Did you hear the one about the virus?
These two viruses (virii?) walk into a bar…
Okay, okay. Wait, wait!
Knock knock. Who’s there? A virus. A virus who? Newt Gingrich!
Dammit. That doesn’t work, either.
A priest, a rabbi and a virus are floating in a boat…
No, no, no, no!
Take my virus, please.
Aw, fuck it. I guess there will be no humor in this post. Don’t blame me. I tried!
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Presidential promise breaking can make you sick
As Vector Man, you might say that I’ve made being a vector a meme on on my blog. It’s a topic I mention more often than, say, drinking Starbucks coffee (maybe once a year), so I certainly feel that makes the subject blog-worthy.
Here’s a quick refresher for the newbies:
an organism (as an insect) that transmits a pathogen
It is Vector Man’s solemn duty to work when ill to increase the odds of passing along illness to other humans. It’s a thankless job but someone has to do it. And Vector Man takes his superpowered duties very seriously. Sure, I don’t have a catchphrase yet, like Dr. Horrible. (I’ve got a PhD in horribleness.) But I’m hopefully my application to the Evil League of Evil will still be accepted.
How about, “Always keep your flu open!” Or maybe, “Be loyal, true and stay on the right pathogen!”
Meh. I’ll keep at it.
Of course, every superhero has his weakness. For Superman it is kryptonite. For Seattle-based Phoenix Jones it is reality. And, sadly, for Vector Man, it is a mythical entity known only as The Paid Sick Day.
Once, a presidential candidate known as Barack Obama promised to create more of these sick days and do away with Vector Man once and for all! Luckily he failed.
Here’s the history of how Vector Man survived:
In the time when Obama campaigned to become president, he made a promise:
Require that employers provide seven paid sick days per year – which may be taken on an hourly basis – so that Americans with disabilities can take the time off they need without fear of losing their jobs or a paycheck.
Source: “Barack Obama and Joe Biden’s Plan to Empower Americans with Disabilities.”
Strangely enough, no federal standard for this sort of thing yet exists. I’ve got an idea! Let’s leave it up to small business owners and see how often it actually happens. I’m giving four-to-one odds. Any gamblers out there?
According to the website PolitiFact, however, that promise is now listed as “broken.” Obama had specifically proposed that employers would be required to provide their workers with seven paid sick days annually.
A proposed bill called the Healthy Families Act contained the specifics. The idea was that employees would earn one hour of paid leave for every 30 hours worked. For an employee with a 40-hour work week, that would be seven days of sick time for every 1,680 hours worked (capped on a yearly basis). The general idea was that workers could use this time when ill (as the CDC seems to think is a good idea), care for a dependent, or recover if they are a victim of domestic violence.
In the run-up to the 2010 midterm election the GOP promised to review any laws that impose additional costs to employers. The seven paid sicks days guaranteed by the Healthy Families Act fits into that category.
Having to pay workers for seven additional days would result in a rise in cost to employers. Such an extra cost could lead to companies hiring fewer additional workers, and Republicans have said they want to reduce government regulation on employers, not add to them. Given these political realities, we rate Obama’s promise as Broken.
I don’t image there are any “costs” associated with spreading illness and disease as far and wide as possible, eh?
Of course, as usual, government regulation merely represents the bare minimum that employers must do. For example, without something like the Healthy Families Act, they could still implement a plan like this, but, mwuhahahahaha! Why the fuck would they ever do that? That would cost them money, you know, the money they deny the employees who actually did the work. Remember what Vector Man likes to say, “Never share anything you can keep yourself – unless it is a virus, of course!”
Hell, the plan wouldn’t even have applied to business with 15 or less employees. They always include an escape clause, don’t they?
So heed the words of Vector Man and promise to do your part: I will work when ill! And I’ll touch as many things as possible – phone, stapler, doorknobs – and I’ll cough and sneeze without covering my mouth. If anyone asks why, tell them, “I’m helping Vector Man save the day!”
Your hard-working nation will thank you for it! And that’s nothing to sneeze at!