But you might think I did based on my last blog post and this morning’s op-ed piece in the Washington Post. Maryland is on the verge of passing legislation (over the governor’s veto) that forces any employer of over 10,000 people in Maryland to pay at least 8% of their payroll towards health insurance. Guess how many companies it affects… one. Go ahead and guess which one, that’s right Wal-Mart.
I really cannot believe the stupidity of the Maryland legislature. There really isn’t any doubt what will happen if this is passed, Wal Mart will close at least some of its stores in Maryland. Lots of people will lose jobs and more importantly, lots of people will be forced to pay more for the same stuff they bought before. Keep in mind that right now people have a choice of where to shop, many choose Wal Mart strictly because they can’t afford to go anywhere else. . I find it appalling that the government’s short sightedness will cost people so much. Will anyone benefit? Surely not the people that the law is supposed to help. People that work at Wal Mart will, overall be worse off due to the inevitable loss of jobs even if they do not close down stores. 8% is a big chunk of change, especially when your business model is based on low margins. If you read the links I posted in my last blog post, you’ll know that Wal Mart’s competitors will be the clear winner. In their best case scenario, they will be relieved of their most fierce competitor. Read Walter Williams’ very short piece again. I’ll even post the link again here.
The Post, to its credit, had pretty much the same stance on this as I do. They too found the Maryland senate’s actions to be the worst kind of lip service to protecting workers. Taking away jobs and limiting competition is only ever good for a very small group of people. The rest will pay for that privileged group.