Speaking words of wisdom …

Speaking words of wisdom …

And we open a new week with a wonderful quote from Michael Walsh, writing in thepipeline.org, on how “progressives” have seized public policy in their quest to destroy sound public policy:

“(I)f the word ‘justice’ requires a modifier, then it isn’t really justice, it’s a political cause.

“When the solution to the modifier is always to extract more money from the populace in the name of a higher cause, it’s also a scam.

“Combine the Marxist project to take down the West with the totalitarian instincts of a centralized bureaucracy and you have a recipe for disaster not seen since the Bolshevik Revolution destroyed Russia for the better part of a century.

“Still, they hope you’ll fall for the sob stories about polar bears keelhauled on a melting ice floe, rampaging pine beetles, (flatulating) cows, and lush vegetation in Canada and pay your “carbon tax” without demurring.

“And if you don’t, then the New Luddite ‘progressives’ will impound your cars, tear down your factories, rip out your heating systems and then sit back and pray for wind and sunshine as they march backward in glorious unemployment to 1811 and beyond.

“Keep an eye on them, but whatever you do, don’t follow them.”

Or as George Mason University economics scholar Donald J. Boudreaux put it a bit more succinctly last week:

“Economics is not about how to engineer society, at its core it’s about exposing the dangers of attempting to engineer society.”

Boudreaux also reminds, in a letter submitted to The Wall Street Journal, that “too many people today – and especially young people – have far too much excitement about using the state to ‘solve’ this and that ‘challenge,’ both real and (as frequently is the case) illusory.”

Here’s a sad example of just that kind of hubris from “The State”:

As The Associated Press tells it, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that employers in Philadelphia cannot ask job applicants for their salary history.

In a decision written by Judge Theodore McKee, he said that while the provision does indeed limit employers’ speech – which was the basis of the initial challenge to the rule by the Greater Philadelphia Area Chamber of Commerce – it is “only because that limitation prevents the tentacles of any past wage discrimination from attaching to an employee’s subsequent salary.”

Sorry, but the government has no business intruding on a most valuable tool for employers. For salary history is but one window on the world of a prospective employee.

Not only do the salaries paid in the past show the value of a respective employee to a respective employer, a rising salary can suggest employees’ growth in their personal industry and initiative, not to mention taking on greater responsibilities.

Is their “wage discrimination”? There may be. But that is best dealt with on a case-by-case basis — not a blanket government policy that disallows employers to gauge prospective employees on their performance, for which salary history indeed can be an important indicator.

Colin McNickle is communications and marketing director at the Allegheny Institute for Public Policy (cmcnickle@alleghenyinstitute.org).