Walmart, Maryland, Healthcare

Full article here.

Maryland lawmakers yesterday approved legislation that would effectively require Wal-Mart to boost spending on health care, a direct legislative thrust against a corporate giant that is already on the defensive on many fronts nationwide…

…Lawmakers said they did not set out to single out Wal-Mart when they drafted a bill requiring organizations with more than 10,000 employees to spend at least 8 percent of their payroll on health benefits — or put the money directly into the state’s health program for the poor.

But as debate raged in the Senate yesterday, it was clear that the giant retailer, which has 15,000 workers in Maryland, was the only company that would be affected.

For an alternative view of how excessive regulation harms us all, see here.

Regulation routinely imposes harms that even the most intelligent reformer cannot foresee. Interventionists, as Ludwig von Mises argued in Critique of Interventionism, are “seriously deluded regarding the extent of the productivity loss caused by government interventions.”

…Take the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which Congress established in 1970. OSHA’s mandate was to assure for all workers safe and healthful working conditions “by encouraging employers and employees in their efforts to reduce the number of occupational safety and health hazards at their places of employment.”

Yet, unsurprisingly, OSHA’s 30-year record has been marred by failure. According to a regulatory analysis performed by the Cato Institute, while OSHA supporters cite evidence attesting to the agency’s effectiveness, “the vast majority of studies has found no statistically significant reduction in the rate of workplace fatalities or injuries due to OSHA.”[4] Interventionists are hard-pressed to maintain that OSHA meets even the minimum criterion for any government program: Does it have any desirable effect on the problem it is supposed to solve?

Worse, OSHA’s failure has been bad for business. A 1995 study by the Employment Policy Foundation found that 19 percent of the productivity slowdown in the 1970s was directly attributable to regulations imposed by OSHA and that nearly half of the slowdown in long-term productivity can be explained by rising government regulatory activity…

…the 69,684-page Federal Register. It is rife with rules and restrictions that alter the way entrepreneurs act in the marketplace. Its mandates are costly, redundant, and ultimately destructive of the market forces that create prosperity for everyone. Yet it continues to grow. But as history has amply shown, it is free markets, not government regulation, that make us better off. Would that the interventionists could learn this most simple of lessons.

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Cookie Jar Game UPdate

Looks like a Republican stole a cookie from the cookie jar after all (see previous post here). Read all about it at Powerline.

Mel Martinez, Florida Freshman Senator, says:

“…he discovered Wednesday that the memo had been written by an aide in his office. “It is with profound disappointment and regret that I learned today that a senior member of my staff was unilaterally responsible for this document,” Martinez said.”

That staff member has resigned.

In a truly embarrassing state of affairs, Martinez says that he himself handed the memo to Harkin, not realizing what was in his pocket. How do these guys get elected?

Martinez, in his statement, said Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, had asked for background information on the bill ordering a federal court to review the Schiavo case.

He said he pulled a one-page document from his coat pocket and handed to Harkin. “Unbeknownst to me … I had given him a copy of the now infamous memo.”

He said Harkin had called him earlier Wednesday to say he believes the memo had been given to him by Martinez. The Florida senator said he then ordered an internal investigation in his office.

Powerline points out that this latest story is still different in several important particulars from the previous versions reported by the press, particularly those versions where the press

“attributed the “talking points memo” to “Republican officials” and “party leaders…”

Nonetheless, it is my view that this is a story that does no one any credit, and I must excuse myself to go and wash the egg from my face.

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Having informed my father that I absolutely refused to believe gas prices could remain as high as they are, and that a solution must be found SOMETIME!, his only response was to tell me he’d vote for me. It’s not like I was volunteering, or anything. Only complaining.

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Suppose you took a round ball of steel, the size of the earth, and an ant that could never die. You put the ant on the ball, and it started walking around the ball. Gradually, it would wear a small track in the metal. In a while, say a few billion years, it would have worn a track an inch deep.

And Eternity would have barely begun.

Hope you don’t mind my using that, daddy o. 🙂

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Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds…

…or bends with the remover to remove.
Oh, no. It is an ever fix-ed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken…”
(Wm. Shakespeare, quoted in that Inestimable Film, Sense and Sensibility)

We watched a rather twee and twaddlesome romantic movie last night. There were funny moments, and a good moral message, but one thing stood out to me after we had finished it:
The man had no faults. He was always patient, always kind, always right, always gentle. There is no reality in such characterization. Seeing such a poor portrayal made me reflect (as many things do) upon Jane Austen’s true command of characterization. We love her heroes, but they are not perfect. Mr. Darcy will forever battle his pride. Edmund Bertram has a propensity to misjudge character. Mr. Bingley has to learn a strength of character.
These men do not become less worthy because of their faults. Indeed, their recognition of these problem areas makes them more endearing (in Mr. Darcy’s case, he was forced to face his pride before he became endaring at all). Despite smarmy made-for-TV movies, no woman should really expect a perfect man to come along (there’s a reason he’s called Mr. Right and not Mr. Perfect, ladies). What should be expected is a right man who is set on correcting his errors. This is not an unrealistic vision. It should be the only vision a woman has. If she expects perfection, she’s going to be hurt. Badly.

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