I do like the idea of finally seeing a RWD sedan for $30k or less for sale in this country again, though. The big 3 have been completely ignoring this market for a long time and the Asian car makers have basically never even acted as though it ever existed.
Is the presumption then that natural market forces (ie, not regulations from governmental forces) will prevent the employers from either colluding against employees or from buying each other out?
The presumption is that due to differing currencies between markets, with such small governments, there will be natural monopolies or oligarchies of single industrymen and maybe an apprentice or two. And that the control will be social- you are not likely to cheat a neighbor that you have to continue to live with.
The last part, which I put in bold, seems overly optimistic to me. I'm not sure that social pressure was ever a solid deterrent for cheating one's neighbors.
Now whether separate currencies will help to suppress it is another matter. I'm not sure though how a large country such as the US, which presently has one currency, could realistically split up into a large number of city-states where each has their own. The division of the country does not seem that outlandish but the division of the currency seems like a big problem.
It would seem that you would eventually end up with markets where > 90% of the population is involved in food production or trades that exist to aid in the same. To me that seems to operate counter to the types of gains in efficiency that we have tended to celebrate in the past century or so.
Yes, and that's the point. Efficiency reduces the number of jobs available drastically, and centralizes ownership of first level maslow industries such as food, shelter, clothing. This is a great thing for the few centralized aristocrats, but a negative thing for consumers and workers.
I'm not sure that the loss of efficiency is a net gain for many people. While it would put a lot of people to work would it not also leave a lot of people to find themselves in jobs with no demand? If everyone is producing food, shelter, and clothing, then what happens to the demand for computer programmers (for example)? To me it seems that you are calling for a deterioration of society as we know it (I don't mean simply by reduction of that one job that I specified but others as well).
So while Walmart is, in that town, paying quite a bit more than the federal minimum wage, they are not actually paying a wage that is in any way adequate for someone to live there. Put it another way, if the cheapest room you can possibly rent in town is $2,000 per month and the only job you can find in that town pays $1,500 a month would you take that job or go look elsewhere for work?
That said Walmart is known for keeping large number of people (ie, its own employees) on food stamps across the country (and beyond as well).
what happens if no insurance companies want to offer a plan that does that?
The solution that Alito cited that was in place for religious non-profit and church organizations was for the insurance company to be required to pay for the drugs out of their own pockets and establish a separate pool of money for doing so, that the religious institutions would not pay into. The government considered this to be acceptable because the drugs are cheaper than pregnancy care so the insurance company would save money.
I would think that the insurance companies would object to that as it interferes with their right to unlimited profit. Forcing insurance companies to pay for something is clearly "Un-American" as we have learned since 2001 (and possibly earlier). Even if it comes under the guise of helping the insurance companies to "save money" they could save even more money by not paying for it at all and forcing the customers to pay for it instead.
However I would think that the insurance companies would even more so object to this curious new mandatory bifurcation of services. The SCOTUS apparently is now requiring the insurance companies to offer twice as many plans as they intended to offer - one version of each plan that covers contraception and one version of each that does not. This also may well make a larger billing nightmare for providers who have to know when to send a full bill to an insurance plan and when not to. And once other religious groups find other services that they object to (Ginsburg mentioned amongst other objections to blood transfusions, antidepressants, and pork-derived products that some religions hold as being critical) the problem becomes even bigger.
Once insurance cards mention one's religious affiliation as a result I would see other problems arising.
The reality is that they can't hire anyone for less than those wages there. The region has seen such runaway local inflation that those wages are essentially sub-minimum wage for there if minimum wage is viewed in relation to the cost of living. If WalMart tried to hire people there to cashier for $8 an hour nobody would even bother to apply.
While North Dakota may appear to be some kind of Randian market-driven paradise it is not leading to economic opportunity for many when the cost of living is so astronomically high.
Yes, I know that slashdot's conservative majority will moderate this down because they don't like the truth. They can do their worst, the moderation of this comment won't move my karma.