Rand Paul Threats to Liberty - Here’s Another Problem With Rand Paul
There are those among us who notably ignore the Five Minute Rule as regards the politicians in the Paul family. (For the benefit of new readers, the Five Minute Rule holds that either said by Crazy Uncle Liberty (!) or his sponge-coiffed spalpeen, Senator Aqua Buddha, will make sense of exactly five minutes. However, at precisely the 5:00:01 mark, they will say something so completely bazats as to make you doubt your own cognitive capacities.) Chief among them are the brogressives who will point to all the right things that both of the Pauls have said down through the years about the government’s intrusion into our civil liberties. Hooray, Bill of Rights! But, as a terrific piece in the Los Angeles Times points out, the government doesn’t really have to work hard at this job any more, since it can subcontract the job of that abridgement out to every other major institution of our lives — especially, the people for whom we work.
The relentless drive for efficiency at U.S. companies has created a new harshness in the workplace. In their zeal to make sure that not a minute of time is wasted, companies are imposing rigorous performance quotas, forcing many people to put in extra hours, paid or not. Video cameras and software keep tabs on worker performance, tracking their computer keystrokes and the time spent on each customer service call. Employers once wanted long-term relationships with their workers. At many companies, that’s no longer the case. Businesses are asking employees to work harder without providing the kinds of rewards, financial and psychological, that were once routine. Employers figure that if some people quit, there are plenty of others looking for jobs.
We are less free in every aspect of our lives than we once were, and the “government” is only a very small part of that process. Our children are less free in their schools; drug-testing without cause has been allowed by the Supreme Court, and Tinker v. Des Moines is only an echo of itself. The workplace is, in many places, as illustrated by the Times story, little more than a surveillance state encompassing almost the entire life of the average employee.
Work is seeping into off hours, as bosses pepper employees with email messages at night and on weekends. They monitor employees’ Facebook pages and Twitter feeds for comments that conflict with the corporate message. The growing demands at the workplace mean people have less time to spend with their families or to help out with youth sports or other volunteer activities.
Rights exist only if people recognize that they are free to exercise them. We are creating a culture — and raising our children within it — in which the exercise of those rights in virtually every sphere outside the home is becoming more and more perilous. We are a subject population now and Rand Paul, to name only one person, believes that any attempt to curtail the now-habitual private abridgement of our fundamental rights is a threat to “liberty.” Unions are a threat to liberty. Workplace safety rules are a threat to liberty. Don’t like the way your boss is prying into your private life? Find another boss to pry into your private life. Rights are given to us by Whoever, but the assistant floor manager can render them impractical. Nice work, Whoever. The primary threat to civil liberties in this country today comes from what Rand Paul likes to call “the marketplace.” Do something about that, Rand. Talk to the guys in the boardroom about “liberty.” They’ll laugh at you harder than I am.