Crunching The Numbers In Clintonomics

In "Clintonomics" (Economic Viewpoint, Sept. 21), Alan Blinder asks us to "figure the merits along with the math" when reviewing the Democratic platform of government mandates, such as family leave and health care. When I try to do this, neither the merits nor the math add up.

Blinder says it is unfair to treat such mandates as a hidden tax, but how else can you evaluate them? Let's look at family leave. Is it a hidden tax? Yes. Employers would have to keep a small surplus work force or pay a premium for temporary workers to meet the provisions of this mandate. Considering how hard American corporations have worked to get lean and mean to compete internationally, it seems ludicrous for the government to legislate against such market pressures.

Blinder's math excludes the important component of international competition. If the math doesn't add up in America, jobs will migrate overseas. He is correct in that there are always winners and losers. But under Clinton's proposals, the winners are overseas workers. Both American businesses and workers are losers.

Let's let government stay where government belongs--out of micromanaging day-to-day business operations--and into managing global business conditions and education.

Peter W. Shaw

Shelby, Ohio