Friday, January 13, 2006

One small blow to Corporatism, one giant leap for American society

For One Clerk, Fight for Wal-Mart Bill Is Personal
At lunchtime, in the break room of the Wal-Mart store in Laurel, the television delivered the news from the opening day of the General Assembly:

Maryland lawmakers would attempt this week to override the governor's veto of a bill aimed at forcing Wal-Mart to offer more affordable health care coverage to its 17,000 workers in the state.

"You better listen," Cynthia Murray told her co-workers gathered there. When her shift ended at 3 p.m., she turned her back on the store and headed through the rain to Annapolis.

There, the 49-year-old sales associate was embraced by lawmakers and union leaders. Still wearing her blue apron, with its "How May I Help You?" slogan, Murray offered a rare statement in this debate that has drawn national attention and spurred an advertising and lobbying frenzy.

Hers was the voice of someone who might actually be affected.
An ordinary American, doing what should be a very ordinary thing- participation in policymaking. See, America, it is our country, not Jack Abramoff's.

I'm not going to bother reading rightwing blogs on Maryland's veto override of the anti-Wal-Mart bill. I can already hear their sniffling, whiny drivel: "It's not fair to the corporation!" Wah! Meanwhile, the state, who has had to pay the cost of health care that Wal-Mart would not, is getting a good deal.

Wal-Mart actually has to spend a whole 8% of its payroll on health care for its employees. Perhaps some of that money can come from the spiraling out of control executive salaries. Executives think they somehow deserve more money, and for what? Sitting in a cushy chair playing on the internet all day? Store managers work pretty damn hard. I'm not saying they should get equal pay, but the gap shouldn't be so wide.

Good for you, Cynthia Murray, and thank you.

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