Monday, May 09, 2011

The new contraband: Flat sheets 

If you need more evidence that there is nothing worse than a full-time state legislature, look no further than California, where the Senate is proposing to criminalize the use of flat -- rather than fitted -- sheets in hotels.

If you outlaw sheets you can actually fold, only outlaws will be able to fold sheets.

Criminalizing the use of unfitted sheets in hotels? Obviously, this is a regulation aimed a mom and pop motels, not Marriott. No doubt these same politicians wonder why business formation has collapsed and existing businesses are doing everything in their power to avoid hiring more people.

CWCID: Coyote.


By Anonymous Boludo Tejano, at Mon May 09, 10:52:00 AM:

The Texas Leg meets only every two years, which reduces the bad laws it can create.

The fitted sheets law is an example of government sticking its nose into places it has no business.

It shows there is no limit to the amount of regulations that the "government is here to help" crowd will come up with.  

By Anonymous Mr. Ed, at Mon May 09, 10:59:00 AM:

De Leon's bill is aimed at a constituency. In California, the folks who clean your rooms, fix your meals and build your house speak Spanish. That's pretty much true for anything hard, that doesn't pay well, and that locally born kids don't want to do.

Still, here in CA our legislators can't keep their hands off our shower control. And urban public school teachers indoctrinate and pollute the minds of wave after wave of kids such that the temperature in our shower is by rights a communal decision.


By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon May 09, 12:21:00 PM:

For the sake of clarity, the proposed law doesn't criminalize the use of flat sheets in hotels. It establishes a state OSHA standard that a fitted sheet must be the bottom sheet on every hotel bed, even though flat sheets may be used thereafter. It also appears to require the invention of tools necessary to prevent stooping when cleaning bathrooms.

In other news, the California legislature is requiring exactly half of the human population to be left handed from this point forward, so as to improve appreciation of the contributions of our lefty population. Oh, was that wrong? Is there a different lefty population that has contributed something to our country?  

By Blogger Kurt, at Mon May 09, 02:03:00 PM:

The Legislative Counsel's Digest states "This bill would require the standards board to adopt a standard
relating to housekeeping in lodging establishments, as specified." Now who might have pushed this legislation? Why, SEIU, of course. SEIU represents the housekeeping staff at the large hotels and casinos in Las Vegas (Hello, Harry Reid!), so it surely represents them in California, as well. Naturally, this constituency wants to make more demands on non-union, low-budget, Mom and Pop operations.

wv: singun--what the housekeeping staff is encouraged not to do, though whistlun' is still o.k.  

By Anonymous tyree, at Mon May 09, 06:58:00 PM:

Mr.Ed said, "In California, the folks who clean your rooms, fix your meals and build your house speak Spanish. That's pretty much true for anything hard, that doesn't pay well, and that locally born kids don't want to do."

My grandson is the only child in his class who speaks English at home. At least in my city,the sanctuary city and open borders crowd won a long time ago. Remember that when any politician says something stupid like, "We are a nation of laws."

We might have some laws somewhere, but the politicians believe they don't have to enforce them.  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Tue May 10, 12:43:00 PM:

"anything hard, that doesn't pay well, and that locally born kids don't want to do."

This is circular. Or perhaps redundant. NO ONE wants to do things that are hard and don't pay well, but it's the presence of cheap, illegal (and non-tax-paying) labor that drives those wages down in the first place.

The underlying assumption adopted by many in immigration debates, that American kids refuse to do work X because it's beneath them, is untrue. When I was a kid in Texas, I (and all of my friends I worked with) was happy to bust my ass doing shit jobs for little pay, because that's all I could get. This included running wire in attics in the summer heat, digging ditches, clearing land, roofing houses, curing concrete, laying pipes, etc.

So long as we were willing to take whatever it was that the Mexicans were willing to take (or sometimes a little more, for the convenience of being able to speak to us in English), and under the table, we were in reasonable demand.

But understand clearly that it's the presence of illegals who drive wages down. More labor = lower wages is basic economics.  

By Anonymous Ignoramus, at Tue May 10, 01:22:00 PM:

Further to DF82’s points.

Jobs I did when young: Paper route (10-14), Bronx Zoo gates (14-16), soda vendor – Madison Square Garden (17), messenger out of Grand Central (17), bank teller (18), NYC yellow taxi driver (19-21). … and jobs were hard to come by during the rolling recessions on the 1970s.

I learned something from all these jobs, and kind of liked doing them – except for bank teller. No worse job when hung-over – I’d rather have been breaking rocks in the hot sun. One day the lady next to me got robbed by note. “I have a gub!”

Today, none of this experience would help in a personal essay to impress an admissions committee, sad to say.

A) On-the-books vs off-the-books is a big issue when you price any kind of manual labor.

B) Illegal’s can’t sue their employer.

As an employer, given A and B, and stiff competition, who would you hire?  

By Anonymous Mr. Ed, at Tue May 10, 03:13:00 PM:

I've done shit jobs too and I did not mean to demean anyone who does them, has done them or will not do them.

My main, non-inflamatory, point was that the legislation in question addresses working conditions and those conditions pertain to workers who clean rooms and they are as far as I can tell, predominantly Spanish speaking.

I've read estimates that around 8% of the California workforce is illegal. That alone would not explain the preponderance of Spanish speaking workers in the trades I mentioned. In the latest census 37% of the population of CA is hispanic. My math says that about 78% must be legally entitled to work. So on average, the large majority of folks who clean your rooms, fix your meals and build your homes are legal workers, not illegal workers.

So if the wages are low, there must be additional explanations.

I think the equation more workers = lower wages is really just one part of a bigger equation and doesn't tell the whole story. What generates more economic activity, high cost of labor or low cost of labor? What generates more tax revenue, high economic activity or low economic activity? What generates more savings and investment? What supports more job creation, a surplus of workers or a shortage of workers?

As to the off the books issue I have experience only in a couple areas. On a personal level I have come to know a good number of hispanics through friends and family. They seem to fall in line with the statistics, some illegal, some legal resident, and some US citizen. The illegals are sometimes off the books and sometimes on the books. There are ways. Some pay social security they will never receive. The rest are on the books except some who do additional work on the side, as in their regular job, plus another of their own making.

I also have some experience in the field of construction, mostly residential. I know many contractors and I know that their work forces are overwhelmingly hispanic. I don't think any of those I work with would consider off the books employees. And frankly, the workforce has shrunk so dramatically in the last 2 years there are plenty of folks, perfectly legal and experienced, who are available for employ.

These days the struggle for construction jobs is intense and cut-throat. Where projects used to draw 3 bids, they now draw 10. No doubt under the table wages are a factor in the economics of the lowest prices. The irony, however, is that given the ethnic transformation of the construction industry in the last 25 years, it's pretty much Spanish speaking workers competing with one another.


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