OpinionMeister

Thursday, May 19, 2005

MD Gov Vetoes Wal-Mart Bill

The Washington Post reports that Maryland Governor Robert Erlich vetoed a bill that applied only to Wal-Mart and would have required it to pay 8% of its payroll in health-care benefits. Link.
Ehrlich chose Somerset County as his venue because it has one of the state's highest unemployment rates, and the fate of a planned Wal-Mart distribution center here has become entangled in the controversy surrounding the bill. [...]

"It singles a company out in a way that is discriminatory," he said of the legislation, which passed on largely party line votes, in the heavily Democratic General Assembly this year.

The bill would have required for-profit companies with more than 10,000 employees to spend 8 percent of their payroll on health-care benefits. As written, Wal-Mart is the only known company operating in Maryland that would be affected.

It is a problem when you base a party on nothing but a grouping of special interests. The Democrats are following the AFL-CIO lead in making Wal-Mart public enemy #1. However, the people that used to make up a majority of their voters are the target audience of Wal-Mart, which saves them a great deal of money as consumers, and are employed in large numbers by the firm. Democrats like to keep pointing out that Wal-Mart employees make less than United Auto Workers members who are lucky enough to still have a job. However, the employees know that the company pays a lot more than other retail merchants in the area.

Wal-Mart did not become the largest retailer in the country by exploiting people or ignoring the wants of its customers. It gives its customers good quality products at good prices, and it keeps its huge employee pool by treating them better than other employers of low-skilled workers. Otherwise, they would go and work somewhere else.

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