August 1, 2011 12:31PM

Telegraph Messengers, Elevator Operators and the Connecticut Economy

Attorney/​blogger Daniel Schwartz notes that even as the state of Connecticut continues to enact new labor laws at a hectic pace — from obligatory employer‐​paid sick leave, a first‐​of‐​its‐​kind law, to new curbs on consideration of workers’ credit records in hiring — it seldom gets around to repealing any of the obsolete old ones, such as its laws regulating the working conditions of telegraph messengers and elevator operators and saying disabled persons need a doctor’s note to accept night‐​time work in stores and restaurants. Because more law equals better law, right?

Not at all by coincidence, the New Haven Register noted ruefully in February that Connecticut has had zero job growth since 1990 and that the state “is projected to have the lowest national job growth rate — less than 1 percent — through 2016, according to IHS Global Insight, a New York economic analysis company.” At this rate, Connecticut is going to need every telegraph messenger and elevator operator job it can get. Is it any wonder the country is looking elsewhere — and in particular to states like Texas — for policy leadership?