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Reason Foundation

The Bad Idea Club

Ted Balaker
February 24, 2005, 9:48am

Welcomes the Montana state legislature. Lawmakers there are considering a tax on big box retailers to offset welfare costs for low-paid employees: Then again a common alternative to low wage employment is, well, unemployment. My hunch is that those who have a job, even if the pay isn't great, impose less welfare cost on the rest of us than the unemployed. Montana might now have more opportunity to examine the effects of unemployment since the bill These legislators do seem to be jumping on the hate-the-big-box bandwagon. Fast food restaurants don't pay that well. Neither do movie theatres. And lots of these establishments are run by big corporations. Why not target these cash cows? I don't want to give them any new ideas, but If we're going to slip into Orwellian rhetoric where job creators are welfare leeches, fast food joints and theaters would seem to be fair game, too. But this is more about following fads, and right now bearing down on big boxes is the thing to do. It's probably even more about government greed. After all: That's a pretty penny to a small state like Montana.

Ted Balaker is Producer


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