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In labor?

MBJ Editorial II

Government rarely offers meaningful solutions to our problems. Mix government and business, except in the rarest of circumstances, and you end up with more problems than you started with, and that is why Mississippi does not need a state department of labor.

The idea, floated during the fall’s statewide campaigns, resurfaced last week. It was met with overwhelming opposition from the Mississippi business community and rightly so.

Thus far, the most compelling reason proponents of the new bureaucracy have offered is that, “gee, well, you see, 49 other states have one, so we should to.”

Um, no thanks.

There are labor issues in Mississippi, and there is a role for government to play in the discussion of these issues and in their resolution, but only with substantial input from business and industry. As it is now, components of the proposed labor department are scattered throughout state government. Instead of the creation of a new department, which inevitably results in bigger government, we should pursue a plan of streamlining, reduction and consolidation of a labor issues unit under the auspices of an existing state agency.

Will it happen? Probably not.

Bureaucrats, state workers and politicians derive their power from the turf they possess, the budgets they oversee and the underlings they command. Surrendering any of this in the name of efficiency, costs saving or better service is unlikely — and we’re the ones paying for it.

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