Wal-Mart Watch on Bob Ehrlich’s slap in the face of uninsured working Americans and their families:
Today, Maryland Governor Bob Ehrlich will stand with Wal-Mart Stores COO Eduardo Castro-Wright and veto his legislature’s historic bill to compel the retail giant to pay more for its Maryland employees’ health care coverage. Wal-Mart Watch has previously called upon Ehrlich to return Wal-Mart’s campaign donations. Wal-Mart Watch Executive Director Andrew Grossman issues the following statement: “I’m saddened, but hardly surprised, that Governor Ehrlich today chose the interests of his massive campaign contributor over the health and welfare of the hardest working Marylanders and their families. The governor’s celebration of corporate welfare is an insult to all working folks and a serious injury to the state’s small business community who aren’t allowed to play on a level playing field.”
In better news, Connecticut and Pennsylvania are taking up similar legislation to hold employers responsible for the health of the people who make their business possible. And Wal-Mart Monday apologized for comparing support for Proposition 100 in Arizona, which would regulate bix-box stores like Wal-Mart, to Nazi book burning. These stories are fundamentally linked demonstrations of the moral bankruptcy of the conception of “economic freedom” peddled by Wal-Mart and its allies, in which government has no more place regulating public, asymetrical economic transactions to ensure social justice than it does telling you what to read or who to have sex with. But how we ensure that workers are justly compensated and the sick get care is and should be a public concern and a matter of public policy, whereas what we read is not.