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Jeff Taylor dissects John Edwards' moment of Wal-Mart weakness.

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  • ||

    Oh, I hope this is an ethics violation. (That is for a lawyer to use his public office in order to get gifts.)

    Disbarrment! Disbarrment!

  • ||

    We've all read the stories about how Walmart has a high powered "war room" made up of bipartisan PR legends. This is the very type of thing they would have pounced on. BTW: the analysis isn't terrible, but just because people have $600 in their bank account doesn't mean they can afford a $600 item. Of course, that's their choice, we'll always need ditch diggers, etc.

  • ||

    Ugh, what about this, from the end of the AP story:

    Edwards, the Democrats' vice presidential candidate in 2004, spoke Wednesday to supporters of union-backed WakeUpWalMart.com on a conference call launching the group's holiday season campaign to pressure Wal-Mart for better labor standards.

    In the call, he repeated a story about his son Jack disapproving of a classmate buying sneakers at Wal-Mart. "If a 6-year-old can figure it out, America can definitely figure this out," Edwards said.


    This jerk brags that his kid is the kind of asshole who makes fun of another kid's clothes. Believe me Edwards, Esquire, kids have to deal with enough shit about their clothes already; we don't need you encouraging the little monsters.

  • ||

    Edwards building policy around the musings of a six-year-old? Oh, now that's something to take pride in.

    It's the reductio ad absurdum of "But what about the children?"

  • ||

    Ah, John Edwards. Went from one America to the other and never looked back, apparently.

  • ||

    I can't stand Walmart (flame away), but I hold a special disdain for John Edwards. He's a one-term Senator who thinks he's ready for the White House. What an arrogant SOB. He's got a kid who makes fun of poor kids...and he's proud of it! Regardless of your or my positions on Walmart, a 6-year old is not fair game. Jeeez. F* John Edwards.

  • ||

    I think Edwards meant to say that his son knows that WalMart is a "bad" company not that people who shop at WalMart have bad taste.

    Do you really think he'd brag about his spawn's fashion elitism?

  • ||

    Edwards explains that an overzealous campaign staffer - is there ever any other kind?

    Really. It's always the staffer acting on his own. I'm surprised that Foley didn't try to claim it was a staffer using his computer that sent those emails.

    Is there somewhere I can hire someone to take the blame for the stupid shit I sometimes pull.

  • ||

    I can't stand Walmart (flame away)

    As long as you don't expect the Federal Government or your local zoning commission to enforce your choice of stores, you can hate whichever stores you want.

  • ||

    I'm soooooo confused!
    His "overzealous"staffers haven't been informed of his stands on the issues? His staffers are just plain stupid?
    Whisky, Tango, Foxtrot? Over.

  • ||

    Do you really think he'd brag about his spawn's fashion elitism?

    No, but we think that he'd spin it to make it look like it was consumer wisdom instead.

  • Dan T.||

    BTW: the analysis isn't terrible, but just because people have $600 in their bank account doesn't mean they can afford a $600 item.

    Or more to the point, in America you don't need to have $600 to buy a $600 item.

  • ||

    Add this to my previous. His staffers are required to help with his Xmas shopping? Sure sounds like two Americas to me.

  • ||

    While I realize that Mr. Taylor's piece specifically dealt with Edwards, I wished he had found time to deal with the Democratic Party's other economically braindead blowhard, Barak Hussein Obama Jr. (I know, Obama isn't a white male like Edwards, so he gets a pass on his marcoeconomic meathead socialism).

    I find it amazing that Mr. Obama, the junior senator from Illinois, finds time to excoriate Walmart as being monumentally evil, while his fellow African-Americans turned out in droves to apply for just a handful of jobs that Walmart brought to impoverished areas that Mr. Obama claims to "represent."

    How many jobs have Obama and Edwards brought to inner city blacks in Chicago? Oh wait, that's right .... politicians don't create jobs!!

    To paraphrase Eddie Murphy, Obama and Edwards should have a Walmart-purchased Coke and a smile, and shut the **** up!

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    Do you really think he'd brag about his spawn's fashion elitism?

    Yes, because these people are so arrogant they don't see it as elitism.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    Is there somewhere I can hire someone to take the blame for the stupid shit I sometimes pull.

    My policy is to always blame the help.

  • ||

    However, the slapstick of the Edwards misstep should not obscure the really big picture, the fatal flaw in his "Two Americas" spiel.

    You do a good job of pointing out the fundamental flaw with "Two Americas": that it is plainly a lie. But what should be obvious to Edward's handlers is that the "Two Americas" message is fatally flawed pragmatically as well.

    The pragmatic flaw is that 60% of Americans live in households that earn above the median household income. So if you chop the Two Americas at median household income, you lose the vote 40-60. If you try to chop the Two Americas any higher, you wind up telling solidly middle class people that they are disadvantaged. This more and more draws out the fundamental lie of Two Americas, but it's also frankly offensive to the target audience.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    Jeff Taylor, I always like your stuff, but this is exceptional. Enjoyed and savored every last word.............

  • ||

    Do you have a link to Obama's Walmart statement?

  • Dan T.||

    Back to Edwards for a second, his explaination for the Wal-Mart/Playstation thing sounds plausible enough...I doubt he actually instructed anybody to specifically go to Wal-Mart to buy the thing. Hell, I imagine if it was that important to him he could just call somebody at Sony and have one delivered to his house.

    But if I'm a staffer/volunteer wanting to impress, I do what I can to get it for him.

  • Dan T.||

    Add this to my previous. His staffers are required to help with his Xmas shopping? Sure sounds like two Americas to me.

    I don't think Edwards denies being a member of the upper part of the two Americas.

  • ||

    ...Walmart as being monumentally evil, while his fellow African-Americans turned out in droves...

    I have a question. Since the junior senator from Illinois' mother (50% of his genes) is a European American, why is he always referred to as African American? Is this a racist holdover from the old "one drop of blood" rule?

    See also Tiger Woods.

  • ||

    Check out what these $600 game machines are going for on ebay now.

  • ||

    The pragmatic flaw is that 60% of Americans live in households that earn above the median household income.

    MikeP...Pragmatically speaking, how can 60% of Americans live above the median?

    The median divides any given population or distribution in half - upper and lower. Only 50% can live either above or below the median.

    And your assertion of the median is meaningless without context.

    If the median is far below what is required to leave enough disposable income to still be able to buy a Playstation, well then you haven't really demonstrated anything.

    I think you're confusing median with poverty level which is an arbitrary figure assigned by various agencies for their own purposes.

    Still, both figures are relative to the whol population. Lot's of people can live above the poverty line and/or above the median income level and still have neither a pot to piss in nor a window to throw it out of.

  • ||

    The pragmatic flaw is that 60% of Americans live in households that earn above the median household income.

    Perhaps, but household income is a misleading stat; just because a family of four is making a little more money than a single person doesn't mean those four individuals are better off.

  • ||

    Perhaps, but household income is a misleading stat; just because a family of four is making a little more money than a single person doesn't mean those four individuals are better off.

    nor does it mean that they are worse off, crimethink.

    Personally, I think WalMart should run the FBI...think how quickly they connected the dots between a hypocritic's request in Raleigh to thier corporate HQ's self-defense policies...all in time to get a press release out quickly and distributed across the interweb! Now that's efficiency.

  • ||

    As a statistical term madpad is correct , median is the MIDPOINT , therefore it is by definition where 50% are above and 50% are below. However , if MikeP had used the term mean instead (which is the average income of all citizens) his point could be valid , more people could be above the mean, but in reality I think the opposite is true , many more are below the mean than above it.

  • ||

    Okay, I've just got to ask: What is the deal with Obama? He was anointed the God Emperor of Democrats before he was in office ten weeks. He seems to be a decent speaker, and, like Edwards, he's into the optimist schtick, but I don't see anything at all that justifies the hype. Maybe he really is God's gift to politics, but I'd prefer fewer conclusions and more facts.

    I don't like Edwards at all, but I really have it in for sleazy plaintiffs' attorneys for some reason. Some left-wingers make the mistake of equating these guys as "for the people", which makes any lawyer who isn't lying to you laugh. And laugh. And laugh.

    The Democrats can do better, and they do have some decent candidates with experience. If they discard Senator Clinton, too, the rest of the field isn't that bad.

  • ||

    "This reality will very hard for union-funded Democrats like Edwards to ignore as the 2008 presidential campaign unfolds."

    Hard? Hard for consumers and tax payers, maybe, but not for union-funded leaders in the Democratic Party. ...They'll just talk out of both sides of their mouths--much like they're doing right now.

    Even now, as major airlines and automakers driven to the brink of insolvency by the very union health care benefits Edwards and other Democrats are trying to hoist on to Wal*Mart, the same union-funded Democrats are working to put the American taxpayer on the hook for the very same union health care benefits that drove GM to the brink of insolvency!

    You can even forget the airlines in Chapter 11, just look at the auto industry. The same plan that drove Delphi into Chapter 11, the same plan that all but dragged GM into such a state that the taxpayers, according to union-funded Democrats, have to be put on the hook for GM's union health care benefits, likewise, that plan should also be foisted on to Wal*Mart.

    ...right.

    Consumers, voters and taxpayers may have a hard time ignoring reality, but reality isn't hard for union-funded Democrats to ignore. ...especially when the reality is that union-funded Democrats are stayin' up late at night tryin' to think up new ways to stick it to the taxpayer.

  • Math guy||

    MikeP's statement was certainly possible and seems plausible:

    Imageine 10 people in america, divided into 3 households. One household has 2 members and makes $50k. Another household has 2 members and makes $60k. A third household has 6 members and makes $70k. The median household income (as well as the mean, incidentally) is $60k. Six Americans (60%) live in a household that makes above the median income.

  • ||

    In the call, he repeated a story about his son Jack disapproving of a classmate buying sneakers at Wal-Mart. "If a 6-year-old can figure it out, America can definitely figure this out," Edwards said.

    To the person who said that this was about ethics, not elitism, it certainly is about elitism: it's just Elitism 2.0, which cloaks itself in the sort of self-righteousness that weds aesthetic dislike to a so-called social agenda and never looks back. I'm not sure which embarrasses Edwards more: the fact that he's indoctrinated his son so well in this shit that he's now using it to humiliate other first graders, who presumably don't make the decisions about where they shop, or that Edwards is actually making the opinion of a six-year-old the sine qua non of truth.

    I hate Wal-Mart, too, but I'm honest about the reasons: big fluorescent warehouses teeming with broods of howling children make me want to pay twice as much elsewhere for a little peace and some recessed lighting.

  • ||

    Pragmatically speaking, how can 60% of Americans live above the median?

    60% of Americans live in households that earn more than the median household income.

    Not at all surprisingly, higher income households have more people in them. As noted in this Heritage study:

    The Census Bureau quintiles are unequal in size because they are based on a count of households rather than persons. A household is defined as a person or group of persons living in a single housing unit. In the United States, high-income households tend to be married couples with many members and earners. Low-income households tend to be single persons with little or no earnings. Thus, it should be of no surprise that the average household in the Census' top quintile contains 3.2 persons, while the average household in the bottom quintile contains 1.8 persons.

  • ||

    Math guy , your math is certainly correct , but I still have a hard time beleiving that more than 50% of americans live in a household above the median income.

    Demographically , don't high income people have fewer children? Aren't there more birth's to low income people? I saw a study that said hispanic households have children at a higher rate than blacks and much higher than whites. Are we to assume that hispanic and blacks have a higher income on average than whites ? Strains credibility.

  • ||

    doubled,

    Not only are most people in the country not children, but most households in the country have no children in them at all.

    Most important to the point I am making, though, is that children don't vote. Even if you are right that there is a tendency for children to be more prevelant in lower income households, the number of voters in the higher two quintiles still matches, if not exceeds, the number of the voters in the bottom three quintiles.

  • ||

    MathGuy - your clear, erudite and most excellent illustration not withstanding - possible and plausible but improbable and still meaningless without more and better data. Specifically average household volume for the populations above and below the median.

    doubled - the very nature of economics proves your suspicion...fewer people are (almost) always above the mean (or average) income while the majority are below it. That's not a value judgement, mind you...that's just math. I don't think any of us wants to live in a society where the math works any other way.

  • ||

    I have a question. Since the junior senator from Illinois' mother (50% of his genes) is a European American, why is he always referred to as African American? Is this a racist holdover from the old "one drop of blood" rule?

    Actually, one could say that Obama is more "African" than most "African-Americans", since his father was born there, as opposed to most blacks, who are descended from Africans who arrived here about 100 years before most of my ancestors did.

  • ||

    I hate Wal-Mart, too, but I'm honest about the reasons: big fluorescent warehouses teeming with broods of howling children make me want to pay twice as much elsewhere for a little peace and some recessed lighting.

    I hear ya. I detest Wal-Mart bashing, and I still shop there for some things, mostly motor oil and car parts that are alot cheaper than at the local AutoZone or Checker.

    But the grocery section at Super Wal-Mart sucks big-time, the quality of their inappropriately-named generic "Great Value" brand is horrendous, and their food prices aren't really that good. In short, they're good at some things, but they're bad enough at others that my family usually shops elsewhere.

    I can't see them taking over the world anytime soon.

  • ||

    MikeP,

    Thanks for the study. You'll pardon if I have marginally more respect for a study that has the phrase "targets of class warfare" peppered thouhout as I have for anything that comes out of Mr. Edwards' mouth.

    I did not find where you teased out your 60% assertion and I could not find where the study establishes a number for the "median household income". The only solid figure was "top fifth of U.S. households (with incomes above $84,000) ..." so without a median household income figure, your assertion still suffers from a serious lack of context.

    But hey, throw the figure out there and lets hash it.

  • ||

    madpad,

    I got the numbers from Chart 4, which is more readable in the pdf.

    That chart shows Percent of Population in Each Income Quintile. The values, from lowest earning quintile to highest, are 14.3, 17.9, 20.2, 23.0, 24.6.

    But looking back at this I find that I transposed the statistic in my memory: These data only support the statement that 47.6% of Americans live in households that earn above the 60th percentile household income. Nonetheless, I expect the statement I made above is very close to accurate as well.

    You'll note that the top two quintiles here only add up to 47.6%. The 50% from my memory must already include the fudge factor implied above: Lower income households have fewer voters per person.

    So let me correct and restate my point for John Edwards' sake:

    The pragmatic fatal flaw in the "Two Americas" message is that half of all voters reside in households in the top 40% of households by income. To win a majority of votes, you must convince the marginal voter, who lives in a 59th percentile household, that he is in the Second America. He knows he isn't.

  • Franklin Harris||

    I'm listening to Penn Jillette's radio show. He just picked up on Sen. Two Americas' Wal-Mart hypocrisy. Beautiful.

  • ||

    On NPR they are reporting that overnight someone standing in line outside a Connecticut Wal*Mart to try to get a Playstation was shot in an armed robbery.

    No mention yet about John Edwards and his attempt to get a Playstation...

  • ||

    someone standing in line outside a Connecticut Wal*Mart to try to get a Playstation was shot in an armed robbery.

    Which America is that again?

    And thanks for the redux there, MikeP. Hard to evalute median income from a study dealing in quintiles...which (coming from a marketing guy who deals in statistics pretty regularly) seems a funny way to distribute your populations for this purpose. Still, I won't quibble with your analysis which is adequate enough for the support data and this thread.

    But we could hash the minutiae (sp?) all weekend...and that would seriously cut into my martini time and Battlestar Galactica.

    Suffice to say Edwards is a dingus and you've got the data to prove it.

  • ||

    "On NPR they are reporting that overnight someone standing in line outside a Connecticut Wal*Mart to try to get a Playstation was shot in an armed robbery."

    ...and John Edwards's son was there to ridicule the victim....

  • ||

    Franklin Harris,

    Isn't Penn great? I'm writing him in for president in 2008 if no one remotely decent runs for the LP.

  • ||

    John Edwards: Biggest Douche In The Universe.

  • ed||

    Limousine Liberals and Playstation Pricks.

  • ||

    Just as an aside re: Edwards...beyond ageneral distaste for ALL politicians, I'm not usually one to automatically dislike one just for party or ideology or what have you. I never had this passionate hatred of Clinton and though I don't really like Bush as my president, he seems o.k. enough personally that I can despise his policies and remain ambivalent about him personally.

    But all through the election in 2004, Edwards creeped me out. There's something calculated and patently insincere about the man. He's to hurried, self-promoting and nakedly ambitious. The only other political figure who creeps me out that much (for completely different reasons, mind you) is John Ashcroft. They both seem like the kind of guys who'd kill somebody and go eat KFC.

  • ||

    I have a question. Since the junior senator from Illinois' mother (50% of his genes) is a European American, why is he always referred to as African American? Is this a racist holdover from the old "one drop of blood" rule?

    Even worse the asshat you quoted said "he is not a white male" in the same tract in which he called him an "African-American."


    That's like me saying that purple is not red because it's blue.

    Fuck off, Madscribe.

    Everyone else, please refrain from making comments about my civility, I've no patience for dipshit racists like him today.

  • ||

    Civility issue tabled per your request, andy...but I didn't read Madscribe's comment as racist. I could be missing something but despite trying real hard, I'm not getting it.

  • ||

    And yet, still nobody answers my query.

  • GTF||

    A true populist, of course, would have gone for the $250 Nintendo Wii.

  • ||

    "But if I'm a staffer/volunteer wanting to impress, I do what I can to get it for him."

    This reminds me of the famous case of another politician, King Henry II.

    The king was chilling with his knights one day, and he said, "Verily, I am dolorous, forasmuch as I hath not obtained ye latest Playstation. Will no-one getteth me one?"

    So four of the knights went down to Canterbury, killed Thomas a Becket, stole his Playstation, and gave it to the king.

    Once the press got hold of that, the King had to spin like mad.

    "Forsooth, I have waxed wonderly wroth to discover that some overzealous staffers have misunderstood my wishes. I diddest not wanteth to whack Becket, and I thought that the Playstation my knights gave me came from Ye Mart of Ye Walle."

  • ||

    Since the junior senator from Illinois' mother (50% of his genes) is a European American, why is he always referred to as African American? Is this a racist holdover from the old "one drop of blood" rule?

    I'll take it on, J sub D.

    As I understand it, he refers to himself as African-American. Therefore, it is only good manners to refer to him in the manner he wishes.

    Pro wrestlers refer to themselves as 'Athletes' and my 3-years-old frequently declares himself a 'pirate.'

    Who am I to argue such trivialities in polite company?

  • ||

    Are you snaking my handle, Mad Pad?

    Good post though...can't complain about people confusing that as one of mine.

  • ||

    Oops, wrong pseudonym, let me try again:

    "But if I'm a staffer/volunteer wanting to impress, I do what I can to get it for him."

    This reminds me of the famous case of another politician, King Henry II.

    The king was chilling with his knights one day, and he said, "Verily, I am dolorous, forasmuch as I hath not obtained ye latest Playstation. Will no-one getteth me one? And mark ye well, Archbishop Becket hath one, the insolent rogue."

    So four of the knights went down to Canterbury, killed Thomas a Becket, stole his Playstation, and gave it to the king.

    Once the press got hold of that, the King had to spin like mad.

    "Forsooth, I have waxed wonderly wroth to discover that some overzealous staffers have misunderstood my wishes. I diddest not wanteth to whack Becket, and I thought that the Playstation my knights gave me came from Ye Mart of Ye Walle."

  • ||

    madpad,

    It's a very subtle racism, but as J sub D alluded to, calling someone who's of equal Caucasian and African blood, like Obama, as "African-American" and not "white" as Madscribe so blatantly did (honestly, I've seen people try to deny his whiteness many a time before, but no one did it as thoroughly as Madscribe... but I digress.) is nothing more than a callback to the "one-drop rule"- like J sub D also pointed out. Racism in and of itself is irrational, but even in the logic of racism ignoring 50% or 75 percent or 93.75% of a person's ancestry just because they have "black blood" makes no sense.

    In summation: Barack is just as white as he is black, any attempt to treat him like he's blacker than he is white (or vice-versa, although I've yet to see a case of this) is racist and eat a dick if you disagree with me.

    Sorry. I'm a little combative today but not much bugs me more than people denigrating mulattos to plain "nigger" status (not that placing anyone in that status is ok...)

    Unsolicited self-disclosure: The previous paragraph could be due to the fact that I'm a bisexual, libertarian agnostic ( attributes not dissimilar to multiracialness) and am sick to fucking death of people trying to inappropriately and irrationally pigeonhole me. I just have a lot of sympathy for mixed folk in that regard.

  • ||

    While I have been a jerk before on this board, I have been working hard to change. As such, I pledge to never intentionally pigeonhole you.

    For my part, as long as you treat me with respect I got no truck with you.

    You, me and every other poster on this board are all black courier fonts on a white or gray background. The only thing that counts here is the content of your post.

    Anyway...as I just wrote, it is my understanding that Obama identifies himself as an African-American. Using that as my jumping off point, I have a hard time seeing the same racism you do in Madscribes post.

    But, as you pointed out, you have a different perspective and uniquely personal sympathy so I'll respect that.

  • ||

    Woo! Buying a PS3 at Walmart! Right up there with lying about WMD! Kudos to Reason for the exhaustive research in actually locating an example of hypocrisy coming from a modern politician who isn't even a politician anymore.

    So people are already paying for pre-emptive '08 hack jobs on anyone who might conceivably run? Damn we're getting meta. Ahhh there's so much money flying around these days. It's a great time to be a hack.

    FWIW, you'd be better off bringing up his cheap shot on Cheney's daughter. That probably has more resonance, even being two years old, than this does.

  • ||

    Oh, shit, independent worm is onto us!

  • ||

    Karl Rove *promised* that no-one would find out about the bribes he gave us. That lying prick Rove, if I go down, I'm taking him with me. I'll sing like a canary to the grand jury.

  • ||

    First, I could call B.S. on the racist canard, as I'm a black male. But I know that, to some minds we're all supposed to think alike (and be Obama or Cynthia McKinney's cheerleader).

    As for Obama, he's the one that plays up the race card, haploid number of chromosomes withstanding. That's one of the reasons he's in the Senate. He ran against Alan Keyes, someone that, to race-conscious (as opposed to issue conscious)black voters in Chicago and Illinois, made Obama look like Huey Newton.

    Obama, like Janus, has many faces for many audiences. Listen to WVON, the black talk radio station in Chicago sometime, and you'll see Obama's playing up of his black skin privilege.

    But all the attacks on my so-called "racism" still begs the point: Why diss Edwards alone on his bullshit macroeconomic "activism," but not Obama?

    Especially since Obama is the one more out front on the ignorant Wal-Mart bashing than Edwards, and is the Senator for a city where the economic situation is so dire for the black underclass that the opening of a single Wal-Mart (decades after it's been in other states and cities) is major news (!!) for both inner city consumers and job seekers.

  • ||

    Just because you're black doesn't mean you can't be racist or that what you said isn't racist. You might not see it as such but you're just perpetuating the old, racist system. BTW, I don't give a fuck what Obama self-identifies as- he's perpetuating that system too.

  • ||

    ...Alan Keyes, someone that, to race-conscious (as opposed to issue conscious)black voters in Chicago and Illinois, made Obama look like Huey Newton.

    More likely Obama (to race-conscious black voters) made Keyes look like Ward Connerly.

  • ||

    Andy, if you present yourself to Black voters as "the black candidate," and ecnourage them to support you as such, then who is "racist"?

    Anyway, my main issue is that Obama, black, white, or teasingly tanned, is more in the public eye than Edwards, and it is only fair to call him on the bullshit "economics" of Wal-Mart bashing as Edwards. Either way, Wal-Mart has done more for both black and caucasian consumers and entry level laborers than Obama, Edwards, the Congressional Black Caucus and every white male trial attorney combined.

    In the immortal words of Stan Lee,
    'Nuff Said ...

  • ||

    The day a liberal stands up for Wal-Mart will be a nippy day in hell.

  • ||

    Andy...I like you...I really do. And I respect where you're coming from. But using your bisexuality as an insight into mixed-race issues is more than a little grasping, though I applaud that you apply it to the larger purpose of a general understanding.

    Still, accusing people of racism based on their use of the phrase "African-American" isn't very effective.

    Race issues are a fact of life that you cannot wish away. And getting rid of words you don't like isn;t going to magically change things either. We need language to aid us in the discussion. Avoiding words is as bad as avoiding the issue.

    "the old, racist system"? Hardly. New racist, maybe. But being white, I hear I can't jump and my ass is flat. U.S. racial issues will ikely not magically get sorted out in yours or my lifetimes. But it's hopeful we may move the issue forward.

    In any case, it's bad enough serious racial issues like Affirmative Action can't be discussed because they are sacred cows of certain racially-interested parties. The last thing the discussion needs is someone with misguided sympathies wading in and lobbing "you're a racist" handgrenades at everyone who steps on your personal landmines.

    You've got passion and it's clear you care deeply and that's a good thing. But you could benefit from a little restraint. You're firing at false targets that aren't getting you - or anyone else - anywhere.

  • ||

    The day a liberal stands up for Wal-Mart will be a nippy day in hell.

    Nothing in the liberal-conservative debate over Wal-Mart changes one simple economic reality: They charge less overall for food and clothing than any other large retailer. And they hire almost anyone - black, white or blue.

    That is hardly a bad thing for the poor and disenfranchised.

  • ||

    Nevermind those depressed wages and locally owned businesses going under, we just saved 60 cents on our toilet paper! So what if I used to make $12/hr. and now I only make $9.50 at Walmart. Which part of saving 60 cents don't you understand?

  • ||

    Very few people make - or ever made - $12 an hour at a locally-owned retail store.

    Having lived in small towns and now live in a large town, small town retail stores are less likely to pay much above minimum wage.

  • ||

    That's not my experience, madpad, though it is a big country.

  • ||

    I do live in the South East...a paradise of cheap labor (both legal and illegal). But I have travelled a bit. It's not like I ask every sales clerk I encounter what they make, but I am in management and am up on the pay scales for those kind of jobs in my area and they ain't great: $7-$9 an hour mostly. And that's for people with teeth and social skills (and sometimes a little college, too).

    So you can see I'd be surprised if some rural type was squeezed out of a $12 an hour retail position to hump it at Wal Mart for peanuts.

    Still, your experience suggest otherwise, which is cool. I may have to reconsider (though not without more data). I'm not saying Wal Mart is great. I'm certainly not itchin' to work there.

    But I'm also hesitant to paint them as the big, hairy evil.

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