You Should (Not) Pay for My Stuff

Disclaimer: The EVA (Everyone’s a Victim…Always) Series is a group of posts in which I criticize liberal talking points by sarcastically playing devil’s advocate.  Due to the heavy amount of sarcasm, the contents of this series should not be taken literally, nor should they be interpreted as my attempt to stigmatize all liberals as thinking the same way.  If you are a liberal and are easily offended by people dissecting your world view using sarcasm, then I suggest you take the following steps: close your eyes, click your heels three times while saying “There’s no place like MSNBC,” and press the red button in the corner of your web browser.  That should prevent any harmful ideas from entering your already closed mind.

Last Monday, the Supreme Court ruled that closely held (privately owned) companies can seek an exemption, for religious reasons, from Obamacare’s contraception mandate after Hobby Lobby filed suit claiming that the mandate would force the owners to violate their religious convictions.  Many people on the left were outraged by this decision, and, personally, I couldn’t agree more with their frustration.  (How dare a privately held company try to decide what benefits it wants to provide for its employees?)  This decision will only block women’s (or should I say ‘womyn’s’?) access to contraceptives that many desperately need, forcing them to pay for it themselves rather than rely on their employers to do so.  And I thought the 1950s were over.  However, while I do think that the mandate should have been upheld, I also believe that the mandate doesn’t go far enough.  I believe that the mandate should be expanded to cover another right that clearly established in the Constitution, and, no , I don’t mean the right for womyn to be free from criticism or protest of their life choices (which the Republican Supreme Court completely ignored in their McCullen v. Coakley ruling).  No, I’m referring to something that can can prove essential to one’s health, and which every American has had the right to own since the Bill of Rights was ratified in 1791: a gun.

The Second Amendment guarantees the “right of the people to keep and bare arms” and, as such, no one has the right to prevent me from buying/owning a firearm if I want to.  So, my employer should not be able to prevent me from getting a gun for any reason whatsoever, be it a religious objection to owning guns, a moral objection to owning a “killing machine”, or a simple desire to not pay for my things.  Put another way, my decision to own a gun is none of my employer’s business, and that’s exactly why they should be required to pay for it.  You see, because the Second Amendment guarantees my right to own a gun, my employer cannot take any action that would violate said right (i.e., refusing to pay for my gun), and so they have no business determining costs they will not cover for me.  Why should I be expected to pay for my own gun(s)?  What if I can’t afford to buy my own while earning minimum wage?  Am I just supposed to live without one?  That simply isn’t fair.  It isn’t as if guns are used strictly for recreational purposes like hunting or skeet shooting; some people use guns for self-defense.  What if someone were to break into my house?  Am I just supposed to let myself get robbed?  Am I supposed to rely on the police, who could be minutes away, to rescue me?  No, I shouldn’t have to do any of those things, because my employers have a responsibility, nay, an obligation, to allow me to have the protection I need from any potential intruders.  Simply put, they do not have the right to say “no” to me or anyone else whom they employ.

But, why stop with guns?  There are many other things that are vital for an employee if they intend to maintain their job, such as transportation and auto insurance.  Transportation is essential for any employee to be able to get to work each day, and, much like a gun, it is far too important for the employee to have to worry about whether or not they can afford transportation.  Therefore, I also believe that employers should be required to cover the cost of transportation for their employees.  Just like an employee’s choice to own a gun, this is a matter in which their boss does not have the right to choose otherwise.  Companies have certain obligations as employers to provide for the well-being of their employees no matter the cost so as to ensure that everyone can freely exercise their rights to life, liberty, and happiness.  Now, I don’t believe that employers should necessarily be required to cover the cost of a car for their employees.  Rather, I believe that each employee should decide whether they want to have their own vehicle or rely on public transportation and have their employer cover the cost of whichever they choose.  And, in the event that an employee chooses to get their own car, I believe that employer’s should be required to cover the cost of auto insurance.  An employee shouldn’t have to face financial devastation because they are involved in a car accident.  What is they can’t afford to pay for the damage themselves?  What if they’re left without any means of transportation because they can’t pay to have their car fixed.  These are questions that no one should have to ask themselves.  And so, this responsibility falls to their employers who, as I mentioned previously, have the duty to ensure that their employees’ well being is maintained.

All of these measures will bring a level of choice into the employees’ lives (something severely lacking in today’s world, especially here in America).  They will no longer be limited by what they can and cannot afford.  They will instead be free to carry out their jobs without having to worry about cost (kind of like most employers nowadays).  They will be free to live out their American Dream.  Some may argue, and many did during the Hobby Lobby case, that companies shouldn’t be forced to pay for things that their employees are perfectly capable of buying themselves.  However, this is a major oversimplification of the situations that many lower level workers face.  Not every worker can afford everything they want and need someone who can afford it to cover the costs for them.  After all, everyone has the right to succeed, and, as such, no one has the right to keep others from achieving that success.  Others may argue that this would only make companies increase their prices to compensate for the extra cost.  But, so what?  If Americans have the rights to health care and firearms, then employers have the obligation to pay for it.  Why should anyone have to go without something because they can’t afford it?  They shouldn’t.  Now, employers don’t necessarily have to approve of all the decisions that their employees make, and I wouldn’t expect them to.  However, their approval should not trump an employee’s rights to healthcare, the keeping of arms, transportation, etc., by denying them the ability to exercise these rights due to financial limitations.  In short, I’m not asking that employers agree with their employee’s personal choices, I’m merely asking that they subsidize them.


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