Maryland Overrides "Wal-Mart" Bill

Friday, January 13, 2006
Yesterday, the Maryland Senate overrode the veto of a bill that would require employers to spend at least 8 percent of its payroll on employee health care or pay the difference to the state in taxes.

This is effectively a "Wal-Mart" bill because it is the only company in the state that currently hires over 10,000 employees and does not pay the minimum 8 percent.

Now any regular follower of my blog knows on what side of this issue I fall, but I am not here to argue that. I just wish, just once, that a company like Wal-Mart would say, ok, if that is the cost of doing business, so be it, and then pick up and walk out.

It will never happen, but boy do I wish I could see it. Then we would really get to see who needs who. Maybe Wal-mart really does need to have a presence in Maryland. Maybe they need the of revenues that state represents to Wal-mart's bottom line (my guess would be that I would fall in less than 1%). Maybe the states would realize that some jobs are better than no jobs, even if the state has to foot some of the medical bills. Maybe then, the citizens of a state could decide once and for how important Wal-mart is or isn't.

It may be sick and perverse, but the economist in me would love to see the experiment.
It's funny. As much as Wal-Mart doesn't think about , or just discounts, the negative effects of its policies on the state's economy, the Wal-Mart critics don't think about the positive effects Wal-Mart brings either. We as a society are so compartmentalized. We see things for what we want to see them as and how they directly affect us without thinking about the larger consequences.