Sunday, December 04, 2005

For the record, I thought this before thinking this was cool.

Kevin Drum is looking at anti-anti-Walmart liberals.

CC
who doesn't love the place herself, but has observed that poor people do.

5 comments:

Bill Baar said...

The Unions and Democrats lined up to keep Walmart out of Chicago. Here is a blog post on it. I also blogged on it here.

For a long time it was against the law to sell meat in Chicago on Sundays. The Union Butchers didn't want to work on Sunday. (We can't buy cars in Illinois on Sunday for similar reasons still.)

An Sikh bought a little grocery story in my neigborhood in the 70s. His windows kept getting smashed because he sold meat on Sundays. Finally he gave up.

It's the same attitute theat keeps Walmarts out of the African American community.

Activists who don't live there, fight investment there, because Walmart will employee the people there, at below union scale and provide great service.

Great public policy on the part of Liberals and Unions. No wonder they applauded an ex klansman voting agains Dr. Rice.

Kim said...

I followed your link and actually read much of the discussion, long as it was. Interesting stuff. Lots of irreconsilable differences.
No one seems to really know what economics is all about -- it isn't anywhere near a science, just a bunch of opinions.
I don't agree with you, I still think WalMart and others like it are doing business in an unethical way. We should be regulating business so that it isn't unethical -- all of them, not just WalMart.

Anonymous said...

You all might want to get a hold of this video to be fully informed about what Wal Mart is doing and it's effects on the poor. How exactly do you think they are able to keep prices low, at who's expense?

http://www.walmartmovie.com/

Also a search for Wal Mart at PBS.org will give you a lot of information.

Additionally, Wal Mart has a lobbying presence in Washington and primarily contributes to the Republican party.

"In 1998, Wal-Mart hired its first lobbyist, retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Norm Lezy, and created a political action committee (PAC), called the Wal-Mart Stores Inc. PAC for Responsible Government. According to published news reports, in 1999, then-Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott met with Wal-Mart executives and urged them to increase the company's political profile. In six years, the company has grown from having no lobbying presence in Washington to employing six external lobbying firms (in addition to its internal operation), and becoming one of the top 20 PAC contributors to federal candidates in the 2004 election cycle. Donations to federal candidates have grown from $135,750 in 1998, to $1,606,000, as of Nov. 2, 2004. [See more on Wal-Mart's political donations from the Center for Responsive Politics.]

Wal-Mart says that it supports pro-business candidates and its political contributions on the national level overwhelmingly tilt Republican. In the 2004 cycle, the company gave $5,000 to President Bush's reelection campaign, and nothing to John Kerry's campaign. In May 2004, Vice President Dick Cheney praised the company in an economic policy speech at Wal-Mart's distribution center in Bentonville, Ark, saying: "The story of Wal-Mart exemplifies some of the very best qualities in our country -- hard work, the spirit of enterprise, fair dealing, and integrity."

In the 2004 cycle, Wal-Mart gave $1,050,500 to Republican House candidates and $195,000 to Republican Senate candidates, as compared to $273,500 to Democratic House candidates and $76,500 to Democratic Senate candidates. In 2002, 78 percent of the PAC's donations went to Republicans; in 2000, 85 percent went to Republicans; and in 1998, 93 percent went to Republicans" (Frontline, 2002).

Cecily

UUpdater said...

Well, if the point is that it is politically unwise to go after Wal-Mart because they are so popular, then I would have to agree that probably does make sense.

If the point is that we should ignore unethical labor and business practices because people enjoy doing business with Wal-Mart then I think it's a pretty bogus argument.

Generally speaking most people will prefer lower prices. Generally speaking companies engage in unethical business practices (Sweat shops, unfair labor practices, environmental damage, etc.) because they can increase profits for shareholders. So, a cost savings for the consumer should never be used as a reason to ignore unethical behavior.

TheCSO said...

My point is that the proper way to deal with unethical labor and business practices is through legislation that affects all businesses equally. If you feel that Walmart doesn't pay a living wage, work for changes in the minimum wage laws. If you feel that Walmart should offer more extensive health benefits, work to enact legislation mandating that all employers provide those benefits.

All should be equal before the law. Yes, even Walmart. And that means that action to improve labor and business practices at Walmart need to be done in a manner that affects everyone, not just Walmart. That's often forgotten when the Walmart-bashing starts.