wolf administration’s “transparency” has been nothing but opaque during the coronavirus pandemic, particularly regarding waivers being granted to “essential” businesses to operate while others were shut out – with little or no rationale.
The governor blames a lack of staffing during the pandemic. But more than a few have pointed out how the administration found sufficient staffing to operate a “snitch” program to report businesses on life support having the temerity to operate without a waiver.
As Spotlight PA quoted the governor:
“I’m trying to be transparent, and we’re focused on doing everything we can to keep people informed as to how we’re doing. I draw a distinction between transparency and following specific rules for things that are mandated that we might not have the capacity to do while we’re in this emergency.”
Sorry, Mr. Wolf, but governing during an emergency demands greater transparency, not less.
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, the Post-Gazette reports, says the city is looking for creative ways to allow safe social activities – including pop-up drive-in theaters – if coronavirus restrictions are necessary through summer months.
Peduto says traditional summer activities such as Little League baseball, Independence Day festivities, public swimming pools and movies in parks could be casualties of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We’re already in conversations of how to bring drive-ins to our neighborhoods, to be able to have people isolated by cars in a drive-in theater that is a pop-up in a neighborhood,” the mayor says. “We’ll still be open to safe ideas of how people can interact.
“But in creating public policy you always have to have a ‘true north,’ and our true north will continue to be the safety of our residents.”
Of course, given Peduto’s slavish devotion to “progressive” bureaucracy, we are left to wonder if such pop-up drive-ins will be allowed only if:
Union labor sets up the outdoor movies;
All those in attendance are paid a “living wage” and have paid sick leave from their employers;
Bike lanes are included in the drive-ins’ footprint;
The movie projector is powered by wind turbines;
And all attendees are required to purchase carbon-offset credits for the privilege of breathing in unison in one place.
Colin McNickle is communications and marketing director at the Allegheny Institute for Public Policy (firstname.lastname@example.org).