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Wal-Mart Fights Maryland Law Mandating Minimus Level of Health Benefit Spending

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  • How? Not a single employee will get healthcare they're not already getting today.

    what else did your magic 8 ball tell ya?

    It shows them that they can slide. Rather than an action that would make Wal-Mart get real healthcare plans, they simply hand over an 8% bribe to the state and they can continue their behavior.

    I see it differently. maybe it will even set the whells in motion for a more employee minded walmart who worries about the lives of it's employees.

    Does it? It ties the people to the way they operate. Suddenly the state gets a few million bucks a year for doing nothing and suddenly politicians don't want Wal-Mart to offer healthcare, a la sin taxation.

    I think it does. I think it can help and at the very least it sends a message.

    It was probably made by a company you'll put out of business tomorrow....

    They came from a chain of fair trade stores called 10,000 Villiages, actually.
    If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.

    Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.
    -Oscar Wilde
  • what else did your magic 8 ball tell ya?

    Nothing. You're the one that imagines that an 8% bribe suddenly equates to health care for Wal-Mart's employees.

    This is a glorified fine. The money goes to the government, not to a health care plan. It can certainly help fund Maryland's existing programs that are running in the red, but these workers already have access to those plans.
    I see it differently. maybe it will even set the whells in motion for a more employee minded walmart who worries about the lives of it's employees.

    Why do that when it's cheaper to pay the fines? Do you expect them to do both?
    I think it does. I think it can help and at the very least it sends a message.

    Ok.
    They came from a chain of fair trade stores called 10,000 Villiages, actually.

    How dare you support something that actually made a profit last year? ;)
  • Nothing. You're the one that imagines that an 8% bribe suddenly equates to health care for Wal-Mart's employees.

    This is a glorified fine. The money goes to the government, not to a health care plan. It can certainly help fund Maryland's existing programs that are running in the red, but these workers already have access to those plans.

    not true, many people who have no health insurance don't qualify for medicaid

    Why do that when it's cheaper to pay the fines? Do you expect them to do both?

    because they do have to worry about bad PR. You seem prefer them to continue on with the 'do nothing' approach.
    How dare you support something that actually made a profit last year? ;)
    I never said I was against profit....again with your absolutes, you sith! ;)
    If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.

    Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.
    -Oscar Wilde
  • El_KabongEl_Kabong Posts: 4,141
    Nothing. You're the one that imagines that an 8% bribe suddenly equates to health care for Wal-Mart's employees.

    This is a glorified fine. The money goes to the government, not to a health care plan. It can certainly help fund Maryland's existing programs that are running in the red, but these workers already have access to those plans.

    but if it's going to pay for the state health programs, and so many are on it from these companies...then it actually is paying for health care
    Why do that when it's cheaper to pay the fines? Do you expect them to do both?

    but aren't they? the 'fine' is going toward the state health care program, which so many of their employees are forced to have (or have no insurance at all)


    How dare you support something that actually made a profit last year? ;)


    it's actually a non-profit store ;)
    standin above the crowd
    he had a voice that was strong and loud and
    i swallowed his facade cos i'm so
    eager to identify with
    someone above the crowd
    someone who seemed to feel the same
    someone prepared to lead the way
  • surferdude wrote:
    It will also chase jobs out of the country and deter new investment. In general both these have a larger negative impact on the poor than the rich. And I thought it was the poor you were trying to protect!!!

    It isn't feasible to outsource jobs in the service sector.
  • not true, many people who have no health insurance don't qualify for medicaid

    Certainly. But the average worker for Wal-Mart does qualify for Medicaid and Maryland's state plan. Furthermore, this law does absolutely nothing to change their status, one way or the other. Unqualified workers still get nothing. Qualified workers get nothing more than they're getting today.
    because they do have to worry about bad PR.

    But now their PR firm can simply say, "it's not our responsibility to get you good health care." And this time they'd be right because the state is now accepting the responsibility and Wal-Mart is doing exactly what the state asks...paying their 8% ransom. Wal-Mart will soon be able to say, I'd wager, that they contribute more to Maryland's health care system than any other entity, yet the status and care of their workers will not change a bit.
    You seem prefer them to continue on with the 'do nothing' approach.

    Not at all. I prefer to work towards a goal by taking steps toward that goal, rather than against it. I want people to stop shopping at Wal-Mart so I do my best to educate them such that they understand why Wal-Mart can sell stuff so cheap. I want people to stop working at Wal-Mart so I do my best to provide jobs better than Wal-Marts.

    Complaining about Wal-Mart produces nothing more than complaints. And laws against Wal-Mart aren't going to help the people who need Wal-Mart as both an employer of last resort and a place to obtain low-cost goods.

    If we want people to make the choices we think are best, we need to convince them, not just force them.
    I never said I was against profit....again with your absolutes, you sith! ;)

    Just a litte of your own medicine... :)
  • El_Kabong wrote:
    but if it's going to pay for the state health programs, and so many are on it from these companies...then it actually is paying for health care

    That's what they said about the tabacco lawsuit money, remember? And look how that turned out.
    but aren't they? the 'fine' is going toward the state health care program, which so many of their employees are forced to have (or have no insurance at all)

    It's not necessarily going to the state health care program. It's going to the state.
    it's actually a non-profit store ;)

    For a non-profit, they suck. They turned a half-million dollar profit last year on $16m in sales. Kind of funny....that's almost exactly the same profit margin (3%) as Wal-Mart.

    http://www.tenthousandvillages.com/pdf/Annual%20Report%200405.pdf
  • Certainly. But the average worker for Wal-Mart does qualify for Medicaid and Maryland's state plan. Furthermore, this law does absolutely nothing to change their status, one way or the other. Unqualified workers still get nothing. Qualified workers get nothing more than they're getting today.



    But now their PR firm can simply say, "it's not our responsibility to get you good health care." And this time they'd be right because the state is now accepting the responsibility and Wal-Mart is doing exactly what the state asks...paying their 8% ransom. Wal-Mart will soon be able to say, I'd wager, that they contribute more to Maryland's health care system than any other entity, yet the status and care of their workers will not change a bit.



    Not at all. I prefer to work towards a goal by taking steps toward that goal, rather than against it. I want people to stop shopping at Wal-Mart so I do my best to educate them such that they understand why Wal-Mart can sell stuff so cheap. I want people to stop working at Wal-Mart so I do my best to provide jobs better than Wal-Marts.

    Complaining about Wal-Mart produces nothing more than complaints. And laws against Wal-Mart aren't going to help the people who need Wal-Mart as both an employer of last resort and a place to obtain low-cost goods.

    If we want people to make the choices we think are best, we need to convince them, not just force them.



    Just a litte of your own medicine... :)

    more money into the system is more money to help those in need who are also walmart employees. they are only paying for the problem they created.
    If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.

    Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.
    -Oscar Wilde
  • more money into the system is more money to help those in need who are also walmart employees.

    Unless that system, as systems tend to do, just wastes that money.
    they are only paying for the problem they created.

    A bloated state budget??? No, Wal-Mart did not create that problem.
  • El_KabongEl_Kabong Posts: 4,141
    For a non-profit, they suck. They turned a half-million dollar profit last year on $16m in sales. Kind of funny....that's almost exactly the same profit margin (3%) as Wal-Mart.

    http://www.tenthousandvillages.com/pdf/Annual%20Report%200405.pdf

    hmm...out of over $16million the US profit was $447,954...all that money and look at the actual profit that ended up somewhere other than the corporation...and it works. $447,954 does not compare to tens of billions
    standin above the crowd
    he had a voice that was strong and loud and
    i swallowed his facade cos i'm so
    eager to identify with
    someone above the crowd
    someone who seemed to feel the same
    someone prepared to lead the way
  • Unless that system, as systems tend to do, just wastes that money.



    A bloated state budget??? No, Wal-Mart did not create that problem.


    We can fix the system.

    Walmart created the impoverished employees who need the system. Now they can bare some of the burden of the consequences.
    If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.

    Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.
    -Oscar Wilde
  • surferdudesurferdude Posts: 2,057
    We can fix the system.
    Do you really believe this? Just look at our electoral choices and who we elect. I don't believe we can fix the system. All I really hope for is less government in our lives, giving us a chance to create a more just world. Governments do not care about either justice nor the individual.
    “One good thing about music,
    when it hits you, you feel to pain.
    So brutalize me with music.”
    ~ Bob Marley
  • SongburstSongburst Posts: 1,195
    How can a law the applies to only one business be equated to "equalling the playing field"????

    Most Maryland businesses do offer health benefits, but are free not to (except for Wal-Mart of course).

    As a business owner, I can tell you that the 8% number is very low, even for the average business. My employees' health care packages cost about 30% of my payroll.

    OK, if the 8% number is low, then how can you say that it is not equalling the playing field? If I owned a grocery store in Maryland and I paid my workers a decent wage and offered decent benefits, how could I compete with the Wal Mart monster when their labour costs are at least 30% lower than mine? It looks like this law is kind of protecting the little guy a little bit by increasing Wal Mart's cost of doing business. I used to work in the grocery business and I can tell you that Wal Mart affects the wages of employees of more than just Wal Mart. Just by having a Wal Mart around, other stores are forced to cut wages just to have a chance at survival. The ironic part is that once those wages are cut, the only place people can afford to shop is Wal Mart.
    1/12/1879, 4/8/1156, 2/6/1977, who gives a shit, ...
  • El_Kabong wrote:
    hmm...out of over $16million the US profit was $447,954...all that money and look at the actual profit that ended up somewhere other than the corporation...and it works. $447,954 does not compare to tens of billions

    Certainly $447,954 is less than $11 billion. But $16 million is also less than $350 billion. The profit margin, however, is almost equal (3%). Both stores work, meaning that they serve their consumers in a fashion that the consumers want.

    10,000 Villages' made a profit of only $260,000 the year before. Do they need that extra $180,000 they made in 2005??? Doesn't that, by your standards, make them greedy???

    To me, it simply looks like 10,000 Villages is running a good business and a growing business. Good for them.
  • Songburst wrote:
    OK, if the 8% number is low, then how can you say that it is not equalling the playing field?

    The "playing field" is the competitive environment. You don't "equalize" that playing field by forcing one business to operate by a different set of rules. Every other company in Maryland now has one competitive option that Wal-Mart does not have.
    If I owned a grocery store in Maryland and I paid my workers a decent wage and offered decent benefits, how could I compete with the Wal Mart monster when their labour costs are at least 30% lower than mine?

    Ummm....by doing a better job than they do, perhaps. By convincing people to shop at your store for a reason other than price. Target, for example, is now directly competing with Wal-Mart in many areas and beating Wal-Mart based on a better shopping environment, better service, and better products sold still all at relatively low price.

    Look, this is not a new problem. There are always big companies out there that people look at and say, "no one can compete with them". See AT&T -- hello cell phone. See IBM -- hello Microsoft. Time and time again, while politicians are scrambling to "equalize the playing field" someone comes along and simply does things better.
    It looks like this law is kind of protecting the little guy a little bit by increasing Wal Mart's cost of doing business.

    All this law is doing is hurting the little guy who shops at Wal-Mart by increasing the prices he'll pay for his products.

    It is not the business of government to aim to increase a specific entity's cost of doing business.
    I used to work in the grocery business and I can tell you that Wal Mart affects the wages of employees of more than just Wal Mart. Just by having a Wal Mart around, other stores are forced to cut wages just to have a chance at survival. The ironic part is that once those wages are cut, the only place people can afford to shop is Wal Mart.

    I certainly wouldn't deny that this happens, but it doesn't explain why many grocery and general stores do treat their employees well and still survive.

    The local grocery store that thinks they can compete with Wal-Mart on price suffers by their own stupidity, not Wal-Mart's. Wal-Mart has cornered the market on price, and their filthy, inefficient, unhelpful stores demonstrate that fact. Price, however, is not everything.
  • We can fix the system.

    By supporting ridiculous moves like this? No.
    Walmart created the impoverished employees who need the system. Now they can bare some of the burden of the consequences.

    They already bear the burden. Wal-Mart feeds nearly $2,000,000,000 / year in tax payments into the system already.

    If you want Wal-Mart to bear its complete fair share of the burden, go after the special tax exemptions and dispensations that they (and other groups) receive. But don't just implement a new rule directed only at them.
  • By supporting ridiculous moves like this? No.

    Supporting worker protection laws.
    They already bear the burden. Wal-Mart feeds nearly $2,000,000,000 / year in tax payments into the system already.

    If you want Wal-Mart to bear its complete fair share of the burden, go after the special tax exemptions and dispensations that they (and other groups) receive. But don't just implement a new rule directed only at them.

    or both

    WalMart's business practices are unique, shady and with potential negative economic consequenses. They use their influence to bully. Hence they end up with a law directed at them.
  • Supporting worker protection laws.

    What worker does this law protect?
    or both

    You can't have your cake and eat it too.
    WalMart's business practices are unique, shady and with potential negative economic consequenses. They use their influence to bully. Hence they end up with a law directed at them.

    So in other words you'll rid the world of Wal-Mart by resorting to its standards??? Good luck with that.
  • barakabaraka Posts: 1,268
    It is true that Walmart has some unethical business practices (I just recently hired a college student that said they used to make her clock out before finishing cleaning the department she was assigned to). They also insure less than half of their work force and more of their employees are on Medicaid than any other large company.

    That said, as much as I'd like to 'stick it' to Walmart (Walmart is a sore spot for me. I live in Northwest Arkansas, the headquarters of 'the Walmart'), I think this legislation sets a very bad precedent and it makes me uncomfortable.( Yikes! I'm sounding a bit like a Republican!) Maybe we don't care that the government is dictating how much Walmart should spend on healthcare for employees (My first reaction to the idea was, Good!), because of their shady track record, but what happens when the government starts legislating how companies that I support should spend their money? I'm not sure I want to open this door.
    The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance,
    but the illusion of knowledge.
    ~Daniel Boorstin

    Only a life lived for others is worth living.
    ~Albert Einstein
  • Uncle LeoUncle Leo Posts: 1,073
    baraka wrote:
    It is true that Walmart has some unethical business practices (I just recently hired a college student that said they used to make her clock out before finishing cleaning the department she was assigned to). They also insure less than half of their work force and more of their employees are on Medicaid than any other large company.

    That said, as much as I'd like to 'stick it' to Walmart (Walmart is a sore spot for me. I live in Northwest Arkansas, the headquarters of 'the Walmart'), I think this legislation sets a very bad precedent and it makes me uncomfortable.( Yikes! I'm sounding a bit like a Republican!) Maybe we don't care that the government is dictating how much Walmart should spend on healthcare for employees (My first reaction to the idea was, Good!), because of their shady track record, but what happens when the government starts legislating how companies that I support should spend their money? I'm not sure I want to open this door.

    Good post. You pretty much nailed it for me. Fuck WalMart, but this rule could be a slippery slope.
    I cannot come up with a new sig till I get this egg off my face.
  • Uncle Leo wrote:
    Good post. You pretty much nailed it for me. Fuck WalMart, but this rule could be a slippery slope.

    I do agree that this is not the best solution possible but in sea of no solutions and shrugs, it is something.
    If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.

    Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.
    -Oscar Wilde
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