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Reblogged:NY Post: Asses in Seats, Tax Slaves!

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This morning, I read a column by a cranky old man urging his fellow New Yorkers to "get real" about returning to work in their offices. To Steve Cuozzo's credit, he did concede that there were some advantages to working from home as opposed to going to the office. And he is absolutely correct to start off by noting that employees are contractually obligated to work how and where their bosses want them to.

Cuozzo might even be right that lots of people are selectively afraid of Covid when it comes to office work, but brave when it comes to filling restaurants and bars. And he might be right that productivity took a nosedive with widespread at-home working -- although unfair to grouse about people spending time with their kids. (Remember all those union-driven school closures?)

So far, so good, but what does he build up to?
office.jpg
Image by Israel Andrade, via Unsplash, license.
Memo to those who say, "I don't care if I never go back to the office," and to companies that say, "We'll get there when we get there": The issue is bigger than you.

Indefinitely empty office buildings will doom this city. Without the fortune in tax revenue that the buildings generate, our $98.6 billion annual budget won't be carried by parking-violation and unleashed-dog fines.

Tenants need to engage their employees on these issues more than they have. Or we'll see an endless cycle of office-return postponements until companies say enough! Let's keep everyone home for good. Should that happen, and strip the value off thousands of office towers with a half-billion square feet and wreck the economy, don't blame the banks. Don't blame Trump, Biden, Dr. Fauci or China.

It's all on us for not tackling the problem head-on, no matter how uncomfortable it might be. [bold added]
No. The issue is between you and the person who is giving you money to perform work. If that work satisfies him, even when you do it at home, you might be able to negotiate working from home for some or all of the time that work takes. Or not. And your employer's proper concern is how profitable his business is, not feeding Leviathan or serving as some kind of charity.

Ayn Rand frequently commented on conservatives never having the moral high ground on leftists, and this column is, unfortunately, a great example of that. If conservatives did not share the same altruistic ethical base, there would be no silly talk like this of a cause -- taxation (!) -- being "greater than oneself," and if conservatives were not basically collectivists, Cuozzo might have taken the strong possibility of a diminished tax base for New York as a point of departure for perhaps finally starting a conversation about rolling back the city's government to its proper scope, of protecting individual rights, rather than treating us all like milch cows.

If conservatives could stop whining about how we aren't just mindlessly returning to old routines, they might consider questioning them and beyond. Until they do, they'll keep sounding like grumpy Democrats and wondering why they can't seem to win elections against the the party that undeservedly attracts most of the young, energetic idealists.

Freedom to pursue one's self interest inspired at least one successful revolution against tyranny in this country. I suggest conservatives get real about giving that a try for a change.

-- CAV

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