Republicans really have decided that they want the country to be like it was in 1900. Ron Paul thinks that disaster relief was better in 1900, Rick Perry thinks Social Security is a Ponzi scheme and thinks we should get rid of it (along with most of the federal government’s safety net), and George Will is decrying the 40 hour work week. Really, he notes this Supreme Court decision approvingly:
An 1895 New York law limited bakery employees to working 10 hours a day and 60 hours a week. Ostensibly, this was health and safety legislation; actually, it was rent-seeking by large, unionized bakeries and the unions. Corporate bakeries supported the legislation, which burdened their small, family-owned competitors. The bakers union hoped to suppress the small, non-unionized bakeries that depended on flexible work schedules.
One such was owned by Joseph Lochner, who challenged the law, prevailing in the Supreme Court, 5 to 4. The majority said “clean and wholesome bread” does not depend on limiting workers’ hours: Workers are “in no sense wards of the state,” and there is no evidence that baking is an especially unhealthful profession, so the law was an unconstitutional “interference” with an unenumerated right of individuals, the liberty of contract.
See, he pretends to believe that a worker and a business have equal power when it comes to contracts. That’s the only way this decision makes sense–if a business has more power (as is obviously true) then this type of contract is not an agreement between equals, it’s a business forcing workers to do something they don’t which means the government should get involved. Also, note that this type of reasoning would also mean (and did) that things like the FDA would be also unconstitutional–why should the government get in the way of a person buying a medicine that doesn’t work or food that’s poisonous if they’re willing to buy it?
The question now is how much worse can they get? Will they start saying segregation is fine as long as the government isn’t involved? Oh wait, people like Rand Paul already do believe that.