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China and Christianity Don't Repeal the 22nd Amendment

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Dems Want Wal-Mart to Tithe on Healthcare

by Christopher Chantrill
February 26, 2006 at 9:08 am

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LOOK AT WAL-MART. It has revolutionized retailing with relentless cost reduction and process improvement. It helps keep the United States at No. 1 in wealth and productivity. When it opens a store in ordinary America, about 4,000 people usually apply for the 400 jobs.

But when Wal-Mart opens a store in underprivileged America, then the jobseekers tear the place down. In Oakland, California, 11,000 people applied for jobs at a new Wal-Mart store. But that was on the weeny Left Coast. When Wal-Mart applied to build a store in Chicago, in the underprivileged South Side of “The City That Works,” the city’s Democrat council said no thanks, we don’t need your stink’n store and its jobs. So Wal-Mart built a store right across the Chicago city line in Evergreen Park. A total of 25,000 people applied for the 325 positions at the new store.

And everybody’s happy, right?

No, liberals and Democrats are not happy.

You see, liberals think it an outrage that there are people out there with basic human needs unmet. For instance, they believe that if someone, a Wal-Mart employee, for instance, cannot afford health insurance then you should pay for it. Because health care is a basic human right.

They certainly have a point. If someone is in need, then we have a moral duty to help them. The question is, when does a moral duty become a legal duty? At what point do we start legislating morality? Well, for one thing, when we pass a law that says that if a large corporation, e.g. Wal-Mart, doesn’t spend 8 percent of payroll on health care for its employees, it should pay the government the difference. That is what they just did in the great state of Maryland.

It is, of course, a fine and moral thing to pass a law to force other people to spend their money to for a great moral purpose like increasing access to health care. It feels so good, we should do it more often. But for Wal-Mart, things are not so easy.

Wal-Mart believes in Always Low Prices for its customers. It does not actually believe that Always Low Prices for its customers is a moral issue, or a human right, but pretty close to it. The problem is that Wal-Mart is not willing to sacrifice its Always Low Prices on the altar of First Dollar Health Insurance. It offers a range of health insurance options to its employees, but nothing close to the First Dollar Health Insurance offered by many of its unionized competitors. For Democrats, who worship at the shrine of First Dollar Health Insurance, Wal-Mart’s measly health insurance offering is a blasphemy.

We all know where that can get you these days.

But the Democrats’ problem with Wal-Mart is not just religious. It is also practical. Many of Wal-Mart’s entry-level employees are eligible for Medicaid and other government health benefits. Not surprisingly, these workers choose to continue their government health benefits instead of actually paying for their health insurance through Wal-Mart. That is why Democrats passed a law in Maryland to force companies with over 5,000 employees that do not spend 8 percent of payroll on health insurance to cough up the difference to the state government. They wanted Wal-Mart to pick up the tab.

The Maryland law is just for starters. Here in Washington State, Democrats are pushing a law that requires large employers to pay at least 9 percent of payroll on health insurance or pay up. Eight percent, nine percent. Pretty soon we are talking about tithing.

Of course, Wal-Mart has not been taking this lying down. After all, Wal-Mart did not get to be the “global best practice” retailer and America’s Economic Secret Weapon for nothing. It is not going to sit around dithering while some State Senator Lex Luthor tosses a bag of kryptonite over the fence into its cost structure. So Wal-Mart, as reported by The New York Times reporter Michael Barbaro, has started opening health clinics in its stores and is offering a health insurance Value Plan with a cost of $11 per month for an individual that “allows for three generic prescriptions and three doctor visits before a [$1,000] deductible kicks in.”

Meanwhile in Sterling, Illinois, according to the Wall Street Journal, Wal-Mart is opening an 880,000 sq ft distribution center. In Sterling a mere 6,000 people applied for Wal-Mart’s 675 jobs. When Susan Adami was offered a Wal-Mart job at $13 per hour she

had to catch herself... ‘Heck, that’s more than I’ve made working 29 years,’ she says. Her last job paid $11 per hour, the most she ever earned working in a factory.

At least Susan Adami is happy with Wal-Mart.

Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.

Buy his Road to the Middle Class.

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Chappies

“But I saw a man yesterday who knows a fellow who had it from a chappie that said that Urquhart had been dipping himself a bit recklessly off the deep end.”  —Freddy Arbuthnot
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison


Civil Society

“Civil Society”—a complex welter of intermediate institutions, including businesses, voluntary associations, educational institutions, clubs, unions, media, charities, and churches—builds, in turn, on the family, the primary instrument by which people are socialized into their culture and given the skills that allow them to live in broader society and through which the values and knowledge of that society are transmitted across the generations.
Francis Fukuyama, Trust


Hugo on Genius

“Tear down theory, poetic systems... No more rules, no more models... Genius conjures up rather than learns... ” —Victor Hugo
César Graña, Bohemian versus Bourgeois


Education

“We have met with families in which for weeks together, not an article of sustenance but potatoes had been used; yet for every child the hard-earned sum was provided to send them to school.”
E. G. West, Education and the State


Faith & Purpose

“When we began first to preach these things, the people appeared as awakened from the sleep of ages—they seemed to see for the first time that they were responsible beings, and that a refusal to use the means appointed was a damning sin.”
Finke, Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990


Conversion

“When we received Christ,” Phil added, “all of a sudden we now had a rule book to go by, and when we had problems the preacher was right there to give us the answers.”
James M. Ault, Jr., Spirit and Flesh


Postmodernism

A writer who says that there are no truths, or that all truth is ’merely relative’, is asking you not to believe him. So don’t.
Roger Scruton, Modern Philosophy


Faith and Politics

As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, the principal focus of her interventions in the public arena is the protection and promotion of the dignity of the person, and she is thereby consciously drawing particular attention to principles which are not negotiable... [1.] protection of life in all its stages, from the first moment of conception until natural death; [2.] recognition and promotion of the natural structure of the family... [3.] the protection of the right of parents to educate their children.
Pope Benedict XVI, Speech to European Peoples Party, 2006


China and Christianity

At first, we thought [the power of the West] was because you had more powerful guns than we had. Then we thought it was because you had the best political system. Next we focused on your economic system. But in the past twenty years, we have realized that the heart of your culture is your religion: Christianity.
David Aikman, Jesus in Beijing


Religion, Property, and Family

But the only religions that have survived are those which support property and the family. Thus the outlook for communism, which is both anti-property and anti-family, (and also anti-religion), is not promising.
F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit


Conservatism

Conservatism is the philosophy of society. Its ethic is fraternity and its characteristic is authority — the non-coercive social persuasion which operates in a family or a community. It says ‘we should...’.
Danny Kruger, On Fraternity


US Life in 1842

Families helped each other putting up homes and barns. Together, they built churches, schools, and common civic buildings. They collaborated to build roads and bridges. They took pride in being free persons, independent, and self-reliant; but the texture of their lives was cooperative and fraternal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism


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