Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) was taking questions this week at the Bipartisan Policy Center, and described how he fought health and hygiene regulations when he was in the state legislature. “I was having a discussion with someone, and we were at a Starbucks in my district, and we were talking about certain regulations where I felt like ‘maybe you should allow businesses to opt out,'” the U.S. Senator said.
Tillis said he was then asked whether he thought establishments serving food shouldn’t be required by law to have employees wash their hands after using the restroom, and that means using the bathroom in ways that require them to handle their genitals and be in close contact with urine and fecal matter. (Sometimes euphemisms just won’t do.)
Tillis said he responded that that would still be preferable to having the government dictate policy, saying ‘”I don’t have any problem with Starbucks if they choose to opt out of this policy as long as they post a sign that says “We don’t require our employees to wash their hands after leaving the restroom.”
Then, he said, the market would work.
Sen. Tillis was serious.
Did I already ask where Republicans find these people? How about why they find these people? Or why anyone with sufficient IQ to play a can of okra to a draw in Stratego would vote for these people?
So we must conclude from this hilarious anecdote that this high-ranking Republican doesn’t just oppose excessively burdensome regulations, but even regulations requiring conduct that no sane and responsible person could possibly oppose, because it is preferable as a matter of ideological principle for the almighty market to work its magic instead, however long it takes and however much projectile vomiting results in the meantime. Right, Senator? And if it takes three, or ten, or a thousand instances of serious illness or death for the “How about some bacteria with your muffin?” establishments to be run out of business, well, that’s just the price of freedom.
I don’t even know if “unethical” is an accurate description of this position.. It passes irresponsible, laps it ten times, and goes right on to insane. Will there be regulations requiring that sign telling customers that they can expect the delightful taste of turd with their meals be printed in large enough type to read? Or mandating that it be on all pages of the menus, and not on the back? Well, that would be silly: if you are going to pass a law about having to inform your customers that you hire human pigs as cooks and servers, you might as well just pass the law saying they have to wash their hands, and that’s an affront to liberty. So we should also let the market favor the restaurants with servers dripping urine from their fingers that prominently warn diners about their yellow food enhancement over those who put the information in fine print on the napkins. That seems consistent with Senator Tillis’s principles.
Hey, how about dental hygienists? Should they have to wash their hands or wear gloves? If a patient gets sick and dies because they missed seeing the sign, does that bar a lawsuit? It might, since there was a warning, like on cigarette packages. Should laws make nurses and hospital employees wash their hands? Presumably Tillis wants the market system to work in hospitals too, wouldn’t you think? My mother was in the hospital for a minor urinary infection, some employee didn’t wash his or her hands, and she was infected with a bug that ate her colon away and killed her. I have to say, Tillis is right, though: the market system works; I won’t send my mother to that hospital again.
Of course, I don’t have a mother now.
After the session, the moderator joked to Tillis, “I’m not sure I’m gonna shake your hand.” HAHAHAHAHA!!! Funny! What isn’t funny is that we elect people as doctrinaire, rigid, dim-witted, smug and dangerous as Thom Tillis to make our laws and protect our health, safety and welfare, elected officials who really think American citizens dying unnecessarily is less of of a burden on society than reasonable government regulations.
The rule often cited here is “When ethics fail, the law takes over.” “When ethics fail, the market takes over” is not a rule, because the market doesn’t care about right and wrong.
Facts and Graphic: Talking Points Memo