The Wal-mart movement is a political fraud, Wal-mart has saved towns (all the way back to Bentonville, Arkansas).
In a fully free economy, all development is controlled by individuals. I always found it fascinating that Wal-mart would emerge from the South. The South is the one part of America that has never been capitalist. Rand held that it was agrarian - and had more in common with collective feudalism than individual capitalism, which was why the South held onto slavery so long. And if you think about it, capitalism wiped out slavery in the 1800s.
The anti Wal-mart movements are dangerous. Big union backed, this represents the tendency to move toward dictatorship policy and collectivism, and away from freedom.
The left keeping Wal-mart out of the hands of the poor for the good of the poor is at once elitism at its worst. From Ted Kennedy no less. The man never worked a day in his life and no less about the value of a dollar than my 8 year old (actually she knows more). Teddy "I can swim but she can't" Kennedy waxing poetic on Wal-mart.
We must free the most essential and productive group in our society - businesspeople. I believe in free collective bargaining, not forced union. If people want to organize into a group and bargain collectively - cool. That is their right. Today's labor movement against Wal-mart is an attempt to to force people to join, or force Wal-mart to negotiate with them. I see that as the violation of rights.
I make no secret of my support and position on Wal-mart. I own no stock in Wal-mart, do not shop at Wal-mart - as the city council stopped the proposed Wal-mart store in the NYC area and so I have no private agenda, only that as an American wishing to preserve the Declaration of Independence, the greatest document in human history. Look how much this nation achieved so long as it stood by its principles. Namely, freedom. The parallels between the collapse of Western Civilization and the collapse of Rome are obvious. The growth of taxation and government control caused the collapse of Rome, the same thing is happening today.
"We need not give in to the barbarians, but they are certainly waiting anxiously" Ayn Rand.
Fear and Loathing Wal-Mart The high cost of progress. Rich Lowry NRO
A new documentary, Wal-Mart: Ths High Cost of Low Price trashes the much-maligned discount retailer. What the company’s executives are now encountering is the high cost of progress. The political reaction against Wal-Mart is the latest iteration of the fear and loathing that greets any major innovation in American retailing.
A new paper from the Competitive Enterprise Institute details the long history of resistance to retail advances. In the late 19th century, the advent of department stores caused outrage. The same reaction met the rise of mail-order catalogs, which were burned in public at the behest of local retailers. The rise of chain stores in the 1920s also inflamed local merchants, who claimed that they threatened "the future of the children."
Now, it’s Wal-Mart’s turn. Founder Sam Walton realized that by offering customers discount prices he could make more profits based on increased volume. Hence, the Wal-Mart revolution, and the movement against it that The High Cost celebrates. Wal-Mart is faring the film surprisingly well, since its release has coincided with the publication of studies that debunk the image of the company crucifying its employees on a cross of low wages and nonexistent benefits as it forces them onto welfare.
The first thing to know about low price is that it has a wonderfully low cost for Wal-Mart customers, a category that includes 8 in 10 Americans a year. A study by Global Insight — paid by Wal-Mart to study the company’s economic effects, but granted independence — estimated that Wal-Mart lowered the consumer price index by 3.1 percent between 1985 and 2004, making for $263 billion in consumer savings by 2004. In a widely cited report, Jason Furman of New York University notes that Wal-Mart and other discount stores make "consumers better off by the equivalent of 25 percent of annual food spending."
But only at the price of wage slavery? No, Wal-Mart’s average wage of roughly $9 an hour is on par with other retailers. Because the jobs tend to be low-skill, retail workers earn less than the average wage for all U.S. workers. According to Furman, this has been the case for the past 20 years and holds true even in areas without Wal-Marts.
Read it all and make sure you read my Thanksgiving day piece on why Wal-mart is the best of America and must be allowed to operate freely in the marketplace. An economy of abundance works, not an economy of scarcity! Read Basquiat, Economic Sophisms.
UPDATE: Tangential but on point and spot on;
"[A]nywhere other than Antarctica and a few sparsely inhabited islands, the first condition for a healthy environment is a strong economy. In the past third of a century, the American economy has swollen by 150 per cent, automobile traffic has increased by 143 per cent, and energy consumption has grown 45 per cent. During this same period, air pollutants have declined by 29 per cent, toxic emissions by 48.5 per cent, sulphur dioxide levels by 65.3 per cent, and airborne lead by 97.3 per cent. Despite signing on to Kyoto, European greenhouse gas emissions have increased since 2001, whereas America's emissions have fallen by nearly one per cent, despite the Toxic Texan's best efforts to destroy the planet" -- columnist Mark Steyn, writing in the Daily Telegraph of London.
This from the demon seed, Rush Limbaugh;
Only the Rich Pay Taxes
The Top 50% pay 96.54% of All Income Taxes
The Top 1% Pay More Than a Third: 34.27%