Episode 219: “The Labor Department’s Radical Agenda” with Pat Pizzella
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Under President Joe Biden and his Administration the whole of government has been weaponized to promote a so-called Diversity Equity and Inclusion agenda that, in fact, will bring about just the opposite of what these words mean.
Case in point is an assertive, left-wing, anti-family Department of Labor with its power to regulate and attempt to social engineer virtually every aspect of the American workplace.
Congress has granted it a stunning amount of power to administer more than 180 federal laws and thousands of regulations affecting more than 10 million employers and 150 million workers.
And almost no knows what it does.
There’s probably no one better equipped to explain this threat to liberty than my old friend, the very honorable Patrick Pizzella who served as Deputy Secretary of Labor for three years under President Trump, and as Acting Secretary for a few months in 2019.
I’ve known Pat since former Attorney General Edwin Meese brought me into the Conservative Action Project and introduced us. No one I know has a better grasp of the big picture and the minutiae of labor laws and regulations.
The New York Times calls Pat “a movement conservative” who when he was appointed was “far more consequential than those of the many acting secretaries that have served…”
The legislation creating the Labor Department was signed into law by a reluctant President Taft on his last day in office. Since then its power has grown “like a rolling stone relentlessly gathering more moss” as Pat puts it.
In this wide ranging conversation we talk about how Labor is radically ratcheting up regulatory costs on productive industry and is pushing “environmental, social and governance” aka ESG initiatives that promise to dramatically reduce investment returns for pensioners.
The threat to Americans’ pension returns from ESG investing is that its principle focus is on the climate change agenda, even though it’s utterly clear that high, or even positive, ESG returns don’t exist except through government subsidies.
(Trillions of dollars in federal spending in the past two years went to climate subsidies, in the form of tax credits, favorable financing for climate-related projects, and the like.)
The Biden Administration is obsessed with pushing its ESG climate agenda: this week Joe Biden’s first and only veto was to reject a bill passed by Congress that would have reversed a Labor Department rule effectively promoting ESG investing.
We also talk about Labor’s threat to the so-called gig economy – independent contractors – who comprise 15 to 20 percent of America’s workforce.
Gig labor benefits from the free-market principle of voluntary exchange: you can make a contract with me because you can discern what’s in your own interest; so can I. We’re adults.
Not surprisingly, many adults in America like this arrangement: proposals to eliminate it have been voted down even in California.
Nevertheless, the command-and-control Labor Department is preparing a rule “that makes it more difficult for people to be classified as independent contractors” and easier for unions to organize.
Listen in to learn some surprising and unsettling things about Labor, a boring-sounding agency which we need to watch like a hawk, because its actions are major threats our liberties.
The brute force of top-down government is no friend to freedom—and a friend to freedom this Department is not.