Here’s an unsurprising bit of news out of our nation’s capital:
An overwhelming majority of Washington, D.C., residents support a proposal before the District Council to give each worker in the city 16 weeks of paid time off to care for a newborn or for a dying family member, according to the Washington Post.
The predictable part is that more than half of those polled also say they don’t want workers themselves to have to pay for the largesse.
Sorry, guys (and gals), but as Milton Friedman stated ever so eloquently, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Someone somewhere is going to have to pick up the tab.
If you understand and accept that you’re going to pay one way or the other, that’s fine. But if you expect others to willingly pony up, or that benefits will flow like manna from heaven, you’ve got another thing coming.
The last time I looked the District of Columbia doesn’t have its own printing presses with which to churn out money, so D.C. would have to raise taxes and/or cut employees to pay for such a benefit.
Understand, that’s not a judgment on whether the benefit is worth the cost, but a simple matter of fact. If workers are going to be allowed 16 weeks of paid time off to care for newborns or dying family members, the district will need funds to oblige.
Those pushing for the minimum wage to be increased to $15 an hour need to recognize this reality, as well. Over the course of a year, a full-time worker making $15 an hour would earn a little more than $32,000. That’s all well and good but, again, that money has to come from somewhere.
As the alchemists of old discovered, you can’t get something for nothing. There is a cost to every benefit, even if that cost is hidden. To pretend otherwise is to be foolish, disingenuous or willingly naïve.