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The Tea Party takeover of New Hampshire’s statehouse in 2010 has left the Granite State with the kookiest of the kooks.  These exTEAmists are looking to end laws for no other reason than to say they did something during their first term. They have thus far failed to enact "Right-to-Work" legislation but have succeeded at obstructing anything remotely progressive.

Now, New Hampshire Republicans have introduced legislation that would do away with laws guaranteeing workers the right to a mandatory lunch break. AFL-CIO President Mark MacKenzie seemed at a lost for words when describing this policy monstrosity:

"Quite frankly," MacKenzie said, "considering this is 2012, and I'm talking about the repeal of the lunch hour, this is outrageous."
While acknowledging that most employers treat workers fairly, MacKenzie argued that changing the 36-year-old law was unnecessary and impractical:
"The reality is, absent a law, employers are on their own to treat their workers the way they think is most appropriate," MacKenzie said. "Will they give them lunch hours? I don't know if that would be the case. I don't think every employer would deny them, but I think there would be some, certainly."
After a series of failed arguments by co-sponsor JR Hoell (R), veteran lawmakers began to grill his inexperienced sidekick Kyle Jones. The 20-year-old Tea Party darling ran for State Rep. in 2010 as part of an unorthodox team.  See, Kyle's mom, Laura, ran as well.

MacKenzie, along with Democratic Rep. Herbert Richardson of Lancaster, harshly criticized the younger Jones who suggested a lunch break law is unecessary:

"This is an unneeded law," Jones said. "If I was to deny one of my employees a break, I would be in a very bad position with the company's human resources representative. If you consider that this is a very easy law to follow in that everyone already does it, then why do we need it? Our constituents have already proven that they have enough common sense to do this on their own."

Richardson: "You don't think they're giving these (lunch) breaks because it's the law and they have to and they would do it if we did away with the law?"

Jones: "It's in their best interest to treat their employees well."

Flanagan: "You addressed retail business, restaurants and stores. I wonder if you have any experience with manufacturing groups, people who stand on the assembly line for multiple hours at a time, and how those people might be treated if this law were to be repealed where production is the key to profit."

Jones: "It's in the company's best interest if you're not shaky and you're well, to make sure you are healthy and well motivated."

Perhaps the 20-year-old Jones is so pure at heart that he believes bosses would never, under any circumstances, deny staff members their lunch break.  But, surely there are hundreds of thousands of workers out there who would refute this argument.  

If nothing else, Jones can be indicted based on how highly he is regarded by the long arm of the Koch Brothers, Americans for Prosperity:

For 2011, he earned a score of 95% from the New Hampshire House Republican Alliance, and was ranked in the top six, out of 400 representatives, by the New Hampshire Liberty Alliance.  In addition, he earned an A+ rating from Americans for Prosperity.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Kyle's just a mixed-up kid who should be in (7+ / 0-)


    Seriously--a state rep at 20? Good for him, but why isn't he in college? Maybe N'Hampshaah legislataaahs only meet a coupla three months a yeeah, ayeh.

  •  Where the hell was the state Democratic party (5+ / 0-)

    or what is the matter with it that they can't beat some kid who isn't old enough to drink and who (apparently) demonstrates that he knows nothing about the world yet every time he opens his mouth?

    I support torturous regimes! Also, I kick puppies.

    by eataTREE on Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 08:56:20 AM PST

  •  How to squish this bug permanently: (8+ / 0-)

    The little jerk's arguement is that people (employers) will do the right thing anyway, so there is no need for the law, in which case it should be repealed.

    The exact same "reasoning" can be used to propose repealing the laws against robbery, rape, and murder.  

    So, some good progressive should propose exactly that, and quote the little Republican twerp verbatim, making only the substitutes of one crime-word for another.  

    That damn well ought to put the twerp's feet (both of them) firmly in his mouth to the point where he can chew on them and go without lunch himself, for a week.  

    "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

    by G2geek on Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 08:56:28 AM PST

  •  Kyle Jones (9+ / 0-)

    needs some life experience outside of his local Young Republicans club.  Digging a few ditches, slinging a few burgers or cleaning a few bathrooms seem to be just the ticket for him.

    Corporate philosophy for consumers: Work, buy, shut up and die.

    by Philpm on Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 08:56:31 AM PST

  •  I think he is preempted by federal labor regs but (6+ / 0-)

    this will give him a soapbox to bloviate about states' rights so as to placate  his TP base.  Don't forget this is the state that almost required all laws to conform to the Magna Carta.  Wonder if King John had to agree that the barons all deserved a mandatory lunch break?  

  •  Hey Granite-headed GOP: where are the jobs? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lostinamerica, Dirtandiron, jayden, a2nite

    This is the latest in a series of jaw-dropping asinine bills proposed by the NH Teahadists. We had the magna carta bill and now this.

    In their almost orgasmic zeal to punish "lazy" workers, the NH Teahadists actually want to hurt the economy. How? It's quite simple really.How many diners, cafes, restaurants, fast food  restaurants, food trucks, etc. will see a drop in business and half to start laying off employees or even shut down their business? The lunch business for these establishments — in the words of VP Biden — is a BIG FUCKING DEAL. These places, especially diners, cafes, mom and pop general stores and the like, depend on a steady stream of customers at lunch time.

    And IMO it won't just be people in the food business that will be adversely affected. People like to run errands during their lunch break. Suppose they don't have that perk anymore? Some people might try to do some of these tasks either before or after work but others might just blow these things off entirely or wait until the weekend.

    I guess reality has a well-known liberal bias.

  •  The whole citizen-legislator model... (6+ / 0-)

    ...fails to take into account the reality that many citizens are extremely stupid, and if you make it very easy to get elected (say, by having tiny districts) you'll get more extremely stupid legislators.  There's some rough Carswellian justice to this, but it's probably no way to run a state, even a small one.

    I'm mystified by two entirely separate things in the snippet below:

    "This is an unneeded law," Jones said. "If I was to deny one of my employees a break, I would be in a very bad position with the company's human resources representative. If you consider that this is a very easy law to follow in that everyone already does it, then why do we need it? Our constituents have already proven that they have enough common sense to do this on their own."
    First, you'd be in a bad position with HR because you broke the law!  In the absence of the law, on what basis would you have a problem with them?  Second, if the only laws worth having are to prevent behaviors that most people don't immediately recognize as bad, we could probably take the murder laws off the books.  Most people would, I presume, sooner deny an employee a lunch break that murder someone, in the absence of statutory bars to those actions.

    But nobody's buying flowers from the flower lady.

    by Rich in PA on Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 09:20:07 AM PST

    •  Watch the shark (0+ / 0-)

      "many citizens are extremely stupid" ??????

      Ummm. No. In fact, hell no.

      The very foundation of our democracy - and the Democratic Party - is that most people are intelligent enough to participate in their government. That being a 20 year old ex-Burger King manager does not disqualify you from office.

      We like town meeting around here for that very reason Because the people who work at Burger King, dig ditches, the plumbers, electricians, and carpenters have the same right to stand up and be heard and to vote as lawyers, doctors, and other "educated" folks.

      If you think "smart" people don't do stupid things, read The Best And The Brightest. It's the story of how smart people started a long war that the guys from Burger King died in.

      And you wonder why people think we're elitists. Just because it's a dumb idea doesn't mean the guy's stupid. Or anybody else that works at Burger King for that matter.

      Democrats are not always right, but Republicans are insane.

      by BobBlueMass on Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 06:29:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm no technocrat... (0+ / 0-)

        ...and I see your point.  But the complexity of government today, even at the local level, doesn't begin to compare with back in the day.  That's in large part because of progressive innovations in the conception and execution of what government does.  It's not a given that folk wisdom is enough to oversee that kind of government.

        But nobody's buying flowers from the flower lady.

        by Rich in PA on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 10:11:02 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Just saying... (0+ / 0-)

          These "complexities" can be learned. It's a fundamental premise of progressivism and democracy that most people are smart enough to work together and govern themselves.

          Stupid implies they can't.

          Democrats are not always right, but Republicans are insane.

          by BobBlueMass on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 02:54:15 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I don't quite understand. (8+ / 0-)

    If he believes employers will do the right thing with or without the law, then the law can't be hurting anything.  It would be a just-in-case situation, which hurts fair employers ... how, again?

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 09:24:12 AM PST

  •  What the union rep needs to say: (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    brae70, Dirtandiron, jayden, lineatus

    Regulations keep the bad apples from spoiling the bunch.

    Most employers are nice people (who may have their moments, but who doesn't). But some employers are not.
    The market doesn't care if you're nice or not, and oftentimes will reward the bad guy with competitive advantages.  And not only that, but it creates a negative spiral where otherwise good people get pressured into doing bad just to stay afloat.

    Remember: there's no such thing as a regulation on business.  Only regulations on businesspeople, to make sure they don't do immoral things, like not give their employees a break during the day.  Most businessfolk are good, and don't need the reminder.  But the bad apples...

    I'm pretty sure that (radical) Republicans believe that people in white collars are intrinsically good.  That if you leave them to their own devices, they'll do what's right. It's despicably classist, hopelessly naive, and it's also what the Communists believed about the proletariat. Between Enron and Goldman and the Catholic priesthood, it should be clear by now that a white collar doesn't mean you're better than the rest of us.

    "You're not stuck in traffic, you are traffic."

    by nominalize on Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 09:50:14 AM PST

  •  Don't most legislatures work part time at best? (0+ / 0-)

    So it's nice getting this kind of crap from a 20-year-old fuckwit who has probably never held a full time job in his life - at least not for more than a few months.  

  •  FLSA 6 hours, unpaid break must be (0+ / 0-)

    offered.  Many states offer more generous break time reqs, as do contracts with unionized employees.

    He's attempting to "solve" an HR problem with an overreaching law that he doesn't understand.  

    He seems to be a talking puppet, because he was unable to answer any hypothetical problems posed by a Democratic colleague on the impact of "his" proposed legislation.

    "Out of Many, One." This is the great promise of our nation -9.75 -6.87

    by Uncle Moji on Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 12:42:04 PM PST

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