August 16, 2005

Jihad of the Left against Wal-Mart?

Phillip Mella, Mayor Pro Tem of Woodland, Colorado, says,

The irony of the jihad against Wal-Mart by liberal activists and their brethren in the labor unions is that if they're successful in leveraging higher wages and benefits for workers it will be on the backs of the lower class, their natural constituency, who will be obliged to pay higher prices ("Labor Tries Political Tack Against Wal-Mart," Business column, Aug. 10).

As a city councilman I recently spent several months fighting a small but vociferous group of zealots bent upon stopping Wal-Mart from building in town. This latest movement against a highly successful corporation is driven by the same brand of anticapitalist ideologues who are determined to rekindle the failed socialist ideals that were in fashion in the 1930s. The complaint that Wal-Mart doesn't reward its workers is a tiresome canard. The average hourly wage for new workers is $9.13, which, in our town, is about 25% higher than average entry-level retail wages. Further, Wal-Mart offers reasonably priced, basic health care to all employees.

More critically, Wal-Mart provides entry-level work for relatively low-skilled individuals who might otherwise never get the chance to demonstrate skills that are crucial to moving up the employment ladder.
Is it any wonder that nearly 70% of Wal-Mart managers began as front-line workers?

This effort is, indeed, "the last gasp of a dying labor movement," because, not unlike the Democratic Party in the last election, they have fundamentally misread the mainstream Americans who pack Wal-Mart stores each week because the company offers them and their families real value for their hard-earned money.
In contrast to these elitist social engineers, consumers understand the core American values of free enterprise and choice in the marketplace.

This was in a letter to the Wall Street Journal ($); it is the sixth letter down in the list. Thanks to Phil Miller for the information.

Posted by TheEclecticEconoclast on August, 16 2005 at 05:48 PM