Tamping Down Little Dictators

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

"Evil HR Lady" Suzanne Lucas opens a column about a new overtime regulation:

A few weeks ago, a friend commented on an article about the new overtime regulations that are going into effect on December 1, 2016. These regulations say that to be an exempt employee (not eligible for overtime), you will have to earn $47,476 per year ($913 per week), a huge jump from the current $23,000. She said that it was about time, and that she was tired of these horrible managers taking advantage of their employees.

Fast forward a few weeks, and this same friend who had praised the new regulations now starts complaining. Her boss is making her track her hours. She has to come in at a certain time and cannot clock in early or late. She can no longer run to a doctor's appointment during the day without either losing pay or deducting it from her PTO bank. She was upset. She just wants to be treated like a professional! What happened? [links in original, bold added]
If it weren't for the fact that we are all affected by this law (and the precedent it sets), it would be comical to see this fool getting exactly what she deserves, but it isn't. Those of us who realize that flexible hours are a two-way street and want the freedom to accept or reject them are losing this choice. (This turns out to include telecommuting.)

Perhaps there is no cure for what I call the "dictator fantasy," but perhaps there is something we can do to blunt its effects. The next time I hear someone fantasize about "managers" (or any other "bad" guy du jour) "getting theirs", I plan to consider how that might blow back on them and ask how that suits them. Perhaps, if more of us who don't use the government as a substitute brain help those who do, we will tamp down on all the foolish clamoring for the government to dictate every aspect of our lives. This is no substitute for broader cultural activism, but perhaps it can buy some time by slowing down the rate of growth of government "planning."

-- CAV


Kyle Haight said...

It's still comical to see the fool getting what she deserves. I can point and laugh at her even while wishing that the *rest* of us weren't *also* going to be getting what she deserves.

Put a little differently: what's happening to that idiot is justice and should be celebrated as such. What's going to happen to people in similar situations who do not support this kind of government interference in the economy is injustice and should be identified as such.

Gus Van Horn said...

Good points.