The Musings of

Something full of magic, religion, bullsh*t.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

10 minutes with NPR: Evil Wal-Mart

NPR had one of it's monthly business-bashing reports today, and it's target was the Evil Wal-Mart. That's right, it's used so much that Webster's now adopts "Evil" as part of the name.

Today's angle came from the exotic environs of Jonquiere, Quebec. It seems that, until recently, the Wal-Mart in Jonquiere had the unique distinction of being the only unionized Wal-Mart. I say "recently" because Wal-Mart has decided to close the store because, surprise, it ain't making any money.

Feeling the need to have a balanced report (for once), NPR decided to poll two people with equal knowledge and understanding of local economics: an economics professor and a literature professor.

First, let me say that there is nothing snottier or bitchier than a Liberal French-Canadian (oxymoron?) LitProf. Lord knows I hate to give advice to the other side, but if you have to resort to interviewing a LF-CLP to support your position, then please at least find a male. I hated this woman before she even reached a verb. Second, what the hell does a LF-CLP know about economics -- or reality for that matter? Of course, she was thrilled that Evil Wal-Mart was hitting the road. She claimed that the store was an example of American corporatism (stated with a sneer visible over the radio), and that she had actually been to America and everyone there was either rich or poor (evidently, she doesn't read the paper). Wal-Mart, she stated, was taking advantage of poor Quebec workers.

The economist was timid, but dead on point. He noted that Wal-Mart's closure is a serious problem in attracting new business. Face it, if Wal-Mart can't make it in your community, you can be pretty sure that most businesses will be adding you to their expansion plans.

I've said this many times (and yet still haven't gotten sick of it): Corporations are NOT individual reasoning entities, so quit treating them as if they were. Wal-Mart is not "bad," because it is successful; Ben & Jerry's isn't "good" just because they sell tie dyes. In fact, I'd be willing to bet that Wal-Mart cashiers make as much as Ben & Jerry's servers. Liberals insist on personifying corporations and business in a rhetorical attempt to justify their positions. Wal-Mart is allegedly evil because it doesn't provide healthcare to its workers and pays only $7-8 an hour. While this is hardly JLo money, it is an honest day's pay for people who don't have a doctoral degree in literature. It is also what the market will bear.

The LF-CLP's position is one based on emotion, not reason. Do liberals really think that banning low-paying jobs is a good thing? Do they believe that all these down-trodden workers would be working as nuclear physicists if they were forced to stock shelves at Wal-Mart?

What does forcing Wal-Mart out really mean to Jonquiere, Quebec? It means dozens of workers who had been supporting themselves and their families, are now forced to go on welfare or to seek even lower-paying jobs in order to make ends meet. It means that less companies will move to town, which in turn means less jobs in the future. It means that those on the low end of the economic scale will now have to spend a greater amount of their limited disposable income on basic household items. Ironically, it also means that fewer Wal-Mart workers at other stores will be willing to risk certifying a unions.

And, of course, it means that LF-CLPs can continue to smugly state their opinions on NPR.
Centinel 1:37 PM #


Post a Comment