Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Wal-Mart and the Statist

Letters Editor:

Before his death in 1993, Henry Hazlitt, influential financial writer for Newsweek, always challenged his readers to think beyond the obvious and discover the unseen consequences of an economic policy.

The author of the letter "Wal-Mart employees can't afford coverage" simply recognizes the obvious. He claims to be defending the average worker as he looks for the state to impose additional costs on successful enterprises such as Wal-Mart.

This certainly sounds like the right road to take, but he has not looked for the less obvious impacts of his proposed state intervention -- increased prices and unemployment. Raise Wal-Mart's cost of doing business and you will be forcing additional workers to the unemployment lines. On top of that, those of us who remain employed will soon experience increased taxes to support the newly-displaced workers, and, we will have to pay more at the check-out line.

Of course those who fight Wal-Mart have a solution to these second and third consequences, more state interventions in the market. As China and other countries are seeing the free market as their solutions, why are we looking toward the failures of socialism to fix our ills?

Jim Fedako

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