It's like in a movie when the victims are completely oblivious to the killer walking up loudly behind them

Clusterstock brings to my attention Matthew Yglesias's announcement that, in a situation parallel to the Bootleggers and Baptists case, Wal-Mart and the Center for American Progress have reached an agreement supporting a law that obligates employers to pay for their employees' health care. Yglesias writes:

The highly ideological behavior of the business community, and high degree of class solidarity exhibited by the executive class, has been a hugely important element of the story of American politics over the past thirty years or so. The willingness of much of the business community to break with Chamber ideology on Waxman-Markey and now on health care is an important sign of change in the air.

Pardon me, but LMFAO!!!1

Does anyone think Wal-Mart executives really had a change of heart? It boggles my mind to realize that some people who've been criticizing Wal-Mart as conniving and underhanded now think they've repented. Really? Wal-Mart executives are having a roaring good laugh about this.

Not to mention that bit about "change in the air". Obama really is one of the greats in the art of deception.

If anyone is new around here, it breaks down like this: the Center for American Progress supports this because they think it will make health care more available to employees. Wal-Mart supports this legislation because, if passed, it would make things harder for smaller business that might become competitors, businesses that have less money and less weight to throw around than Wal-Mart. This giant company gets to appear progressive, garnering good will, and screw smaller competitors (current and possible) at the same time! Naïve organizations get surprised by this and demand new controls next time around, but the affected industries co-opt their plans again.

Side note, from Clusterstock:

The other problem: Employer-based health insurance sucks! It's terrible for worker mobility, creating economic stagnation by locking employees into their jobs, while discouraging workers from startups and other small businesses that don't have the scale to buy healthcare in the beginning. Even Obama's said he doesn't think the scheme -- which was developed as a way to get around WWII price controls -- makes a lot of sense.

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An employee pricing for in store clinics health plan?

There are other reasons to believe that the Walmart management has deteriorated badly over the recent years. I'd be reluctant to assign to cunning what can be explained by incompetence.

Regards, Don

Of course, the accepted economic analysis of employer-tied health care is that, in the long run, it is all paid for by the employee in terms of a lower cash wage, while the total wages and benefits are market-determined and for the employer, a cost is a cost. While many Walmart employees may want health care, many others might prefer a higher wage. BTW, the fact that wages and benefits are together market-determined means that the argument that US companies are at a competetive disadvantage to foreign companies with government health care is wrong.

The highly ideological

The highly ideological behavior of the business community, and high degree of class solidarity exhibited by the executive class, has been a hugely important element of the story of American politics over the past thirty years or so. The willingness of much of the business community to break with Chamber ideology on Waxman-Markey and now on health care is an important sign of change in the air.

This reads like the product of a 1930's CPUSA party hack celebrating the greatness of the achievment of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.