October 7, 2005

Leo Hindery Jr. Goes After WM

One month after his telecom piece attacking Bush appeared in Businessweek, Mr. Hindrey goes after Wal-Mart:

When H. Ross Perot ran for President back in 1992, he coined a memorable political phrase. The passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement, he said, would create "a giant sucking sound" -- the sound of jobs escaping out of the U.S. and into Mexico.

Today, if you listen carefully, you can hear a second giant sucking sound: Wal-Mart sopping up the vitality from middle-class American families, local communities, and the national economy.


Who is this guy? A Nascar Democrat (read it to the end) and, after Gephardt, a Kerry supporter! On the face of it, a former telecom executive. Dkosopedia notes an extensive financial involvement with Democratic politics, and Powerline noted that Mr. Hindrey is a big-time Democratic activist/fundraiser, forcing BW to include this information in his bio.

But I don't care about his politics or his finances. I care about his ideas -- their originality and the evidence supporting them. So what about it?

First of all, Mr. Hindrey's not saying anything new. These are all talking points, and I cannot see why BW needed to reprint the same unproven accusations that have been in its pages before.

Second, as far as I can tell, nobody has ever bothered to even list the towns "clobbered" or "destroyed" by Wal-Mart, let alone try to separate the impact of Wal-Mart's arrival from the large stores that came before it, while adjusting for cyclical business conditions and changes in tax policies.

Given that nobody has studied the issues in a detailed, sophisticated, not to say even mildly comprehensive manner, why whould I take seriously Mr. Hindrey's bombast?

The criticism goes on and on and on without people actually figuring out Wal-Mart's impact...

Posted by Kevin on October, 7 2005 at 05:16 PM