This country needs unions, but if they get too powerful their demands for benefits can, and often do, become unsustainable in the long-run (i.e. when the workers get older and retire, but live longer than in generations past). I think a big part of the solution to this is Obamacare – that is decoupling one’s healthcare coverage from one’s employment status. Spread healthcare costs around the whole of society (individual mandate) and lessen the burden of companies to spring for medical care for the elderly. Some of these savings can – and should – be put back into better wages for unskilled labor.
As the holiday season gets underway, I think back to my childhood and the times enjoyed with my family. We were lucky. My immigrant parents realized the American Dream, and on the fourth Thursday of every November we had much to be thankful for. Even if my dad sometimes wasn’t there because he had to work, we didn’t mind. As a doctor, he and his fellow health care professionals knew that sickness takes no holiday. Policemen and firemen, plumbers and 911 operators: all kinds of Americans know well the sacrifices and pride that comes with providing essential services.
But while the right to one’s health and safety may be inalienable, the right to shop is not. Yet Walmart recently announced that it would open at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day; Target and Toys “R” Us followed suit, with plans to open at 9 p.m. They are hardly alone. Gap…
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