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Bulls & Bears
Democrat: Health Plan Will Create 10 Million Jobs; Is That Possible?
Eric Bolling, Twitter.com/EricBolling: There's no way this health care plan is going to create jobs — if anything, jobs will be lost. Seventy percent of America is employed by small businesses. Six million companies employ less than 50 people in the U.S. Thirty-four million people are in companies that will be on this health care bubble. These small businesses will have to pay this 8 percent fine if they don't provide health insurance. That could be enough to send them out of business. This could really turn into bad news for our economy.
Nancy Skinner, NancySkinnerLive.com: Small businesses already have to pay exorbitant fees to health insurance companies to provide coverage for their employees. It's very possible that paying fees or having employees enroll in a public option could save money for these small businesses. Instead they can employ more people, rather than having to give such a large chunk of earnings to insurance companies.
Tobin Smith:The idea here is that if small businesses don't have to pay fines for not giving health coverage to employees, the money they would save would create 10 million jobs. It's a ridiculous premise. And who would eat the expenses of covering these employees? The government. It'd be about another $126 billion the government would have to spend that'd drive up the deficit. These small businesses aren't going to use their savings to hire people. The more likely outcome is that they're going to build up cash reserves.
Mike Norman, Contrarian-Update.com: When the government invests in something, jobs are created, just as when the private sector invests in something. So it's possible several million jobs could be created in the health care industry. The question is, will the government raise taxes to pay for this? Keep in mind, investing in one sector the economy could simultaneously destroy another sector due to a rise in taxes.
Gary B. Smith, TheChartman.com: Look at what has happened already with the stimulus — a major government intervention in the economy. Not one blip in jobs. The government doesn't create jobs. It merely moves around and redistributes resources. When the private sector creates jobs, they actually use their own capital or borrow money from banks. When the government spends, they are borrowing from the American taxpayer. In the end, small businesses are going to be mandated to pay something for expanding health care. This money isn't just mysteriously going to go away. Due to these added costs, a lot of businesses will be hurt, and they'll end up shedding jobs, rather than creating them.
Build More Walmarts to Help Save U.S. Economy?
Gary B. Smith: Walmart is the greatest wealth generator maybe in our lifetimes. This issue has been studied over and over again. In California for example, every single city that opened a Walmart super-center saw an increase in retail revenues in all subsequent years. Regular families save thousands of dollars a year because of Walmart. People got jobs because of Walmart. And studies show small businesses actually grow when a Walmart comes into an area — they typically don't go out of business.
Nancy Skinner: The reason we're in this economic ditch is because of Walmart. American manufacturing shifted over to China and has cost our economy millions of jobs over the years. All our manufacturing jobs went to cheap, low-wage countries so we can buy it back at Walmart. Walmart shuts down Main Street, it doesn't help it.
Tobin Smith: If Walmart was in charge of the auto industry, we'd have the greatest auto industry in the world because Walmart is about innovation and delivering value. They do it better than anyone else. The real key is that Walmart expands the health care business they're in, such as selling pharmaceuticals 40 percent lower than the other guys. Walmart is starting to get into the health clinic business, and this could revolutionize health care.
Eric Bolling: There's a reason Walmart is the number one seller of groceries, toys, electronics, prescription drugs, etc. They're the cheapest! They create a massive amount of retail revenues and jobs creation, and as a result, large tax revenues. That not only creates, but expands jobs. You give low-cost products to consumers, what's wrong with that model for health care?
Mike Norman: The engine of growth in this economy was consumption and the existence of things people can afford to buy. This is the definition of our wealth. The reason Walmart can no longer be a savior to the American economy is because we're embracing economic policies that are the exact opposite of what its represents. We're now encouraging people to stop purchasing things, saving more and spending less.
Do Consumers Need Government Agency or Personal Responsibility?
Tobin Smith: Most human beings can deal with the daily responsibilities of life. We do not need gigantic amounts of regulation. But here's the exception, credit card rules should be on one piece of paper in 12-point type. But when the government went out and changed credit card laws, rates zoomed up, and credit companies cut customers. If that's the government's idea of consumer regulation, forget it.
Nancy Skinner: We absolutely have to take responsibility for our own lives and money. But things have developed to the point where credit card companies have become predatory. I can't go to some golden credit card company that’s going to charge me a fair rate of interest and not jack rates up for some crazy reason. When the average person is trying to do the right thing, it's important to have a consumer protection agency that ensures companies don't turn into predators.
Gary B. Smith: If you're sick of having companies like Walmart around giving you low prices, then yes, we should have a consumer protection agency. In the past though, these consumer protection groups are all over the place. But it can be good for the government to inform consumers about bad products. For example, awhile back when some peanuts were tainted with salmonella, the Centers for Disease Control came out and told everybody about this problem. And consumers stopped buying peanuts from the company suspected of having these tainted peanuts. Government is good at identifying problems after they've happened and allowing consumers to make better decisions for the future.
Mike Norman: There needs to be some balance in this. We already have a consumer protection agency. But the unintended consequence of these new credit card regulations is the exclusion of some segment of the population. If credit card companies can't raise rates or penalties, then they simply won't give out credit lines to people who don't have a solid credit history. I think this regulatory move by the government will turn out to be excessive.