Saturday, February 11, 2006

Colorado, Parents, and Democrats

Ever since the Democrats became the majority party in Colorado, the political and business climate has changed in this state. Normally I do not bring your attention to these facts because Conservative Textbook is a national-level focused blog. However, Colorado might soon be in the national news with a new law the Democratic-controlled state legislature is flirting with as we speak.

The Democrats are flexing their muscle over Colorado again – this time they are attacking the business community that not six months ago sided with them on the issue of raising taxes in the state (that was an odd marriage, believe me). Colorado State Senate Bill 66 would grant anyone who works for a company of 10 or more employees to take “unpaid parental leave” for "academic activities related to the educational advancement of the employee's child." Now there are restrictions on unpaid parental leave with this bill. No more than five hours could be used per month and parents could not exceed 30 hours total in an academic school year. Sounds fine and groovy, right?

It does until you think about the consequences. Let us take the example of a small 12-person business. They would be forced to comply with this new law. What happens when this 12-person company has only 2 people in the front office at a time and one of the employees decides to leave to attend his son’s basketball game? That leaves only one person in the office to manage the office and much of the responsibility of the company.

Or what happens when you have 2 people in the front office and one of them is single with no kids? The married one leaves to attend the basketball game while the single employee is forced to operate the office by him/herself. The single employee didn’t even have a say in the matter because the employee can’t take advantage of the parental leave option in the first place! This bill has the potential to be devastating for small and medium-sized businesses in Colorado.

If this bill passes (and since the Democrats have a strong foothold in Colorado, I suspect it will), what happens to the hiring process? What happens when you have two relatively equal job applicants, of which one is married with kids and the other is single? Who is going to be hired? Who is going to cause less stress and financial burden on the employer? Of course, the single one! Therefore, this bill has the potential to cause subtle discrimination among applicants to a company. Why would any company choose the parent over the single person if the single person has no risk of leaving one day to attend a poetry reading at the school with his kid?

Of course, it is quite amusing to see that it is the Democrats who are sponsoring this bill. As I said earlier, this bill could be devastating to small business in Colorado. In fact, the only businesses that will be able to neglect the effects of this bill to a moderate degree would be big businesses such as Qwest Communications and Wal-Mart. Large corporations have the luxury of backup employees to replace those workers who leave work for a day. However, I thought Democrats were friendly to small businesses? I thought they stood up against big corporations? Looks like the business community in Colorado might just get a wakeup call with this bill.

There are far better ways to help your child and make sure he/she grows up to be a law abiding, productive, and patriotic (well, skip the last one if you’re a liberal) citizen. Get off the couch, stop watching CBS News, and go play ball with your kids. Or take them snowboarding at the Copper Mountain Resort (I suggest the American Eagle ski lift by the way). Or take them to see a movie at the mall (and stop by American Eagle Outfitters afterwards and get them an AE All Access account). Or even better, just sit down and TALK to them (this works even with teens such as myself). Believe me, they’ll whole-heartedly appreciate it even if they give you death glares (I mean, do you really expect any self-respecting teen to show in public that he truly loves his parents?).

As a side-note (for all my Colorado readers), maybe this bill will energize the Republicans enough to take back the State Legislature. My personal opinion is that if we don’t take it back in the 2006 elections, we will never take it back for the foreseeable future. That situation will give the Democrats their much-needed stable foothold in the western states.

Another fine lesson from Conservative Textbook.

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