President Obama announced his climate change action agenda on Tuesday, June 25 Here's an excerpt from his remarks as reminds us of the history of business interests crying wolf every time we passed laws to make us safer, healthier and more secure. And, he points out, "every time they've been wrong."
Business lobbies typically argue that laws are unnecessary since business people would never do the things that the laws attack. Business leaders are responsible people and wouldn’t endanger workers, pollute, or steal. And self-correcting markets wouldn’t allow that kind of behavior to survive.
In her Congressional testimony from 1959, Eleanor Roosevelt noted the repetitive quality of objections raised by minimum wage opponents over the previous five decades. More than 50 years later, it appears that nothing has changed.
In February 2005, Patti Phillips sat by her daughter's bedside during the weeks before Stephanie Phillips died of bone cancer. Patti was able to be at her daughter's side the day she died because of the federal law that allows millions of Americans to take family leave without risking their jobs. "You want to be there with your child…. and you don't want to worry about your job," said Phillips, 49, an inventory specialist at Coca-Cola in Atlanta. "The law gives you peace of mind."
The U.S. economy has turned a corner. The national unemployment rate hit a post-recession low of 7.8% in September. Rising consumer confidence, increasing home prices and other leading economic indicators confirm the trend.