Hand washing regulations are a “free market” issue
After the recent vaccination discussion by the right wing where Fox and politicians like Chris Christie call the right to forego vaccinations a “personal freedom” issue, one senator from North Carolina had to up the ante and go all the way with terrible health advice for the public.
While the choice not to vaccinate is a generally terrible idea, the chances of the unprotected contracting an illness in America is relatively slim thanks to herd immunity, but that simply isn’t enough freedom. Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) wants restaurant workers to have the freedom to “opt out” of washing their hands after they use the bathroom.
Yes, you read that right. They are making serving food with fecal matter covered hands a freedom issue.
I’m without words. Whenever I start to think the right wing couldn’t be any more ignorant, they have once again proven me wrong. Bravo?
It reminds me of comedian, Josh Blue’s bit, where he plays a Republican character:
I’ll let Sen. Tillis explain that one:
I was having this discussion with someone, and we were at a Starbucks in my district, and we were talking about certain regulations where I felt like maybe you should allow businesses to opt out. Let an industry or business opt out as long as they indicate through proper disclosure, through advertising, through employment, literature, whatever else. There’s this level of regulations that maybe they’re on the books, but maybe you can make a market-based decision as to whether or not they should apply to you.
During this part of the discussion, a Starbucks employee walked out of the restroom.
Don’t you believe that this regulation that requires this gentleman to wash his hands before he serves your food is important?
I think it’s one I can illustrate the point. I said, I don’t have any problem with Starbucks if they choose to opt out of this policy as long as the post a sign that says ‘We don’t require our employees to wash their hands after leaving the restrooms.’ The market will take care of that.
In other words, take the regulation away from the department of health. Don’t allow the public any recourse other than voting with their feet in the event they contract food poisoning or some other food borne illness from dirty employees and let the free market take care of it.
Our current system would allow the health department to warn, fine or shut a business down if an employee is spotted not washing their hands. Often the public is also made aware by the health department of every violation a restaurant receives, which absolutely encourages businesses to practice cleanliness and safety, which benefits employees (because seats are filled) and customers (because they don’t get food poisoning). Somehow this system is flawed to Tillis.
“That’s the sort of mentality we need to have to reduce the regulatory burden on this country.”
We’re one of the most regulated nations in the history of the planet, and I think if we go about it in a common sense way that that solves a lot of problems. It makes these other big problems that we’re talking about imminently more easy to solve.