[Nfbmo] Fw: [Missouri-l] Fw: [leadership] Good Intentions Gone Bad

fred olver goodfolks at charter.net
Wed Sep 1 15:27:36 UTC 2010

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Chip Hailey" <chip at gatewayfortheblind.com>
To: "MCB Listserve" <missouri-l at moblind.org>
Sent: Wednesday, September 01, 2010 9:02 AM
Subject: [Missouri-l] Fw: [leadership] Good Intentions Gone Bad

> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "peter altschul" <paltschul at centurytel.net>
> To: "Acblead" <leadership at acb.org>
> Sent: Wednesday, September 01, 2010 8:31 AM
> Subject: [leadership] Good Intentions Gone Bad
>> Good Intentions Gone Bad
>>  John Stossel
>>  You own a business, maybe a restaurant.  You've got a lot to worry 
>> about.  You have to make sure the food is safe and tastes good, that the 
>> place is clean and appealing, that workers are friendly and paid 
>> according to a hundred Labor Department and IRS rules.
>>  On top of that, there are rules you might have no idea about.  The 
>> bathroom sinks must be a specified height.  So must the doorknobs and 
>> mirrors.  You must have rails.  And if these things aren't right -- say, 
>> if your mirror is just one inch too high -- 
>> you could be sued for thousands of dollars.  And be careful.  If you fail 
>> to let a customer bring a large snake, which he calls his "service 
>> animal," into your restaurant, you could be in trouble.  All of this is 
>> because of the well-intentioned Americans With Disabilities Act, which 
>> President George H.W.  Bush signed 20 years ago.
>>  The ADA was popular with Republicans and Democrats.  It passed both 
>> houses of Congress with overwhelming majorities, 377 to 28 in the House 
>> and 91 to 6 in the Senate.
>>  What does it do? The ADA prohibits discrimination against people with 
>> disabilities, requiring businesses to provide the disabled "equal access" 
>> and to make "reasonable accommodation" for employees.  Tax credits and 
>> deductions are available for special equipment (talking computers, for 
>> instance) and modifying buildings to comply with the accessibility 
>> mandate.
>>  The ADA was supposed to help more disabled people find jobs.  But did 
>> it? Strangely, no.  An MIT study found that employment of disabled men 
>> ages 21 to 58 declined after the ADA went into effect.  Same for women 
>> ages 21 to 39.
>>  How could employment among the disabled have declined? Because the law 
>> turns "protected" people into potential lawsuits.  Most ADA litigation 
>> occurs when an employee is fired, so the safest way to avoid those costs 
>> is not to hire the disabled in the first place.
>>  Walter Olson, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and author of the 
>> Overlawyeredddcom blog, says that the law was unnecessary.  Many "hire 
>> the handicapped" programs existed before the ADA passed.  Sadly, now most 
>> have been quietly discontinued, probably because of the threat of legal 
>> consequences if an employee doesn't work out.
>>  Under the ADA, Olson notes, fairness does not mean treating disabled 
>> people the same as non-disabled people.  Rather it means accommodating 
>> them.  In other words, the law requires that people be treated unequally.
>>  The law has also unleashed a landslide of lawsuits by "professional 
>> litigants" who file a hundred suits at a time.  Disabled people visit 
>> businesses to look for violations, but instead of simply asking that a 
>> violation be corrected, they partner with lawyers who (legally) extort 
>> settlement money from the businesses.
>>  Some disabled people have benefited from changes effected by the ADA, 
>> but the costs are rarely accounted for.  If a small business has to lay 
>> off an employee to afford the added expense of accommodating the 
>> disabled, is that a good thing -- especially if, say, customers in 
>> wheelchairs are rare? Extra-wide bathroom stalls that reduce the overall 
>> number of toilets are only some of the unaccounted-for costs of the ADA. 
>> And since ADA modification requirements are triggered by renovation, the 
>> law could actually discourage businesses from making needed renovations 
>> as a way of avoiding the expense.
>>  A few disabled people speak up against the law.  Greg Perry, author of 
>> "Disabling America: The Unintended Consequences of the Government's 
>> Protection of the Handicapped," says that because the disabled now 
>> represent an added expense to businesses, many resent them.
>>  Finally, the ADA has led to some truly bizarre results.  Exxon gave ship 
>> captain Joseph Hazelwood a job after he completed alcohol rehab. 
>> Hazelwood then drank too much and let the Exxon Valdez run aground in 
>> Alaska.  Exxon was sued for allowing it to happen.  So Exxon prohibited 
>> employees who have had a drug or drinking problem from holding 
>> safety-sensitive jobs.  The result? You guessed it -- employees with a 
>> history of alcohol abuse sued under the ADA, demanding their "right" to 
>> those jobs.  The federal government (Equal Employment Opportunity 
>> Commission) supported the employees.  Courts are still trying to sort it 
>> out.
>>  More money for the parasites.
>>  John Stossel is an award-winning news correspondent and author of Myths, 
>> Lies, and Downright Stupidity: Get Out the Shovel--Why Everything You 
>> Know is Wrong.
>> _______________________________________________
>> leadership mailing list
>> leadership at acb.org
>> http://www.acb.org/mailman/listinfo/leadership
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