Sunday, March 21, 2004

Rights and Reason: Wal-Mart is good for America

Luke Boggs understands Wal-Mart:

For years, liberal elites have blamed Wal-Mart for emptying historic downtowns, steamrolling competitors and not paying well enough. Today, these old bromides are being trotted out yet again.

Ketchup queen Teresa Heinz Kerry recently claimed that Wal-Mart "destroys communities." Fact is, Wal-Mart began in 1962 and exploded in the 1980s. Historic downtowns began fading much earlier, with the rise of cars in the 1920s and shopping centers in the 1950s.

Long before Wal-Mart arrived, mom-and-pop businesses were losing ground to mass merchandisers because consumers preferred larger selections and lower prices. Wal-Mart didn't invent mass retailing, it perfected it.

Liberal elites also love to whine about Wal-Mart's wages. This is, really, none of their business.

Wal-Mart employs 1.2 million Americans. Many move up, many move on, but all joined the company voluntarily. In a market system, wages are set by supply and demand, not CBS News or The New Yorker.
Great line. And notice Boggs' use of the word "bromides." I know of only one other writer to use that word--a certain novelist-philosopher who wrote these books about architecture and railroads. ;-)

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