Ballot initiatives presented to voters are sometimes convoluted and complicated. Some are simple. Some deservedly earn the response, “Do we really need to do that?”
There are three initiatives headed to the statewide November ballot that are all bad for Arizona. Voters should reject all three.
The first one is to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. Sounds like it would result in more personal freedom, right?
Wrong. Read it. It gives protection to the marijuana user to be under the influence and be protected from accountability if his or her diminished condition causes harm. Do you want your fellow employee under the influence to cause you injury and be protected from the employer taking reasonable action? I surely don’t want special rights for poor judgment. The proposal is a bad piece of policy. Read it and I bet you’ll be frightened too.
The next one is another one that sounds like good social policy. Raise the minimum wage in Arizona, we’re told, and we’ll give hardworking people a boost by nearly doubling their pay.
There are consequences for such policy, however. If a dramatic spike in the minimum wage occurs, some will benefit with no effort on their part to grow in skill and training. And many stand to lose their jobs. Employers will be forced to cut hours for some employees to afford these forced wages for unskilled workers. The costs will be passed along to all of us to subsidize those who only qualify for minimum wage. Why get more training? Why get more education, if the system rewards you for staying unskilled? Trust me: I want everyone to achieve and to be able to raise a family. This is not a solution, though. It just produces different major problems.
Last is a proposal to cap salaries for medical executives. I have trouble wrapping my mind around this one. If we’re still a free society and not a socialist-governed country, why would government get involved in compensation systems in the private sector? Are we going to cap the salaries of pro athletes? How about airline pilots? I think my uncle on my mother’s side makes too much. Can we cap his salary?
It makes no sense to pick out a profession of the day and propose capping salaries. We need less government interference in determining wage policies and talent acquisition, not more.
It’s not unusual for ballot initiatives to be long and confusing, so here’s all you need to know about the three on the fall ballot: They’re all bad for Arizona. Vote no.
Mark Dobbins is chairman emeritus of the Arizona Manufacturers Council.