Tuesday, February 3, 2015

I cannot believe this man was elected NC senator

Freshman Senator Thom Tillis, straight off of the most expensive senate race in US history, is in the news. Sadly, he's in the news as an advocate of deregulating hand-washing in restaurants.

I guess we all now know, thanks to the brilliance of Tillis, that hand-washing regulations are crippling the restaurant business (and FYI, low-wage restaurant jobs are growing in NC - as are other low-wage jobs. Jobs that provide middle-class incomes are harder to find in this "right-to-work" state.)

Here's the quote:
“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,’” he said, “as long as they indicate through proper disclosure, through advertising, through employment literature, or whatever else.” Tillis was, at the time, the minority whip of the North Carolina House of Representatives.

“She said, ‘I can’t believe that,’” he continued in retelling the story. “And at that time we were sitting back at a table that was near the restrooms and one of the employees just came out. She said: ‘For example, don’t you believe that this regulation that requires this gentleman to wash his hands before he serves your food is important and should be on the books?’”

“I said: ‘As a matter of fact, I think it’s one that I can [use to] illustrate the point,’” he remarked. “I said: ‘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,”’” he recalled, as the audience chuckled. “The market will take care of that.’”

“That’s the sort of mentality that we need to have to reduce the regulatory burden on this country,” he added. “We’re one of the most regulated nations in the history of the planet.” 
Who knew hand-washing rules were such a regulatory burden? I guess that's why Starbucks is struggling?

I have to think that posting a sign that says "we do not require employees to wash their hands" would induce customers to head elsewhere. Or perhaps all food businesses would gleefully abandon hand-washing rules, if allowed. Or perhaps we could wait until an outbreak of hepatitis or e. coli or salmonella infects the paying customers of a food business and let the market determine whether or not the business remains open. Sounds like a plan adored by NCGOP officials!

The deregulatory stance Tillis advocates is dangerous to consumers, but so what? The reliance on "the market" is the sort of mentality that allows highly profitable Fortune 500 businesses to pollute the Dan River (major source of water for NC residents.) That's the kind of mentality that allows frackers to claim mineral rights over property owners. That's the kind of mentality that makes it illegal to disclose the chemicals used in fracking (thank you NCGOP!)

As NC's freshman senator, Tillis represents the will of the NC voters. In November, he beat Kay Hagan - it wasn't even close - he was the clear choice of NC voters. I don't even know what to say about that. I still can't believe he's now in DC, bringing the NCGOP madness to the nation's capital. Salmonella for everyone! It's the NCGOP way....

1 comment:

The New York Crank said...

Of course, Senator Tillis seems to have, uh, overlooked the fact that requiring restaurants to post a sign informing customers that employees don't have to wash their hands is still a government regulation.

What I think needs to happen is an outbreak of various diseases transmitted by fecal matter when employees don't wash their hands.Hepatitis A, for starters. Followed by Cholera. Followed by Polio. Followed by Typhoid Fever.

In the end, the particular Starbucks Tillis was referring to, if not the whole chain, would be out of business not only because the public would be wary of going there, but because a substantial part of the former customer base would be dead as a consequence of their infections.

I can only wish that one of those dead customers would be Tillis.

Yours very crankily,
The New York Crank