Carol Platt Liebau: A Liberal Praises Wal-Mart

Monday, November 28, 2005

A Liberal Praises Wal-Mart

Sebastian Mallaby picks up the implicit elitism of Wal-Mart's opponents, pointing out that poor Americans will suffer if Wal-Mart is prevented from expanding. He's dead right (and I made many of the same arguments here). Of course, it't not just elitism that spurs anti Wal-Mart animus; a lot of it's driven by the fact that Wal-Mart isn't unionized.

Seattle columnist Neil Pierce might want to check out Mallaby's piece; it's unlikely to move him, though. He sounds like one of the lefties determined to unionize Wal-Mart, whatever the cost to the poor.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I still do not understand the "liberal" defending 4 of the 10 richest people in the USA who will not pay for health care or living wages. Do you get a little extra discount from the Walton's? Put more wax on that tobaggan for the slide to the bottom.

8:41 PM  
Anonymous Brian Busse said...

Perhaps Ms. Liebau has missed a few of the revelations on WalMart’s methods of providing those low prices, and their supposed benefit to the poor. Things like systematic overtime wage abuse, discriminatory hiring practices, predatory pricing and building/expansion practices, use of undocumented workers, and the number of WalMart employee minor dependants who depend on Medicaid or the ER as their only recourse for medical care. “Elitist” critics and/or unions and/or WalMart’s supposed concern for the poor did not make these things happen. I would suggest that the examination of the hard facts of WalMart’s actions and policies is a more worthy activity than derision of the motives of those who seek to bring them to our attention.
Winston Churchill said that capitalism wasn’t a pretty horse, but that it is the horse that pulls the wagon. That’s a good reason to tolerate horses that do more pulling than fertilizer spreading, but it appears that WalMart is not one of those.

9:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A recent article in the NYT states that governments, local, state and federal spend $2.5 Billion a year paying for Wal Mart employees benefits because their low wages allow them to apply for government programs such as food stamps and medical care. So we the tax payers are subsidizing the richest families in the US so they can pay the lowest wages and still attract desperate workers. Add to this the number of factory jobs that have been moved to China resulting in the loss of numerous good paying US jobs and surely you must realize that Wal Mart is not good for America.

9:15 PM  
Anonymous pete said...

If WalMart sucessfully fights off the unions, God Bless 'em! The unions these days are nothing more than financial resources for the Democratic party. They care nothing (or little) beyond forcing payment for their "services" from union or agency shops. Does the word "extortion" ring a bell?

That said, let me agree with anonymous who stated that WalMarts "free enterprise" only supports the 17 cent an hour Chinese slave - not the American industrialist worker. When do we bring our jobs back home? I support free trade if the playing field is realitively even - everyone has a chance of winning. But the way our policies are now, I see the American worker at the short end, heading for the welfare line. How long can we support or allow that?

5:40 AM  
Blogger eLarson said...

You want a living wage from an hourly job at a discount store?

C'mon... aim a little higher in life.

6:03 AM  
Anonymous pete said...

Do I detect misunderstanding, here?

Who said I wanted a living wage from a discount store? Just about ALL wages in retail are below standard and I, nor anyone else should attempt to support a family on them alone. I have my second career, after my first one left for China, and AM aiming higher. But that is not the point, either.

Our jobs are disappearing over seas because we demand more, especially thru the unions, and I have seen unions close businesses rather than give a little so ALL can survive. That's reality! It is also reality that unions are concerned more with politics than worker's benefits, but that, too, is another issue.

Have you bought a new car lately? How much of that cost is to pay the auto workers benefits - including the year's pay after layoff? Who the hell can afford that? No wonder GM is closing plants and laying off tons of employees!

Granted that WalMart could be more generous with their employees compensation, and benefits. But that is business, isn't it - and nobody is forcing the employees to work there - THEY could aim higher too, couldn't they?

7:40 AM  
Blogger Bachbone said...

For anyone detesting Wal-Mart's business practices, an easy solution exists. Shop elsewhere. If enough people share your beliefs, Wal-Mart will go bankrupt.

For any job seekers who detest Wal-Mart's wages and benefits, an easy solution exists. Work elsewhere. Without employees, Wal-Mart will not be able to open its doors.

I know union members, including UAW and NEA champions, who shop there. Solidarity schmalidarity.

For abused workers who can prove their cases, God knows there are dozens of federal and state agencies, plus ATLA members, fervently waiting to take their cases. For any employer found guilty of abusing workers, or hiring illegals, there are heavy fines and possible jail time.

As for the NYT, perhaps it should look closely at how it treats its own employees, such as Judith Miller, before it spouts off about other employers.

11:07 AM  
Blogger eLarson said...

Pete wrote: " Do I detect misunderstanding, here?"

Slight misunderstanding only in that I wasn't referring to your post. I should have been more clear.

6:59 AM  

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