George Will writes increduously of the Democrats' inane attacks on Wal-Mart. First, some facts:
The median household income of Wal-Mart shoppers is under $40,000. Wal-Mart, the most prodigious job-creator in the history of the private sector in this galaxy, has almost as many employees (1.3 million) as the U.S. military has uniformed personnel. 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 . By lowering consumer prices, Wal-Mart costs about 50 retail jobs among competitors for every 100 jobs Wal-Mart creates. 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).
Now Will hits his grand slam:
Liberals think their campaign against Wal-Mart is a way of introducing the subject of class into America's political argument, and they are more correct than they understand. Their campaign is liberalism as condescension. It is a philosophic repugnance toward markets because consumer sovereignty results in the masses making messes. Liberals, aghast, see the choices Americans make with their dollars and their ballots, and announce - yes, announce - that Americans are sorely in need of more supervision by . . . liberals.
I hope that the Republicans turn a spotlight during the upcoming campaign season on this war by the liberal elite against the American people. I wrote a post a few weeks back on some possible rationale for this left wing anti-Wal-Mart hate fest, and a lot of it boils down to the facts listed above. The reality that Wal-Mart has a more positive effect on the economy, and especially on the lower to lower-middle classes, than all of their precious government programs is simply too much for the left to bear. So rather than re-think some of their core principles, the folks that laughably label themselves as "progressive" would rather destroy a free-market enterprise that (perhaps inadvertantly) helps society than reshape government programs that...do absolutely nothing.
When liberals' presidential nominees consistently fail to carry Kansas, liberals do not rush to read a book titled "What's the Matter With Liberals' Nominees?" No, the book they turned into a best-seller is titled "What's the Matter With Kansas?" Notice a pattern?
It is never the left, or their outmoded ideas, you see...it is always us, we fail to understand, we fail to see what is right and good for us, and if only we had the strong but benign hand of our liberal betters to guide us...