In honor of Labor Day, U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis came out with a nine-minute video touting the work the Obama administration and the Department of Labor have done on behalf of workers. Here is the video:
Most notable is a statement she makes at around 3:20 in the video claiming that the Department of Labor’s mission is “to provide good and safe jobs for everyone.” Now, let’s first naturally assume the obvious that by “everyone” she did not intend to include small children.
Given that, we are still left with a statement that it is the job of a department in the federal government to not only “provide” jobs for working-age Americans, but also make sure those jobs it provides are “good” and “safe.” In an effort to find such an expressly authorized constitutional statement noting such a power (which, as you know, is always needed to justify a power of the federal government under the 10th Amendment), I perused our “Supreme Law of the Land.” However, I was unable to find such a statement.
This is not to say such a role for government may not be worthy or laudable, which is an entirely different argument. Regardless of its worthiness, government provision of “good” jobs is not authorized in the Constitution.
Perhaps someone should inform Secretary Solis of this. Otherwise, she may be wasting her department’s time, and taxpayer money, on something that it doesn’t have the authority to do.
* I also posted this on the Young Americans for Liberty blog.