I sympathize with many of the points raised when it comes to the Wal-Mart issue. (Can we call it “Wal-MartGate?) I can see how easy and seemingly just it is to take the position she does on some of those issues. It can be easy to recognize and treat the symptom while the illness goes ignored. In this case, however, even the illness turns out to only be a bruise on the arse from falling off a horse. America is changing and adapting to best serve its citizens, and Wal-Mart epitomizes everything good and noble in our pursuit to ride off into the sunset without falling off that horse.
OK, maybe that last sentence was a stretch. I don’t even shop at Wal-Mart. And I know what you’re thinking – no, it’s not because Amber won’t let me. I just choose not to. And it’s a great choice to have. But some people would rather you not have that choice. You see, I don’t see how it’s any better to oppress Wal-Mart and force people into paying higher prices at the Ma & Pop stores. In fact, it’s just as “evil.” But I’m getting ahead of myself, because this kind of argument usually doesn’t appeal to the emotional thinkers that, for all its bigness and success and image, hate Wal-Mart. You can’t pit emotion against emotion, because either no one ever wins or both sides end up surrendering. So I’ll take us into the happy land of Facts and Numbers – won’t you come with me?
Almost 2 years ago, a shiny new Wal-Mart opened up just outside Chicago. When this Wal-Mart opened, over 25,000 people applied for only 325 job openings.
Wal-Mart, the most prodigious job-creator in the history of the entirety of mankind, has almost as many employees (1.3 million) as the U.S. military has uniformed personnel.
That one goes down hard, doesn’t it, Mr. or Ms. Naysayer. How about this one.
By lowering consumer prices, Wal-Mart costs about 50 retail jobs among competitors for every 100 jobs Wal-Mart creates.
Wow! 25,000 people can’t be wrong.
A McKinsey company study concluded that Wal-Mart accounted for 13 percent of the nation’s productivity gains in the second half of the 1990s, which probably made Wal-Mart about as important as the Federal Reserve in holding down inflation.
It’s amazing to see a private entity doing as much to fight inflation as the Fed.
Wal-Mart and its effects save shoppers more than $200 billion a year, dwarfing such government programs as food stamps ($28.6 billion) and the earned-income tax credit ($34.6 billion).
Wait, is that another private organization doing more to help the middle- and lower-class than welfare or the EITC (which I actually don’t have a huge problem with in practice).
But here’s one of my favorite ones, and it’s one that address the job quality and job benefits issue of Wal-Mart employment opportunities.
People who by groceries at Wal-Mart save a minimum of 17%. That’s enough to attract 1/5 of the nations grocery-buying consumers. But other grocery store unions don’t like that, and instead of actually competing with Wal-Mart (which would speak to the integrity capitalism and help consumers) they go crying to the Democrats, demanding laws to force Wal-Mart into paying wages and benefits. Now remember, these are wages and benefits that are already good enough to attract 25,000 people for only 325 jobs. These jobs are more than suitable for job-seekers at large, and are even envied and sought after. But most importantly (and this may sound weird at first, but it is an important fact) health-care and certain wage minimums are not rights that any of us have. I don’t have a right to affordable health care. There is no provision in the Constitution or Bill of Rights that says anyone has the right to health care. It’s the government’s role to “secure these rights,” meaning our inalienable rights, and so certain benefits under certain circumstances must be available, and we must get paid for our labor – but for the government to dictate how much is immoral. Let the market do that, and if it’s a problem with the people, then there’s no way a Wal-Mart could possibly survive.
I hope you don’t mind if I turn into a loud-mouthed, snarky, insufferable conservative for a moment longer, but this is a matter of Liberals lording over the people, taking choice and accountability out of their hands. Liberals see the choices Americans are making with their dollar, and yes, their ballots, and they declare Americans are in dire need of more and more supervision (of course, supervision by Liberals). If it’s not Wal-Mart, it’s McDonald’s or Coca-Cola. Why, just last week I had Ronald McDonald accost me and literally shove two quarter-pounders down my throat. That’s why America is obese – rampant force-feeding clowns!
Of course, that’s absurd – but how else could Democrats claim to have the right to dictate how many trans-fats are in our food, or how many Burger Kings are allowed into our cities, or how hot or cool we can keep our houses, or which physicians we can see and for which ailments?
And so now, they have us all convinced that Wal-Mart is an evil, corporate predator and that they must be stopped from forcefully corralling us into their stores and physically compelling us to partake of their lower prices. The problem with that is, we aren’t being forced to do anything. Wal-Mart has every right – and even a moral responsibility – to do exactly what those Ma & Pop stores are trying to do. And if those Ma & Pop stores throw in the towel and refuse to compete, or adapt, or even try, then shame on them. I choose not to shop at Wal-Mart because I value individualized customer service and more intimate retail experiences. That’s all any Ma & Pop store needs to do to get my business, and I know I’m not alone.
So if you hate Wal-Mart, don’t call them evil for offering lower consumer prices to those who need it. Don’t call them tyrants for stimulating the job market in a way no other entity can. Don’t call them predators for putting $200 Billion back into consumers’ pockets. Hate them for being a big, faceless box. For being ugly and unpleasant. And do what my wife faithfully does and don’t shop there. And especially don’t get on anyone else’s case for shopping there.
Here are a couple of articles I got my info from. You might even notice some crafty “re-working” of actual creative content. My high school teachers taught me well. And these articles even cover some ground that I didn’t.
Please, please, please pay particular attention to the sentiment expressed in the final paragraph of the first linked article (the one on townhall.com). It reveals what I believe to be a fundamental flaw in the Liberal way of thinking. Yes, it’s a much-too-broad and perhaps unfair illustration of the flawed conceit of Liberalism, but it’s revealing nonetheless.
In case it’s not yet obvious to anyone else – yes, I am often a total jerk when it comes to talking politics. I’m the most tactful person I know when it comes to any other aspect of life (just ask my wife), but I turn into Mr. Hyde’s cycnical black-sheep brother when it comes to stuff like this. I apologize if anyone ever gets offended (it’s not my intent at all), but I don’t apologize for what I say.