Democrats versus Wal-Mart

It is interesting to see that the Democrats have finally found and enemy worth fighting. No, it’s not Islamofascism or the war on terror, but your local Wal-Mart store. Investors Business Daily has an excellent article on this outrage.

“Imagine a private group that pays billions in taxes, creates millions of jobs and sells things at ultra-low prices. Too good to be true? It’s called Wal-Mart—and Democrats, for some reason, want to kill it off… This is all part of a recent trend among Democratic politicians using Wal-Mart as a foil to ingratiate themselves with middle-class voters. This may be good politics. We don’t know. But those who participate in such Wal-Mart-bashing reveal themselves to be economic illiterates of the most dangerous sort… A study by economic consultant Global Insight found that, from 1985 to 2004, Wal-Mart slashed food-at-home prices by 9.1%, goods prices by 4.2% and overall consumer prices by 3.1%. If those cuts don’t sound huge, consider that, all told, they saved mostly poor and middle-class consumers $263 billion—or $895 per person and $2,329 per household. By now, of course, it’s become obvious that Democrats aren’t so much anti-Wal-Mart as they are pro-organized labor… Yet despite unions’ widely disseminated claims, the wages that Wal-Mart pays its employees are competitive. In 2004, Global Insight found that the average wage nationwide for jobs equivalent to Wal-Mart’s was $8.46 an hour. Wal-Mart paid $9.17. Put bluntly, the war against Wal-Mart Stores is a war against the poor, and it’s shocking to watch a major political party carry it out… A Zogby Poll…found that 85% of frequent Wal-Mart shoppers pulled the lever for President Bush in 2004, and that 88% of people who never shop there voted for John Kerry. Maybe the split in this country isn’t so much red state versus blue, but Wal-Mart vs. non-Wal-Mart. And since 20% of Americans are Wal-Mart shoppers, Democrats might think twice before alienating them any more than they have so far.”

 Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) at an anti-Wal-Mart rally in Iowa said, “I don’t see any indication that they care about the fate of middle-class people.” Just who does Joe Biden think is shopping at Wal-Mart? Not to be outdone, Sen Evan Bayh (D-IN) chimed in, “Wal-Mart has become emblematic of the anxiety around the country, and the middle-class squeeze.” If Wal-Mart, whose low prices save the average shopper over $2,300 a year is a beacon of anxiety and distress, what would we call Wal-Mart if it was forced to unionize and we lost our $2,300 annual savings to the labor unions? 

The Democrats are clearly pandering to the labor union bosses – read campaign contributors. Wal-Mart is a non-union workplace. I suppose the Democrats are also pandering to their northeast liberal wing of the party. Wal-Mart stores are basically a southern institution with strong roots in America’s small towns. I doubt your average New York, Boston, or New Hampshire liberal elitist has ever been inside a Wal-Mart store.

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