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In this simply awful article on how health care costs are hurting small businesses, economist Senator Mary Landrieu argues that:

Small firms, defined as less than 500 employees, pump almost a trillion dollars into the economy each year, create two-thirds of our nation’s new jobs annually, and account for more than half of America’s work force.

And then:

Nationwide, small firms will spend $156 billion on health premiums this year. In place of those high premiums, small business owners could employ 10 million additional workers—the entire state of Michigan—at minimum wage for a year.

As I’ve argued many times before, firms care only about the total compensation costs to maintain and attract a quality workforce. If health premiums fell to zero, wage and other compensation would rise to deal with it … particularly since government subsidization and provision of the health care would have to be financed through taxation.  But I don’t want to make that point here. There are two other points I’d like to make:

  1. Her first quote ignores the fact that small businesses also lay off more workers and account for substantial economic volatility.
  2. Her second quote, while ignoring the point I made above, commits a more ridiculous error (or inconsistency). How can she argue with a straight face that high health cost burdens make it harder for small businesses to attract and retain workers … but then not write another OpEd arguing that minimum wage laws, worker protection laws, licensing laws, payroll taxes, and corporate income taxes also hurt the same small businesses.

What a load of BS. There may be a case to do something about health care, but don’t pee on my back and tell me it’s raining. Virtually every “progressive” economic policy is devastating to small businesss precisely because they raise the costs and risks of doing business (large firms have an easier time navigating this too, in a post I’ll put up later I will explain). “Progressives” are now, with a straight face, arguing that high health care costs are damaging to businesses? Where is the same argument when you force them to pay higher money wages to workers? Does that somehow make it easier for them to compete and grow? Does forcing them to pay UI compensation and payroll taxes “on behalf” of workers make it easier to grow and expand their business, generate profits, and create jobs? Because if you want to argue that health care costs are damaging, they are but a fraction of the costs the “Progressives” lay on them.

You can’t have it both ways. What are you going to tell me next, that Antarctic sea ice is at an all time low?

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