Reinventing FDR’s Social Contract

Sunday, January 30, 2005
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A leading anti-Wal-Mart rag attacks again. This time, the claim is that Wal-Mart is trampling on the New Deal and its notion of the “social contract.” The same old claim comes to roost here: Wal-Mart is evil because it doesn’t cover enough of its employees’ health care costs. Let’s take one terribly mistaken bit:

The skirmishes feature charges that Wal-Mart racks up huge profits while covering health care for just 45 percent of its workers and freeloading on taxpayers, who are stuck with the tab for the uninsured and their family members.

Thing is, virtually none of these employees had medical insurance heading into their Wal-Mart employment. Obviously, that employment was their best alternative out of all available choices at the time they took Wal-Mart employment. Wal-Mart, in fact, is taking some peple off the dole by giving them health insurance, or an option to get it with cost-sharing, even though it is a huge cost to grant any coverage at all to low-paid, unskilled, retail workers.

Recently, California liberals tried to mandate corporate health care coverage, or, if that didn’t go over, they wanted to have corporations pay into a State welfare plan. Thankfully, the bill went down. Now ask yourself: doesn’t California have enough problems chasing away businesses via massive tax and regulation policies? Because of foreign policy, I’d typically never advocate a Republican, but in California, that’s one place where all hell will break loose if a Democrat is to rule any time soon.

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