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August 18, 2010


@ Cindy - thanks for the thoughtful comments and alternative perspective. I hope others will join in the conversation.

Hi Ira -

Interesting article and lots of true statements. But it's all about perception. Yep, it costs a lot to employ Sally. In an up economy, employers can't wait to brag about how much added value they provide employees. It's called recruitment and retention. In a down economy, we're all crying 'poor me'.

Another point to consider is the benefit attached to those slices taken from Sally's pay and the benefits you supply. I assume that Sally wakes each day in comfortable home, eats nutriious and affordable food, drives to work on safe, well-lit roads, goes to the doctor when needed, sends her kids to schools to be educated, recreates in public spaces, etc etc etc. And that FICA/Med you both pay lessens the chance that Sally will be living with you in her old age.

Are there horrible inefficiencies in government? Of course, it's a fact of running an organization with more 0's in its budget than we can count (and neither Democrats nor Republicans do a better job). But do we get value for our taxes? Ask an immigrant from a third world country about the value. Yes, it's expensive, it's often wasteful and it could always be better. But our system of taxation has provided a way of life we've all grown to love and would hate to give up.

Hi Ira- Whether we like these governmental "surcharges" or not, the fact is that they have been in place for some time. Corporate balance sheets are extraordinarily fat with cash at the moment. They are not hiring out of fear for the dreaded "double dip" we hear about daily and other media hysteria. It also doesn't hurt that high profits, partially driven by lower labor costs and higher productivity have equaled some pretty sweet executive bonuses.And the siren song of legislative uncertainty is simply a red herring for timid leadership.

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