Atlanta mayor needs iron will on benefits

Thinking Right’s weekend free-for-all. Pick a topic:

● Wal-Mart lost me by its Stockholm-syndrome support of “Obamacare” legislation. But the company is, nevertheless, a reminder that the left will destroy any successful business it can’t control. In fact, President Barack Obama’s profession of belief in a free market in New York was followed by this interpretation of how it really works: “A free market,” he said a week ago, “was never meant to be a free license to take whatever you can get, however you can get it.” He was referring to Wall Street, but that’s the left’s view of Wal-Mart, too. The company this week was exposed to billions of dollars by the left-leaning 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco over allegations of pay discrimination. The suit, now a class action headed to trial, was filed by six women in 2001.

● The National Association of Business Economics polled 68 of its members who have economics-related jobs in the private sector and asked whether the $862 billion “stimulus” had any value whatsoever as far as their company’s employment. About 73 percent said no. (This mistake was in asking private-sector economists and the like. The question should have been directed to the public sector and its unions and to the Obama administration. Their answer is, of course, yes.)

● The Associated Press confirms what you already knew about the purported savings from efficiencies and the elimination of waste and fraud in Medicare. Reports the AP: “While the law creates a commission to keep pursuing deeper Medicare savings, there’s no overall cost control strategy.” No strategy, no cost control.

● A DeKalb County study demonstrates why conservatives should never succeed in building financial reserves sufficient to smooth out the economic cycles. A Georgia State University study finds that DeKalb has 909 more employees, mostly redundant managers, than counties of roughly similar size, like Gwinnett and Cobb. This study would never have been done, nor would elected officials be disposed to act, had the money continued to flow.

● The most important thing Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed ever will do for his city and for Georgia is to succeed in the mission he promises: to reduce benefits for city employees to the level of a decade ago. He surely must know that most every public employee in Georgia, including a sizeable chunk of the state’s judiciary, will oppose him. If he succeeds here, reformers can succeed everywhere. It’s the equivalent of trying to move Stone Mountain. Reed will need iron will and an array of smart, aggressive lawyers.

● Is it 35 years already since the fall of Saigon? No people more deserve the freedoms that America affords than the refugees who came after Vietnam’s fall. This nation can never fully compensate them for our failure to honor our commitment to their freedom.

● Yes to all: Put Ronald Reagan on the $50 bill. Let Sandra Bullock and Jesse James go. Tune out the SCLC and its recurring little power squabbles, too. Georgia has good roads, as a national interest group asserts; building and maintaining them is one of the things government does proficiently and where public spending produces the desired results.

● States should more aggressively challenge the opinions of federal bureaucrats thought to have a political agenda, as Secretary of State Brian Kemp proposes in seeking to uphold Georgia’s right to verify citizenship of those who register to vote. Attorney General Thurbert Baker won’t sue the U.S. Justice Department over its failure to grant clearance for the law.

● Carter’s Inc., the Atlanta maker of baby clothes, reports a 150 percent increase in sales in the first quarter. No surprise. Both grandmothers of my acquaintance were shopping

53 comments Add your comment


May 6th, 2010
3:42 am

“IronMayor” would be cool. Sorry, couldn’t resist.


May 6th, 2010
11:20 am

A “free market” is a swell mantra when all players are operating on the same playing field. Not the case for Wally World. They have been on their own playing field through sheer size and the political control that such size commands.

But since the average American (and certainly the average Georgian) cannot look past “hey, $2 lawn chairs!”, Wal-Mart continues to grow at the expense of American industry, American businesses and American property values.

Does ANYONE on the right recognize the consequences of buying the cheapest thing, every time? Are economics really that cut-and-dry to you, Jim? How did you get a column, anyway?

Enjoy your retirement. Life has passed you by.

You first

May 6th, 2010
1:03 pm

I suggest the AJC cut pension and all other benefits to set an example for the city. After all, I think the AJC’s finances are in much worst shape than the city’s. That 25%+ reductions in subscriptions doesn’t lie. Perhaps the economic wizard Wooten could expand on that item in his next article.