Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Maryland's shipwreck: it only gets worse

Maryland’s shipwreck: it only gets worse


Maryland’s politicians believe that harsh treatment of its business and professional community is a necessity regardless of the effects it causes. Ranked in the middle to the bottom third of business friendly states, depending on the survey, Maryland continues to pour on additional requirements for businesses to maintain their functioning in this bluest of blue states. The latest assault on the business community came in the form of a minimum wage increase to be graded in over several years. Though the $10.10 goal failed at the federal level Governor O’Malley and his battalion of sycophants wanted to succeed where President Obama failed. Merit pay increases do not exist where progressives rule. Instead wage increases are forced on businesses through legislative fiat. In a sense Maryland has usurped private sector budgets with one more flagrant action to diminish their ability to stay afloat. A $10.10 per hour wage potentially means  $15.OO after all the additions such as matching Social Security taxes, matching Medicare fees, unemployment assessments, workmen’s comp fees and much more that are exacted on employers. Except for a few companies pushing for this increase, the rest of the business community must eat the costs or abandon Maryland. A recent poll suggests that 47% of Maryland residents would leave the state if circumstances permitted. ( Harsh tax assessments were given as a major reason.  A poll of businesses may yield similar results.          


Employers have minimal rights under Maryland law when a problem exists with a worker.  Employees have multiple recourses when a workplace problem exists. The reason why is obvious. Maryland views its business community with disdain and as a bank to extract money wherever and whenever it can, nothing else. Toxic regulatory structure along with heavy taxes, levies and a judiciary unfriendly to businesses have caused workplace environments to relocate to more friendly domains. During a recent visit to several government buildings in and around Preston Street in Baltimore I encountered numerous business owners whose various licenses were being held up for unpaid tax bills and or fees. From owners of nursing homes to restaurants they were all called downtown to pay these excessively inflated assessments or be forced to cease functioning in the state. These business owners may not be aware that more financial extortion is being conjured as I write these words. The next several efforts will include paid sick leave and extended pregnancy benefits paid out of an employer’s budget, which may already be deep in the red. Considering opening a business in Maryland read the writing on the proverbial wall. The state and its lawyers will be gunning for you if you don’t give in to their left of the left governing style. Next article will discuss how the state of Maryland manages to eviscerate its professional population.


Mark Davis, MD President of Healthnets Review Services and Davis Book Reviews

Dr. Davis’ latest book is: Obamacare: Dead on Arrival, A Prescription for Disaster.

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