Individuals and businesses agree to work by contract

Britain Stites

By Britain Stites

Guest Columnist

?There is a definition to the invisible line that was mentioned by Knipp. It is very easy to find, as the plight of Grusendorf will tell anyone. The solution between private business and private individuals is already found in one word: contract. We sign them. We agree to them. We can even negotiate them. The invisible line is actually the dotted line.

?Private businesses are just that – private. Business and market-action is not the business of the government. Government is something that we do not choose to interact with. We must deal with the government, because of it being of us, by us and for us. That is the idealist in me, at least. On the other hand, we choose who do business with. We choose who we work for, by applying and interviewing. For example, over the summer I did asbestos abatement. By signing the contract with my employer, I agreed to show up to work on time, not smoke within containment, etc. I never did like being to work at five in the morning and driving for three to four hours a day, but that is what I signed on to do. I did not like working 12-hour workdays in saunas of 120+ degrees F, and returning to the afternoon shift from my only half hour lunch. Most of all, I hated having an almost three-year relationship torn up and thrown away by that work schedule, but that was my choice to work for them. Yet again, America is built upon the sanctity of the contract, because of what we choose to do.

?The Grusendorf case is different than mine. He was hired as a firefighter trainee by the city fire department. To the layperson, he was a government employee and as a firefighter, much like a police officer and military personnel, had an obligation to the safety and security of the citizenry. Following the test provided by the United States Supreme Court, smoking is not a fundamental right in regards to privacy. On top of that, the city government would have an important government interest in the health of those who save the citizens. Is a firefighter truly effective if he/she is wheezing and unable to carry the victims? Is a firefighter effective if he/she becomes the victim?

?Whereas Knipp’s facts are laid out correctly, we come to a division of interpretations. Griswold v. Connecticut established “zones of privacy” by securing privacy, in relation to the concept of family. That was the precedent that paved the way for Roe v. Wade to be decided the way it was. Olmstead v. United States, in deciding that wiretaps without warrant were OK, did not in fact confer the “right to be let alone.” That right was found in the dissent of Justice Brandeis, not the ruling handed out by the court. In fact, privacy was found in relation to the government’s intrusions, not those of private business that a contract is made with.

?Private companies and business do what we let them do to us. The government has no place in those transactions. The government seems to do well in staying out. I quiver in shame in doing this, but I recall when Jim Ryun visited campus last fall. Representative Ryun told us that, in relation to healthcare, personal responsibility is the surest bet. So if you sign a contract that lets you be videotaped peeing or that pack and a half of cigarettes is too much, it’s your fault. Is it not?