It’s almost unbelievable, yet, given other problems its municipal “jab mandate” has inspired, this new development fits right in.
Victor Fiorillo reports for PhillyMag.com that as winter marches past the home of the Liberty Bell, the Philadelphia government is facing what appears to be another self-imposed problem that free-market institutions easily could fix: a lifeguard shortage.
Writes Fiorillo, “Thanks to COVID and budget cuts (that were thanks to COVID), we didn’t have public pools at all in 2020. Philadelphia opened some of its city pools in 2021 but had problems recruiting lifeguards. And the city encountered similar issues last year.”
But that’s only partially correct.
According to the Philadelphia Comptroller, the municipal budget did drop, but only in 2021 – the only year since 2008 that the ballooning expenditures didn’t stay on their to-the-moon trajectory – and it dramatically rose last year and is expected to go even higher for ’23. Perhaps Fiorillo means specific, isolated, cuts to the Recreation Department driven by politically-pushed fears of the virus, but he does not make that clear in his piece.
More important, however, are the points about COVID, the current problem, and what he leaves out.
“So for the 2023 pool season in Philadelphia, the city has started recruiting early. And if you can’t swim, you can still apply," he adds.
This must be satire. Fiorillo notes that the city is willing to “teach” new employees how to swim, so that, a few months from now, city pool users and the parents of kids jumping into the tax-funded pools can be “protected” and feel safe…thanks to said neophyte-swimmer lifeguards.
He also notes that "pay starts at $16 per hour and the schedule is generally 35 hours per week.”
What he does not note is that Philadelphia doesn’t have merely a “lifeguard problem.”
Under Mayor Jim Kenney (D), the city government imposed a jab mandate for municipal employees and contractors beginning in November of 2021, and the city has been plagued by employee fallout ever since. And, no surprise, the mandate has inspired pushback from some of those whom Kenney has targeted. For example, last year, the Firefighters’ Union filed suit against the city over Kenney’s mandate, and many firefighters have left their jobs.
One wonders if Kenney and his cohorts have any clue about the problems associated with such mandates, the debate over the jabs, and the debate over the fearmongering over COVID-19, which had a very high survivability rate.
Of course, it’s one thing if a government gang wants to tell those who willingly work for it that they have to get some kind of jab – no matter how useless, dangerous, or inconvenient. Questions of fraud come into play if the jab doesn’t do what the bosses claim it will, and questions of liability arise if city employees who follow the mayor’s commands get hurt beyond the warnings the government might have offered (likely, that was next to nil). But it’s another thing to force taxpayers to pay for those employee jabs, and for the city employees’ salaries, themselves.
And there is another, larger issue.
Jim Kenney not only issued that November, 2021 jab decree for city employees, he also issued a December, 2021 decree that any PRIVATE food vendor offering eats and dining service to willing customers also must be jabbed. That included restaurants, bowling alleys, movie theatres, and a lot more.
One wonders if Kenney ever had an inkling that such tyrannical acts not only are morally reprehensible, not only overt breaches of the U.S. Constitution’s Contract Clause prohibiting politicians on a state level from stopping the fulfillment of already-existing private contract (such as the agreements between restaurant owners and employees), but that these kinds of impositions spark reactions, seeing people flee the oppression.
Such flight leads to a dearth of employees – like the shortage the “City of Brotherly Love” is encountering now.
It seems clear that this “birthplace” of the U.S. Constitution is run by people who don’t grasp the principles embraced by the Founders who wrote the rule book.
One wonders, however, if Kenney might recognize the practical problems he has created for himself, and how absurd this situation truly is. Certainly, if these pools were private, and he would keep his meddling hands off, the people running the pools and their potential customers would be able to show their preferences.
Under the government system, that is, by definition, not allowed.