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January 17, 2006
by Jack Lynch
Exuberance and excess have traditionally ruled the State, and never more so than during election run up years. We see it from both sides, with some good results, but dangerous demagoguery galore.
From the Democratic majority in Annapolis, we see the postured repeal of the veto of the Fair Share Healthcare Act. Ah, let loose his terrible, swift sword! Falling over national cameras to immediately override a veto, in a rush to show the Governor and the Republicans who rules the roost, and who will go all out this session to win with an eye towards the Fall elections.
It is certainly not an ignoble cause, but the average employer pays nearly 14% of overall wages towards health care coverage of workers, and while any change is good, where is the work towards a fuller adjustment and compromise that would better serve all Marylanders?
Wal-Mart famously now defends itself with teams of lobbyists against this mild incursion of reality in its little ‘all for me, none for you’ world. But many other states look to Maryland’s lead on this legislation as they also move forward on similar measures.
And while the various Chamber’s of Commerce condemn the action, we must ask, wasn’t it an equal playing field that you always argued was best for both business and the consumer? If you look back to what made our economy stronger, it was when the largest employers invested in their workforces, as Henry Ford did when he raised wages so that his workers could own one of his cars.
And House Republican Leader, George Edwards, representing Allegany and Garrett counties, declares…”If you don’t want to work for Wal-Mart, no one’s twisting your arms. Go somewhere else and work.” (Frederick News-Post, 1/13/2006, p.A-16) I suppose that if you live in far Western Maryland, with its high unemployment, you must wonder exactly what he can mean, when there are few jobs to be found.
Our Maryland Governor enjoys a taste of the good life and easy generosity with our tax money, lavishing it out upon our universities, which he almost etiolated, and pouring forth funds for preserving open space and farms, which he’d swiped from their dedicated transfer tax source for three years.
And then, of course, Frederick has its very own ding-a-ling, Blaine Young. Who must personalize and demoralize a steadfast public servant, one who has already faced the forced humility of defeat, and the partisan bitterness of four long years.
Mirror that juvenilia, against the figure of Jeff Holtzinger, early on election day, replacing his campaign signs because they had been torn out by that same crowd of haughty spoiled brats. All the sweeter to see his win, and taking office last Thursday, and hopefully bringing back a sense of what really matters in public life: services, civility, and decency. Now that would be something worth going 'Hog Wild' over!