Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Retail giants

Sebastian Mallaby comes to the defense of Wal-Mart against its leftist critics.

And this year, unlike last, Target is partnering on-line with the Salvation Army. Not that I’m complaining about this, but I’m still on the lookout for good old-fashioned red kettles.

Commerce in its place, and charity in its.

Discussions - 9 Comments

Oh, thank heavens someone has come to poor Wal-Mart’s defense! Mallaby made no mention of how the $10 billion annual profits Wal-Mart receives millions of dollars in government subsidies every year.

Can one be both a Republican and suspicious of Wal-Mart? I think that one can criticize Wal-Mart based on Conservative principles and good-ol’ American individualism, but it seems that unflinching loyalty to Wal-Mart is a fixture of the Republican Party platform.


Any Conservatives/Republicans out there who are at least suspicious of Wal-Mart?

Mr. Knippenberg, did you share that Mallaby piece with your father? Did it change his mind, or sway him at all, or is he still fighting against Wal-Mart in his town in Maryland? (Or, has the Wal-Mart already had its "grand" opening?)

K Mitchell:

I’ll rise to your challenge. I’m Republican and I dislike Walmart, although I do not think they are "evil." Here are my reasons:

1. Their stores are a mess. The aisles are cluttered. The stores look like a nuclear bomb has scattered goods all over the place.

2. Their checkout lines are way understaffed. Everytime I have tried to casually buy something at Walmart I have left because I refuse to wait in line 10 minutes in order to buy a tube of toothpaste. Everyone said K-Mart went bankrupt because of poor service and messy stores. It is just a matter of time before Walmart follows suit.

3. Although I am not certain of it, I have a suspicion that Chinese workers are forced to work at artifically low wages. While I think unions create A LOT of inefficiences, I think everyone can agree no one should be FORCED to work for wages they do not agree to. I have a suspicion that the Chinese government forces people to work, and that they set the wages (therefore this is not a true market system). Walmart, and Americans, should be ashmed to get goods from a regime that is little more than a slave driver. If China allows workers to refuse work, and all of that stuff, I retract this gripe.

4. Perhaps most importantly, Walmart, and support of Walmart, allows China funds to build up its army. While we will get cheap goods today, it seems most likely these goods will enable China to build the armed services that will eventually subdue America (either directly or indirectly). I would gladly pay another 2 cents for toothpaste or tennis balls if it allowed America to be the world superpower for another 25-50 years.

I think these are reasons any Republican can be wary of Walmart, although I would enjoy hearing other opinions.

I’m Republican and very conservative, but I too have problems with WalMart. Paying rock-bottom wages and wringing the profit out of their American supplies, while purchasing some enormous percentage of their merchandise from overseas suppliers, is a recipe for disaster in the long term. They essentially encourage us to consume ourselves to death.

Such business models are one of the reasons that inequality is growing in America...sure, prices are cheaper now, but the entry-level job base for our working class continues to shrink. The GOP needs to stop listening to Libertarian globalizers and heed what Pat Buchanan’s been trying to say for lo these many years. There’s a place for trade, but we really can’t afford to "outsource" our basic industries. The market is NOT a panacea...it’s just better than the alternatives. And that market sometimes needs correction.

Wow.


I stand corrected. Kudos to Steve & Dain.


Glad to know I am not alone. Hopefully more level-headed Republicans will engage in the debate. Obviously I do not want to side with some of the Leftist fringes who hate any profitable corporation. But, as it stands today, I do not know if we have a choice.

I want to echo Mr. Sparks comments, especially points 1 and 2. It is my belief that Wal-Mart can not continue it’s current dominance - like GM, they are going to fade (I believe allot faster than GM). I almost always chose Target over Wal-Mart, simply because of the superior service (particularly the check out situation). However, this year I decided to purchase some of my major Christmas gifts from Wal-Mart simply because of their liberal dealings (the snub of Salvation Army, giving to homosexualist causes, etc.). This is likely short term however. If Target comes to their corporate senses and allows Salvation Army back at the door, I might just never darken the door of a Wal-Mart again...

Mallaby’s article was inaccurate and misleading on several scores. Check this out to find out more. The contradictions between basic, observable reality and the PR hype are becoming too great to be maintained, and that’s why I think Wal-Mart’s support is falling, even among a wide swath of conservatives.

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