Friday, August 05, 2005

Michael: Corporate Welfare from the ground up In Arizona

Arizona taxpayers subsidize Wal-Mart employees healthcare. Nearly 10 percent of Wal-Mart's workforce qualify for state aid.

Here in America Inc. we are used to seeing wealthy and powerful corporations raking in welfare benefits in the form of subsidies, guaranteed loans, bailouts, tax breaks, and various kinds of pork and sweetheart deals proferred by greed-head politicians (a distinction without a difference, I'm afraid). But the growth of corporate welfare from the grassroots is a fairly unexamined phenomenon. Nearly half of those recieving state assistance are employed, mostly by food and service companies.

How much does it cost taxpayers every year to subsidize the chronic underpayment of American workers? Wouldn't it be more efficient and fair to require employers to pay a living wage and supply healthcare benefits and pass those costs on to their customers, rather than to all taxpayers? Wouldn't it be more ethical to require employers to provide wages that people can live off, rather than making working people take poverty benefits just to get by?


At 12:36 PM, Blogger shrimplate said...

Have you seen this?

Speaker of Idaho House considers legislation to require insurance

By The Associated Press
BOISE -- The speaker of the state House of Representatives is mulling a proposal that could require businesses to provide employees with insurance, or reimburse Idaho for publicly funded health care costs.

Medicaid costs have grown tenfold since 1990, and now account for about 14 percent of state spending.

To try to reverse the trend, Rep. Bruce Newcomb, R-Burley, is proposing that employers buy health insurance for their workers, or pay the state to offset Medicaid costs.

Newcomb's target: Wal-Mart stores.

What's this I see? Is that an "R" after Representative Newcomb's name?! Suggesting that large multinational corporations should (gasp!) act responsibly?

At 10:05 PM, Blogger Joel Gaines said...

So you realize your ideas about Republicans are wrong afterall? Great day in the morning! Miracles never cease!

Actually, it doesn't have diddly to do with a multinational corporation. It is about the general Republican stance against the government providing health care. I don't see this flying - but it's not a bad idea. What we are talking about here is health care for PTEs, I believe. My understanding (which could be wrong) is that this is not about the FTEs at Walmart. Extending benefits to PTEs who have a higher likely hood to attrit to yet another part time job is expensive for a lot of people. The person who will end up paying the price is the consumer because people are not going to stop shopping at a place where you can get your hair and nails done, get a family photo, a hotdog, a box of shotgun shells, a bathing suit, all your groceries, and a hot glue gun - all in one trip - just because the prices are now the same as everyone else's. You reckon?

At 3:49 PM, Blogger Michael said...

Yes, the consumer would pay for such a decision. And should do so willingly. Lower prices for consumers do not point the inerrant way to a good society. There are many values we have as citizens that do not always coincide with our immediate consumer interests of more, better, cheaper. People are very often willing to pay more for things, and to pay more taxes, when they know the result is more of what they value as citizens. I believe most people in America (and polling bears me out) believe in equitable basic health care. Very few people would claim that their value system requires that those who cannot afford necessary health care should go without it. This is a Christian nation, and such a cold and uncaring attitude is simply not Christian.


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