Saturday, January 14, 2006

Maryland forces Wal-Mart to spend more on employee health benefits

How can I let a story like this go by without comment? It's a fascinating turn of events, and the implications are interesting no matter what side of the political spectrum you're on.

For example, those of us who believe in a free market might be understandably concerned about government dictating terms to a private enterprise about how much health benefits to provide their employees.

On the other hand, those of us who believe in a free market know that Wal-Mart, which sucks mightily at the taxpayers' teat, is not really a free market enterprise at all: it is subsidized by the taxpayers and reaps huge profits at their expense, forcing the those of us who pay taxes to pay the balance on their so-called "always low prices" with our tax dollars.

As far as I am concerned, if Wal-Mart can't stay afloat without relying on taxpayers' money, then it is a recipient of corporate welfare in the worst way and should be required to reimburse the taxpayers with some of those $10 billion record profits they are so proud of. But since we know that will never happen, the least they could do is tale steps to ensure that their employees do not have to rely on public assistance (yes, the store even encourages them to do so).

So, to all those to condemn government meddling in Wal-Mart's affairs, and who also condemn what they describe as lazy deadbeat welfare recipients who are encouraged not to become self-sufficient by living off the taxpayers, it is time to put your money where your mouth is. It's time for Wal-Mart to stand or fall without being propped up by public assistance.

p.s. - more states are pickin' up on this, too...


Mike V. said...

This has been all over the blog world, and for the most part, taking the same opinion as you and I would have.
I think people are starting to wake up to the fact that Wal Mart is in fact quite evil and they are not a good presense in their community.
Great post, Shea.

Ken Grandlund said...

The Maryland law says that companies with over 10,000 statewide employees MUST put money (8% I think)back into employee health care. What do you want to bet that Wal-Mart simply closes a few stores to fall under the 10,000 threshhold and continues to do business as usual?

SheaNC said...

Mike V - Thanks. I was met with some criticism when I posted the same thing over at the Liberal Thought blog - you might want to peruse that one, too!

Ken - You're right... they'll find loopholes, or pay legislators to write new laws for them!

Grandpa Eddie said...

There are two Dem. State Sen. here in WI who have a bill started to force large employers corp. like Walmart to pay 80% of health care costs for their employees.

Mike V. said...

check out this link.
nice adjunct for your post: