Maryland Is Now A Province Of Red China
I cannot believe the short-sighted legislation that Maryland just passed. The bill forces any employer that has more than 10,000 employees in Maryland to spend 8% of their payroll expense on health-care for their employees. It just so happens that Wal-Mart is the only employer in MD that has over 10,000 employees. What a coincidence!
Here are some choice quotes from the liberal brain trust:
"Don't dump your employees that you refuse to insure into our Medicaid system," said the bill's sponsor, Sen. Gloria Lawlah.
In the House, Delegate Anne Healey compared Wal-Mart to a schoolyard bully. "We're here to tell this bully to change his behavior," she said.
And the minority voice of reason:
House Republican Leader George Edwards called the measure an unwarranted intrusion into private enterprise. "If you don't want to work for Wal-Mart, no one's twisting your arms. Go somewhere else and work," Edwards said.
Wait... you mean Wal-Mart employees aren't indentured servants!?! I didn't know they had a choice of where to work!
If I was Wal-Mart, I would immediately close enough facilities to get under 10,000 employees in MD (they currently have 17,000). Then I would open distribution centers & technology centers just on the other side of the MD state line in each of the neighboring states.
An alternate strategy would be to contribute the money to health care expenses that directly help Wal-Mart's bottom line... smoking secession programs, weight loss programs, etc.
If Maryland is really committed to employers providing health-care, they should pass a law that requires every employer to provide health-care. This won't happen, however, because it would create more unemployment and, therefore, more folks on the Medicare rolls. That being said, I never underestimate the lack of economic literacy of politicians. Time will tell if idiot-legislators from other states will try to crater their economies with similar bills.
Update: Go read Don Luskin's column over at The Conspiracy.