Targeting Wal-Mart

I’m no big fan of Wal-Mart. I don’t go there more than once or twice a year. Frankly, I believe that Wal-Mart probably could stand to pay their employees a little more or expand their healthcare coverage a bit. But I strongly believe that Maryland’s bill targeting Wal-Mart is wrong on so many levels. I’m going to use Lee Chowaniec’s article on SpeakupWNY.com as an illustration of why.

First, arguments like this can be immediately discounted:

“Wal-Mart states that they are being targeted by the Maryland legislation. Under the new Maryland law, only employers with 10,000 or more workers in the state must spend at least 8 percent of their payrolls on health insurance, or else pay the difference into a state Medicaid fund.

Never mind that there are four employers in Maryland with more than 10,000 workers – among them, Johns Hopkins University, the grocery chain Giant Food and the military contractor Northrop Grumman, but only Wal-Mart falls below the 8 percent threshold on health care spending.”

That’s not targeting Wal-Mart? Moving on to the attacks on the ultra-conservatives…

“Whoa, isn’t it Rush who decries big government and subsidies? What would be so terrible to hold a company that was, and continues to be the paradigm of outsourcing and unscrupulous and unethical practices more responsible for paying for their workers health care needs than shifting it over to the taxpayer?”

Companies should be held responsible… by their employees and customers, not by the government. I think the organization of Wal-Mart’s work force in order for their voices to be heard louder is the appropriate way to respond. Companies shouldn’t be threatened by the government or told how they have to spend their money. Enough of that is done through taxes.

“As usual Wal-Mart countered with threats to hurt Maryland’s economy. They will determine whether it’s to their best interests to not locate a future distribution center that would employ 1.000 individuals on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.
Wal-Mart currently employs 17,000 people in 53 stores in Maryland.”

That’s not a threat, that’s a business decision. Anyone living in New York of all places should know that companies think twice (or more) before opening up in states with high costs of doing business. Maryland who just voted to hurt their own economy.

“There are citizen groups across the nation that does not want Wal-Mart in their backyards, literally speaking.”

And why are citizen groups needed to prevent Wal-Mart from coming into their community? Because the supposed “representative” governments in those communities bend over backwards to bring them in! It’s extremely possible to keep Wal-Mart out of a town if the town wants it. Just look at East Aurora. And perhaps certain localities would prefer a few hundred jobs paying $8-12/hour vs. having those few hundred people unemployed and completely living off the government.


“$9 per hour jobs and state-sponsored Medicaid subsidies,while the Walton’s family becomes even richer, all with the spiel, “we are helping the poor and low income people fulfill their needs.” “

Ah… every time I read something like this, “The Star Spangled Banner” starts going off in my head. Welcome to America, folks. You know what makes America great? We reward those that work hard to make life better for themselves and their families. Scanning UPC codes all day long is not difficult work or requires any sort of extensive training. The Waltons, like it or not, worked hard to get where they are today and should be allowed to enjoy the fruits of their labors. Maybe if those surviving off of their Wal-Mart cashier’s salary idolized the Waltons more than Jessica Simpson, they’d have loftier goals in life.

America also is about having choices, and those choices include whether you want to work for an employer that pays a specific salary. Individuals should make these choices, not the government. The government should exist to protect and educate it’s people and foster an environment that encourages personal growth. When the government begins to create laws that target the most successful companies this country has, it’s sending the wrong message to it’s people.

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