Health Care and Real Wages
By Arnold Kling
Terry Lierman, the Chairman of the Maryland Democratic Party, forwarded me a link to an article in the Los Angeles Times about declining real wages.
With benefits factored in, workers’ total compensation did outpace inflation in 2004, even if they didn’t see it in their paychecks. But employers also are requiring workers to pay a greater share of their premiums.
“Healthcare has eroded the wage base,” said Janemarie Mulvey, chief economist with the Employment Policy Foundation, a business-funded think tank in Washington.
“In the long run, we can’t continue like this. If healthcare keeps crowding out wages forever, something’s got to give.”
Lierman forwarded the article in the context of an email soliciting support to override a possible veto by the governor of the bill that would force Walmart to pay at least 8 percent of its payroll in health care benefits.
In other words, the Maryland Democrats want to enforce the cutback in take home pay described in the article.
For Discussion. I read the article as boosting the case against the Democrats’ legislation. Can it be read otherwise?