Liberals never seem to learn from their prior mistakes. It is hard to find a better example of a liberal disaster in the United States than Michigan. The “Great Lakes State” symbolizes the destruction that results from massive intervention by the State. The state of Michigan is a graveyard littered with formerly productive companies that had their capacity to produce castrated by crippling Statist policies.
Unfortunately, for the good people of Michigan, politicians that are like-minded to those that played a role in the destruction remain in power. Evidence of this can be found in a MLive article that reports on legislation knows as “Ban-the-Box,” which was introduced in March by Rep. Fred Durhal Jr., D-Detroit. This liberal dream is gaining momentum in the Michigan Legislature.
The bill would ban employers from asking prospective employees about previous felony convictions. There has not yet been a vote, but the House Commerce Committee heard testimony on the bill this past week.
Michigan would not be the first place to enact such a law. Fifty-three localities throughout the US have approved “Ban-the-Box” legislation in the past nine years. Cities such as Boston, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Kansas City, Atlanta, Austin, Memphis, and Tampa have all adopted laws which make it illegal, in some capacity, for employers to ask prospective hires to disclose previous felony convictions. By in large, most of the laws are only applicable to vendors or contractors doing business with the city. Additionally, many of the laws still require a background check for certain positions or after the offer has been extended.
Why should libertarians and conservatives be fervently opposed to this type of legislation?
From a purely libertarian perspective, the State intervening in the hiring practices of businesses is a blatant violation of the non-aggression principle. Certainly, the State would enforce their hiring edict with fines. If businesses refuse to pay the fines, then an armed employee of the State will eventually show up at the business to confiscate the funds at the point of a gun. So from a libertarian, non-violent, Christian, or moral perspective this type of behavior cannot be condoned.
The practice of the State proclaiming what an employer can ask a potential employee does not add value from a logical or utilitarian view. To validate this outlook I’ll share a personal experience.
(For the rest of the article, click the link.)