A Buckley Against Walmart

Over at The Daily Caller, Jonathan Strong interviews Reid Buckley, brother of William F., and says that in a forthcoming book he will “blast” the editors of National Review for being Republican Party stooges and Beltway conservatives for being “snobs.” It’s a rather strange little piece, though. Nowhere does Strong quote from the book in question, which is being self-published, and it's only in the final paragraph that we hear Buckley criticize, in fairly mild terms, a passel of mainstream conservative magazines, include the one founded by his brother:

“I include in [these criticisms] National Review, the Weekly Standard and the American Spectator. And what I’m saying is, they are fuddy duddies. They are political junkies. They are beltway snobs and they’re not paying attention to that vast land between, say, the Ohio River and California. And so they are out of step, they’re out of tune.”

Pretty thin gruel. But more interesting is Buckley’s hyperventilation about big box stores ruining America. He laments “suburban proliferation" and the death of mom-and-pop America:

"The sprawl. I’m talking about setting up a Wal-Mart, and to hell with the countryside. And to hell with the sociological despoilment of Wal-Mart, where local shops close. In this little town of Camden, South Carolina we’ve had 15 shops close in the last couple of years. Some of them were over 100 years old."

Writing in the American Conservative last year, Buckley made a similar case: “For 40 years, smug, snide right-wingers have made merry mocking Greenpeace fanatics and ecological doomsayers without learning a blessed thing about the precariousness of the ecology and the effect of human action (not to speak of avarice) on it, as when we promiscuously exfoliate the rain forests or condemn yet one more green acre on the southeastern shore of New Jersey to the desolation of heedless urban development.”

And: “When last did you hear a conservative spokesman deplore yet another six-lane highway, yet another fast-food alley, yet another graceless subdivision, yet another Super Wal-Mart or Lowe's that sucks the life out of small village businesses, yet one more onslaught against neighborhood and nature that is masked under the name of progress?”

Good questions. But you can find a libertarian celebrating big box stores right here on this website!

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  • Colin||

    Hard to believe that a book by WFB's brother that bashes conservatives can't find a publisher.

    It must be horrifically bad.

    At least, Buckley can take some solace in knowing that his tome won't be available at Walmart.

  • Slap the Enlightened!||

    At least, Buckley can take some solace in knowing that his tome won't be available at Walmart.

    I doubt most of the Walmartians will miss it much.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Your typical WalMart customer can read?

  • Cruz||

    Houkt en fanix wherkx fore mi

  • ||

    Smug feels good, doesn't it?
    I've bought many a book at discount/big box retailers. Same book, lower price. Selection isn't the best (see music CDs) but if you want a bestseller or popular music, you're going to save dollars at the big boxes on the identical product.

  • ||

    Reminds me of the Penn & Teller's Bullshit episode on Walmart, where the couple was making fun of Walmart shoppers and the camera slowly panned out to show they were bigger white trash freak shows than 95% of Walmart customers.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    All of the best readers like to pay more for a book, can of vegetables, or small appliance, right?

  • Old Mexican||

    He [Buckley]laments "suburban proliferation" and the death of mom-and-pop America[.]

    He probably watched too many episodes of The Waltons...

  • DG||

    Oh, noes! People enjoy things that I don't like! We must stop them!

  • Old Mexican||

    I’m talking about setting up a Wal-Mart, and to hell with the countryside. And to hell with the sociological despoilment of Wal-Mart, where local shops close.

    "Sociological despoilment"?

    In this little town of Camden, South Carolina we’ve had 15 shops close in the last couple of years. Some of them were over 100 years old.

    Did you invest in any of them???

    I didn't think so. Idiot.

  • Jeff P||

    We do not need the pejorative "Fuddy Duddy" reintroduced to our culture.

    Except possibly as the name of a new snack.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    I disagree - I think it is an excellent pejorative and the time has never been better for its reintroduction.

    Fuddy duddy.

  • Cruz||

    More Ovaltine Please

  • Jeff P||

    You, sir, are a boorish stick-in-the-mud. And, I dare say, a square!

  • ||

    Pshaw!

  • MattXIV||

    Fuddy Duddy - the wholesome treat that's sure to get those damn kids off your lawn!

  • ||

    Whatever happened to those "crunchy cons?" They got a fair degree of attention online a few years ago, and this Buckley seems to be in the same camp. Maybe he can't sell his book because those crunchy guys beat him to market and it turned out it was not a very big market.

  • ||

    Crunchy cons are just curmudgeons, really. Which means they are even less fun than regular cons, because they aren't just annoying about social shit; they're annoying about everything.

  • Cruz||

    What's a Crunchy Con?

  • West Texas Boy||

    A conservative who wears sandals and drives a volvo and eats "crunchy" granola (get it?).

    Their argument, as I interpreted it, was that mainstream conservatives were doing their cause a disservice by ceding hippie culture to liberals, because a lot of hippie type things are actually conservative when you get down to it.

    So there eventually was a big epistemological falling out at National Review (natch) where the preppies called the crunchies "liberal" and it pissed off the crunchies and eventually the guy who literally wrote the book got run out. Lots of hard feelings at the time.

  • Cruz||

    Ahh I learn something new everyday. Never met a Crunch Con.

  • rho||

    Conservatives who dig nature hikes and eat granola. Hence "crunchy".

    It's a soi-disant moniker for people who like tax cuts but too squeamish to hang homos and club seals.

  • Yonemoto||

    I'm a 'crunchy lib'. What really needs to happen is for the crunchy cons to merge with the gold bugs/austrians. AFAIK, I'm the one of the few.

  • Tony||

    Pretty thin gruel.

    Much like the writing on reason. When WAS the last time a conservative advocated for, you know, conserving things?

    It's really something to behold--conservatism having morphed completely into a form of dogmatic worship of corporate profits. Let private enterprise do whatever it wants--for their profits are not only good for us, they're the only thing that's good for us.

    The only reason conservatives are still called conservatives is because they tack on religious bigotry to their corporate whoring in order to get people to vote.

    But it's a mystery why more people, such as libertarians, don't see the conservative movement (as a proxy for the GOP) for what it is: a service rendered to a customer. Make it so that the idea of questioning the wisdom of what large private enterprises are doing to our communities is absurd--because whatever large private enterprise does is good, because they make profits, and that is the only metric that matters.

  • ||

    Do you actually read anything on this site, or do you just respond to your own fantasy about the big, bad, evil libertarian and their cozy relationship to the big, bad, evil conservative? Just wondering.

  • ||

    Do you actually read anything on this site, or do you just respond to your own fantasy about the big, bad, evil libertarian and their cozy relationship to the big, bad, evil conservative? Just wondering.

  • ||

    Stupid server hiccup.

  • ||

    People shop at Wal*Mart because they want to, Tony.

    Millions and millions of Americans go support Wal*Mart every day--because they love it. If you could half the people who shop at Wal*Mart once a week to go to the polls once every two years and vote against Wal*Mart? you'd have something.

    But you can't. They won't go to the polls once every two years to vote against Wal*Mart--but they will go to Wal*Mart once a week. ...and they do more than vote for Wal*Mart, Tony.

    They give Wal*Mart their money.

    Because they want to.

    It must be frustrating. Millions and millions of regular Americans vote for Wal*Mart--and they vote against you. Not once every two years...

    Every. Single. Day. They reject you.

  • MNG||

    "It must be frustrating. Millions and millions of regular Americans vote for Wal*Mart--and they vote against you. Not once every two years...

    Every. Single. Day. They reject you."

    Funny, they do the same to libertarians every election...

  • ||

    MNG and Tony, it must really gall you that Wal*Mart stepped up and started offering generic prescription meds for $10 for a 90-day supply. Yep, evil.

  • MNG||

    I don't have much Wal-Mart hate, I was just pointing out how goofy it is to employ an argument ad populum on a libertarian site...

  • Ecolibertarian||

    Libertarians trust the people qua consumer. They don't trust the people qua voter.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Ecolibertarian,

    Libertarians trust the people qua consumer. They don't trust the people qua voter.

    There's a good reason for that: As consumers, people use their own money. As voters, they are actually participating in an auction of stolen goods.

  • ||

    "I don't have much Wal-Mart hate, I was just pointing out how goofy it is to employ an argument ad populum on a libertarian site..."

    When you hear libertarians talking about replacing the government with markets, what do you think we're talking about?

    If you get nothing else out of this thread, try to keep this in mind for future reference...

    Market forces are people making choices.

    Without exception--that's the definition. Because market forces are simply people making choices, you cannot inflict your will on the markets without inflicting your will on people and their freedom of choice...

    Ever.

    Libertarians are all about replacing the will of the government with the will of the people--even if we're talking about preserving people's rights despite the will of the majority, we're talking about ultimate respect for people and their right to make their own choices.

    Always.

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    Funny, most people who can vote, don't. Can't blame them for not giving a shit about a gamed system set up to screw them with virtually no immediate/satisfying way to alter its course short of armed and easy suppressed revolution. The thing is practically a hurricane, and all they can do to avoid its wrath is to get underground.

    I.e. there are 3 types of people: Statists (the majority of people who give a crap about politics because they, at heart, are power hungery sadists), Libertarians/Anarchists/Pot-Smoking Gun wielding Hermits/What have you ( people who can't and will never trust the afforementioned group of fuckers), and people who just want to live their lives (ie. much happier people because they have refused to educate themselves about issues). Alas, despite my best efforts, I cannot count myself among groups 1 or 3.

    Another Caveat, it's hard to vote for something when you have no idea it exists, or when certain groups actively label it as racist or fascist without soberly discussing any points that are introduced (See Ron Paul circa 2008).

  • ||

    That's the point MNG!

    Wal*Mart is WAY more democratic than elections.

    Every day, millions and millions of Americans vote for Wal*Mart.

    Every day.

    Every day, millions and millions of Americans vote for free market Capitalism, and you can't get anywhere near that number to vote against it--once every two years.

    On this side? Free Markets and Millions and millions of Americans. Every day.

    On that side? Anti-free markets. Very few Americans. Once every two years.

    Lesson over. Free markets win.

  • MNG||

    I'm not sure every transaction that takes place at Wal-Mart is some vindication of free markets Ken...

  • ||

    In what way?

    You think Wal*Marts customers are unaware of your concerns?

    They don't care!

    It's not just that they're voting for free markets--with their money...

    It's that they're voting against everyone who'd put politicians in office to stop them from buying what they want.

    They're perfectly aware of your arguments--and they reject them.

    And anybody who wants to impose themselves on other people's choices deserves to be exposed for the elitist pricks they are...

    If you don't believe in freedom of choice, then why don't you just say so?

  • Tony||

    Wal-mart reduces choice.

    Individuals naturally will go where prices are cheapest and convenience is maximized. They are not thinking about (nor should they be expected to think about) the macro effects of their micro choices. They are paying for the convenience and cheap prices with fewer jobs and/or lower wages. That's what you get when huge outfits running on cheap Asian labor descend into your town. Wal-mart reduces individual choice not just because it puts local alternatives out of business, but because it contributes to a lower standard of living for people in a community.

  • ||

    A new walmart just came to town and I'm stoked that my choices have now increased by 33%...now i can choose walmart, target or lowes.

    Thankfully I can now also get my prescriptions, with out any insurance, at a lower cost than ever before possible and they brought us a few hundred brand new jobs right along with giving the poor and underprivileged a place to buy quality goods at a reasonable price, something a mom and pop, with their reduced volume, could never do.

    DAMN YOU EVIL WALMART!!!!!!!!!!

  • ||

    "Wal-mart reduces individual choice not just because it puts local alternatives out of business, but because it contributes to a lower standard of living for people in a community."

    Your view of the facts is completely distorted...

    Wal*Mart never put anybody out of business. Their former customers put them out of business.

    People continue to choose to go to Wal*Mart instead of their competitors. That's not Wal*Mart's decision, that's their customers' decision.

    And if people won't choose higher priced alternatives for non-economic factors, then how do you account for Whole Foods?

    Why is that people will pay extra for local, organic produce? It's in part because they care about the environment. Why is that people will pay more at Whole Foods for coffee that's certified as having been grown and picked by workers who were paid a "living wage"? It's because those customers care, Tony--some customers are willing to pay more for the same thing because they care.

    You think Wal*Mart's customers are any different?

    You know why they don't pay extra to shop at the local Mom & Pop alternative?

    It's because they don't care, Tony.

    Maybe they should! Maybe you should go out and make that case for them!

    But don't pretend they care about stuff when they don't. Some customers will buy hybrid cars that get better gas mileage--they'll pay more than they'll ever save on gas mileage because they care about the environment...

    There's no need to pretend Wal*Mart's customers are any different. If they don't shop with your concerns as a priority--it isn't because they don't have any other options. It's because they don't care about what you care about.

  • Tony||

    And I'm not putting the onus on customers to reform their communities via consumer choice. That won't work. That's what we have governments for.

  • ||

    I'm not putting the onus on customers to reform their communities either...

    It's already theirs!

    Our community, our choice.

    Reforming us isn't what governments are for. Government is there to reflect our choices...

    And here I thought you were all about democracy, Tony?!

    The fact is that markets are more democratic than any election can ever be. We choose the community we want to live in--not the government.

  • Tony||

    We choose how we want our communities to be through our government. We can assume consumers are going to go to Wal-Mart because prices are cheaper. We can't assume consumers will be aware of the negative costs associated with Wal-Mart's presence.

    And to suggest that the market is more democratic than, uh, democracy is downright scary. I guess everyone's equal in the marketplace, but some (those with more money) are more equal than others.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    The Schezophrenic Theory on People, according to Tony:

    We choose how we want our communities to be through our government. We can assume consumers are going to go to Wal-Mart because prices are cheaper. We can't assume consumers will be aware of the negative costs associated with Wal-Mart's presence.

    In a nutshell, people use their government to tell Walmart t take a hike while at the same time, the very same people give Walmart their patronage.

    And to suggest that the market is more democratic than, uh, democracy is downright scary.

    For eleutherophobes, it should be.

    I guess everyone's equal in the marketplace, but some (those with more money) are more equal than others.

    A statement that makes NO sense since we're talking about a place where people can get cheap stuff.

  • ||

    "We choose how we want our communities to be through our government."

    No. We choose the community we want through our choices in daily life.

    What you're describing is government choosing how we want our communities to be.

    "And to suggest that the market is more democratic than, uh, democracy is downright scary."

    Markets are WAY more democratic than representative democracy...

    *With markets, you don't even need a representative--you get to represent yourself.

    *With markets, there's much more of an opportunity for non-participation--you don't want to shop at Wal*mart, you don't need to!

    Can you say the same thing about non-participation in whatever law you want to pass?

    The list goes on...

    Markets are WAY more democratic than democracy. It isn't even a contest.

  • ||

    It really is about the will of the people, Tony.

    And you can't say you're all about the will of the people--and then turn around and talk about how you want to force everybody to stop doing something you don't like...

    And expect nobody to call you out on that contradiction?

    That's ridiculous.

  • David Dennis ||

    With Democracy, we decide which person is going to represent us, and sit back as he all too often does the opposite of what we want.

    With the market, we get exactly what we want, every time. We pick what we want and make our own decisions. We never buy the opposite thing from what we want or desire.

    Are you saying that you would rather vote on what food to buy this week, and then the winning meal is what everyone has to eat? Would that be more democratic than the market?

    D

  • ||

    And I'm not putting the onus on customers to reform their communities via consumer choice. That won't work. That's what we have governments for.

    So revealing. So very, very revealing. . . .

  • Tncm||

    "Individuals naturally will go where prices are cheapest and convenience is maximized."

    This says leaps and bounds about the progressive movement; efficiency, low prices, and consumer satisfaction (as opposed to the satisfaction of the environmentalist ego)is a sin.

    "They are not thinking about (nor should they be expected to think about) the macro effects of their micro choices."

    You mean like rewarding business ventures that satisfy consumers? Do you even read half of the shit that you put to paper?

    "They are paying for the convenience and cheap prices with fewer jobs and/or lower wages."

    Wal-Mart, believe it or not, is not run by robots; every Wal-Mart store supplies jobs to the community. And if Wal-Mart offers higher wages than the mom-and-pop store across the street, workers will naturally flock there; the converse is true as well.

    "That's what you get when huge outfits running on cheap Asian labor descend into your town."

    It's not like those Asians voluntarily chose to work in a factory; Wal-Mart and the supply-siders put a gun to their collective head and made them. It's not like Wal-Mart supplies them with wages when otherwise because of the economic conditions of China they'd be starving in the streets, they chain them to their station and make them work for nothing. You are a fool.

    "Wal-mart reduces individual choice not just because it puts local alternatives out of business, but because it contributes to a lower standard of living for people in a community."

    Wal-Mart allows people to save money and thus either spend it elsewhere or invest it, increasing the supply of capital stock which then increases the economies' output, resulting in a higher standard of living.

    Learn2economics

  • DaveS||

    Wal-mart reduces choice? Hardly. They keep expanding the variety of available goods in their stores. Long ago in the days of ye old General store, consumers had access to a stunning array of perhaps 400-600 different types of goods. In a modern Wal-mart I would be surprised if there was less than 50 different types of toothpaste...brand, flavor, special formulation(whitening, sensitive teeth, etc). Heck nowadays most Wal-Marts come equipped with very well stocked grocery sections...to the point that they even carry some items I can't find in my local mega mart.

    Sears and Roebuck brought consumer goods to the masses via a catalog. Wal-mart went a step further than Sears and Roebuck...they brought the contents of the catalog right to your hometown.

  • creech||

    Yep, the LP is the mom and pop store of politics. Just enough customers to keep the door open for now in hopes the customers going to the two big stores finally get fed up with their lack of customer service.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: MNG,

    Funny, they do the same to libertarians every election...

    But only because the Libertarian party is not like Walmart.

  • Tony||

    Like all things in life, Wal-Mart has positive and negative qualities.

    It's good that people can get cheap crap conveniently. But this comes with a cost. Such as fewer local jobs and a general downward trend in standard of living.

    All I'm saying is communities should be able to decide for themselves if the tradeoff is worth it. Wal-Mart thrives on people being poorer, and does quite well in economic downturns, so its business model is pretty sound. Thinking about the effect on the community is not evil communism, it's responsible citizenship.

  • ||

    Wait fewer local jobs?

    Lets just do baby little hypothetical...

    IF a mom and pop shop employs people (other than themselves the owners) its usually just 1 or 2 people. now lets say there are 15 mom and pops in a given locale. That amounts to about 15-45 jobs total.

    Now then a big box moves in and brings in hundreds of jobs. Sure a couple fo those smaller mom and pops will close their doors but the net gain of jobs is exponential. One of your arguments destroyed.

    Next lets tackle the "cheap goods" argument. Like any store Walmart tends to carry everything from the cheapest generics to very popular name brands (including Sony, Apple etc...) and in turn provides them at pennies over wholesale. Now that we have killed another argument lets look at the big picture once again.

    Where is the net community harm?

    More jobs, more choices, more goods at a better price. Yup...fucking destroyed the community.

  • ||

    Wait fewer local jobs?

    Lets just do baby little hypothetical...

    IF a mom and pop shop employs people (other than themselves the owners) its usually just 1 or 2 people. now lets say there are 15 mom and pops in a given locale. That amounts to about 15-45 jobs total.

    Now then a big box moves in and brings in hundreds of jobs. Sure a couple fo those smaller mom and pops will close their doors but the net gain of jobs is exponential. One of your arguments destroyed.

    Next lets tackle the "cheap goods" argument. Like any store Walmart tends to carry everything from the cheapest generics to very popular name brands (including Sony, Apple etc...) and in turn provides them at pennies over wholesale. Now that we have killed another argument lets look at the big picture once again.

    Where is the net community harm?

    More jobs, more choices, more goods at a better price. Yup...fucking destroyed the community.

  • Tony||

    No, sorry. Wal-Mart destroys jobs. Approximately 3 for every 2 it creates. The jobs it does create are lower-paying than the jobs it destroys, to boot. It's the nation's biggest importer of cheap Chinese crap, so this is to be expected.

  • ||

    A very quick fact check mission turns up that on average walmart starting salaries are double the national minimum wage...I cant think of a single ma and pop that can afford that.

    Where exactly is walmart losing one net job? I gave a simple hypothetical to show its 100% illogical and you respond with...."No, sorry"

    I'd love to see you work the numbers in your favor. I figure walmart would have to put out of business 100+ ma and pa's to start a net loss in community jobs.

    Have you a single figure to support your claim of lost jobs?

    Now lets look just a little deeper.
    The average family can expect to save over $1,000 a year in their grocery and clothing bill by shopping at Wal-Mart as opposed to other retailers. That works out to about a $1/hour in increased purchasing power, and can be considered a raise that Wal-Mart gives to all of us, including their employees.

    Wal-Mart employs 1.3 million people. It pays Billions in income and property taxes. However, it is not a monopoly that gouges customers; its blended markup is only 30% and it only has net income of 3.5% of gross sales. In other words, its success is due to buying items at the best possible price and passing those savings along to customers. Have they really destroyed 1.3 million local ma and pa jobs? Hardly.

    NEXT!

  • Colonel_Angus||

    What is so great about the standard of living that workers at mom and pop operations have?

    You're either the owner or related to the owner, or you make as much as a Walmart employee. With fewer benefits.

    How many people do you think a mom and pop employs?

  • ||

    he has yet to validate his loss of three for every one created.

    Tony chooses his battles wisely. Fights hard till cornered then sulks away quietly looking for the next loss.

    He may be a regular troll but still just a troll.

  • ||

    three for two...oops :P

  • Vaccine||

    Whoring for large corporations is something most politicians - conservative or not - love to do, and something which libertarians oppose.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Snore. Phony decries the evil Wally-World for running the good and saintly Mom and Pop stores out of business (and knowing someone who actually runs one of these holy establishments and charges a "convenience fee" for products bought at a Sam's Club, makes Tony's complaint smell like a hot horse apple), but can't make the connection in his brain that Wal-Mart loves things like Health insurance mandates, taxes, fees and regulations (that shit government does), because paying for all of that doesn't take as large a bite out of Wal-Mart's ass as it does Mom and Pop.

    One day, Tony will learn. And an angel will get his wings for a long, painful job well done.

  • Tony's Angel||

    I have no expectation of ever flying.

  • Hugh Akston||

    As the tragicomedy of Rand Paul has proven, sharing the same womb does not mean equal shares of thoughtfulness.

  • ||

    Rand and Ron shared a womb???

    Ewww GROSS!!!

  • obs-gyn 101||

    Serially, and that's normal.

  • ||

    Nothing makes living in an area full of Mom & Pops more desirable than Suburban sprawl.

    You want to live somewhere with a thriving variety of Mom & Pops, move downtown!

    Why isn't this as it should be?

  • Sara||

    Being from Arkansas, I have been to A LOT of Walmarts, and have yet to visit one in the "countryside." They typically build in areas that are already populated enough to sustain the store, and that already have established commercial properties.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Oh I have seen them.

    Yeah, they're not going to plant one out in the middle of some remote cornfield in the middle of nowhere, but I've certainly seen new Wally World Supercenters planted in some pretty rural locations - the idea being they will draw on the population for a large distance around, being the only Wally World around. In those settings, the people already are used to driving long distances to get their comestibles, so driving 35 or 40 minute to stock up on cheap Chinese crap at low, low prices! is no big deal.

  • MNG||

    This line of thinking is not that uncommon in many of the more serious conservative periodicals like the ones ISI puts out. I've always had some admiration for their conservatism as at least it has some intellectual and historical coherence as opposed to calling the current list of interest group wants aligned with the GOP "conservatism."

  • Geotpf||

    It makes sense that a conservative is against change (replacing older stores with newer ones)-that's kind of the definition of the word "conservative", after all.

  • MNG||

    As many scholars have pointed out capitalism is one of the most potent forces of dramatic and fast social change ever to be found. A conservatism that is in bed with it is a funny conservatism indeed...

  • MJ||

    What does that say about Progressivism which despises capitalism?

  • ||

    (unsubstantiated) Claims of electoral fraud in this year's UK general election:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/poli.....anti-islam

  • The Memory Pit||

    I grew up in a town without big box stores, and let me tell you, a lot of those mom-n-pop stores were utter crap. Since they had no competition and teh internetz hadn't been invented yet, you were just screwed.
    Full disclosure: I shop at Walmart and I ain't apologizing for it.

  • Ragin Cajun||

    T. Coddington Van Voorhees VII lives!

  • Abdul||

    I love me some William f. Buckley, but how anyone who grew up yachting and having tea parties with have the descendants of the Mayflower can call anyone else a "snob" is beyond my comprehension.

  • ||

    Try to get into management and Mom and Pop's.

    Try to shop at Mom and Pop's Saturday evening or Sunday.

    Ask Mom and Pop for a raise. They'll plead poverty.

    Ask Mom and Pop for a refund. Good fucking luck.

    Ask a lower income person why they shop at Walmart? Hint - Corporate love is not going to be on their list. Lower prices, convenience, and selection will be.

    I would bet dollars to donuts that Walmart has less of carbon footprint and uses less land that the plethora of Mom and Pop's required to sell an equal amount of goods.

    IOW, Reid Buckley fails at critical reasoning.

  • MNG||

    I agree with this. I've never understood why I am supposed to prefer my local asshole store owner to the asshole owner of a national chain of stores. If anything the latter tend to be less arbitrary and full of local prejudices.

  • ||

    As many scholars have pointed out capitalism is one of the most potent forces of dramatic and fast social change ever to be found. A conservatism that is in bed with it is a funny conservatism indeed...

    A less superficial conservatism would be concerned with preserving capitalism itself, of course.

  • MNG||

    Preserving a constantly revolutionizing force?

  • ||

    I'm just saying, what if that constantly revolutionizing force is the basis of your society? What would a real conservative do? Conserve the basis of society, or the fleeting ephemera of society?

  • MJ||

    "He is a very shallow critic who cannot see an eternal rebel in the heart of a conservative." - Chesterton

  • Planet Moron||

    Despoiling Wal-Marts: Where regular people shop.

    Heedless Urban Developments: Where regular people live.

    Fast-Food Alleys: Where regular people eat.

    Life-sucking Lowe's: Where regular people work.

    Deplorable Six-Lane Highways: How regular people get to their jobs at the life-sucking Lowe's.

    Graceless Subdivisions: Where regular people live who are not already living in heedless urban developments.

    Well, at least he's not a beltway snob!

  • ||

    If it weren't for Wal-Mart, we wouldn't have www.peopleofwalmart.com.

  • ||

    Damn you, TW, you beat me to it.

  • Warty||

    What's a heedless urban development, anyway? I thought Beltway shitstains wanted the proles to live stacked on top of each other.

  • DG||

    Maybe he's talking about when developers buy land in urban areas and put in what is basically an outdoor mall with higher end chain retail stores and chain restaurants. I think you're familiar with Pittsburgh, so you've probably been to The South Side Works.

  • Warty||

    If he's complaining about replacing derelict steel mills with strip malls, then he's retarded even for a Buckley son.

  • rho||

    You know who's open on July 4th when you have a flat tire? Wal-Mart's tire shop.

    You know who isn't open? Mom-and-pop tire shops.

  • Alice Bowie||

    You know, according to the President and conservatives and liberals alike, Small business is the American way the largest employer in America.

    I wonder what the Walmarts of the world do to them?

    I'm not sure if mom-pops pay more than Walmart.

  • Old Mexican||

    Alice Bowie,

    You know, according to the President and conservatives and liberals alike, Small business is the American way the largest employer in America.

    Politicians of every background tend to insinuate in their false praises who they intend to fleece next . . .

  • ||

    +1

  • ||

    And lets state the obvious.

    Taken from Fortune Magazine:

    "Wal-Mart's critics dwell heavily on how the company heartlessly drives small-town stores out of business. One never hears the obvious problem with that allegation: that Wal-Mart can't drive anyone out of business. Only customers can do that, and millions of them happily drive right past those little stores because they'd rather pay lower prices. Of course it isn't just Wal-Mart that draws them. Home Depot and Lowe's have been death for small hardware stores, Zales for mom-and-pop jewelry shops, Sports Authority for the old sporting goods retailers. They're all using the plunging cost of computing power and telecommunication to create previously impossible business models that give customers what they want."

  • Alice Bowie||

    Plus Walmart creates jobs with benefits.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Like all things in life, Wal-Mart has positive and negative qualities.

    In your opinion, of course.

    It's good that people can get cheap crap conveniently

    I like to buy my crap cheaply and conveniently. I don't care that you want your crap to be expensive and inconvenient, that's YOUR prerrogative.

    But this comes with a cost.

    EVERYTHING bound to scarcity comes at a cost, silly - that's why people have to make choices between competing alternatives.

    Such as fewer local jobs and a general downward trend in standard of living.

    BULLSHIT! Sorry, I coughed.

    Bullshit.

    All I'm saying is communities should be able to decide for themselves if the tradeoff is worth it.

    They DO, Tony - it's called "Opening their wallets." You simply don't happen to like this because you're nothing more than an eleutherophobe.

    Wal-Mart thrives on people being poorer

    Which is why they make all of their money in Angola . . . oh, wait, they DON'T.

    [...] and does quite well in economic downturns, so its business model is pretty sound.

    So if they DIDN'T, then they would be all right in YOUR book, I would gather... No?

    Thinking about the effect on the community is not evil communism, it's responsible citizenship.

    It's called "insufferable busy-body-ism," actually.

    The notion that your caring matters enough to impose your views is nothing less than narcissism from YOUR part, Tony.

  • ||

    eleutherophobia - Te fear of Freedom.

    I love learning!

    Merci Beau coup Old Mexican!!!

  • ||

    Just one more tidbit about the evils of walmart:

    "Walmart better than FEMA!"

    Shortly before Hurricane Katrina made landfall on the U.S. Gulf Coast on the morning of Aug. 29, 2005, the chief executive officer of Wal-Mart, Lee Scott, gathered his subordinates and ordered a memorandum sent to every single regional and store manager in the imperiled area. His words were not especially exalted, but they ought to be mounted and framed on the wall of every chain retailer -- and remembered as American business's answer to the pre-battle oratory of George S. Patton or Henry V.

    "A lot of you are going to have to make decisions above your level," was Scott's message to his people. "Make the best decision that you can with the information that's available to you at the time, and above all, do the right thing."

    This extraordinary delegation of authority -- essentially promising unlimited support for the decision-making of employees who were earning, in many cases, less than $100,000 a year -- saved countless lives in the ensuing chaos. The results are recounted in a new paper on the disaster written by Steven Horwitz, an Austrian-school economist at St. Lawrence University in New York. While the Federal Emergency Management Agency fumbled about, doing almost as much to prevent essential supplies from reaching Louisiana and Mississippi as it could to facilitate it, Wal-Mart managers performed feats of heroism. In Kenner, La., an employee crashed a forklift through a warehouse door to get water for a nursing home. A Marrero, La., store served as a barracks for cops whose homes had been submerged. In Waveland, Miss., an assistant manager who could not reach her superiors had a bulldozer driven through the store to retrieve disaster necessities for community use, and broke into a locked pharmacy closet to obtain medicine for the local hospital.

    Meanwhile, Wal-Mart trucks pre-loaded with emergency supplies at regional depots were among the first on the scene wherever refugees were being gathered by officialdom. Their main challenge, in many cases, was running a gauntlet of FEMA officials who didn't want to let them through. As the president of the brutalized Jefferson Parish put it in a Sept. 4 Meet the Press interview, speaking at the height of nationwide despair over FEMA's confused response: "If [the U.S.] government would have responded like Wal-Mart has responded, we wouldn't be in this crisis."

    This benevolent improvisation contradicts everything we have been taught about Wal-Mart by labour unions and the "small-is-beautiful" left. We are told that the company thinks of its store management as a collection of cheap, brainwash-able replacement parts; that its homogenizing culture makes it incapable of serving local communities; that a sparrow cannot fall in Wal-Mart parking lot without orders from Arkansas; that the chain puts profits over people. The actual view of the company, verifiable from its disaster-response procedures, is that you can't make profits without people living in healthy communities. And it's not alone: As Horwitz points out, other big-box companies such as Home Depot and Lowe's set aside the short-term balance sheet when Katrina hit and acted to save homes and lives, handing out millions of dollars' worth of inventory for free.

    No one who is familiar with economic thought since the Second World War will be surprised at this. Scholars such as F. A. von Hayek, James Buchanan and Gordon Tullock have taught us that it is really nothing more than a terminological error to label governments "public" and corporations "private" when it is the latter that often have the strongest incentives to respond to social needs. A company that alienates a community will soon be forced to retreat from it, but the government is always there. Companies must, to survive, create economic value one way or another; government employees can increase their budgets and their personal power by destroying or wasting wealth, and most may do little else. Companies have price signals to guide their productive efforts; governments obfuscate those signals.

    Aside from the public vs. private issue, Horwitz suggests, decentralized disaster relief is likely to be more timely and appropriate than the centralized kind, which explains why the U.S. Coast Guard performed so much better during the disaster than FEMA. The Coast Guard, like all marine forces, necessarily leaves a great deal of authority in the hands of individual commanders, and like Wal-Mart, it benefited during and after the hurricane from having plenty of personnel who were familiar with the Gulf Coast geography and economy.

    There is no substitute for local knowledge -- an ancient lesson of which Katrina merely provided the latest reminder.

    http://www.nationalpost.com/op.....mp;k=68939

  • Old Mexican||

    Nice article. One thing some people seem to forget is that Walmart are experts in logistics and supply, exactly what would be needed in a disaster scenario, wheras FEMA is full of experts in asking for bigger budgets.

  • ||

    Love them or hate them Penn and Teller did a great job on the walmart issue:

    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=a03_1230452567

  • Alice Bowie||

    The Truth is that we're gonna need Walmart, Lowes, Home Depot, etc. They have lower prices that almost anyone else.

    And, we're gonna need those lower prices once unemployment starts growing to include us. Not only can we get our t-shirts, steros, and toilet paper their, we can get a job with benefits.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Alice Bowie,

    And, we're gonna need those lower prices once unemployment starts growing to include us. Not only can we get our t-shirts, steros, and toilet paper their, we can get a job with benefits.

    One can get steros at Walmart???

    By the way, I give my pratonage to Walmart as I don't have some sort of personal problem with money - I like keeping more of it at home than giving it away to expensive thieves (no matter if the thieves call themselves mom-and-pop.)

  • Old Mexican||

    Patronage. Sorry.

  • Alice Bowie||

    For someone that claims to be libertarian and into free markets you have a warped view of small businesses (calling them thieves).

    They tend to charge more because they don't deal in such high volume. Not that all mom/pops are not thieves.

    BTW, you can find the steros right next to the pratonage.

  • ||

    Actually his "warped view" is exactly in line with libertarian philosophy. Consumer and market choice.

    Plain and simple.

    Personal service and higher price vs. faceless robots and lower prices.

    Choose your poison. Is there any better example of how the free market should work?

  • Alice Bowie||

    What I'm saying is that in the free market we don't traditionely call merchents that charge a lot thieves.

  • Eric||

    They aren't thieves if they compete on a level playing field with WalMart. If they use their local government to tilt the field to their advantage, they pretty much are thieves.

  • ||

    Your inability to get a job may hinge on the fact that you can't spell stereo and think that some folks want to get THEIR toilet paper THERE.

    Too bad too because you were SO close to getting those benefits. Damn preemployment exams.

  • Alice Bowie||

    Like i said earlier. The same people that talk from one side of their mouth with the "small businesses are the heart of the american economy when it comes to employment" and in the same breath say "what's wrong with Walmart running small businesses out of town?"

  • ||

    Since you either failed to read the thread or CHOSE to ignore the facts I will restate for your enjoyment.

    Taken from Fortune Magazine:

    "Wal-Mart's critics dwell heavily on how the company heartlessly drives small-town stores out of business. One never hears the obvious problem with that allegation: that Wal-Mart can't drive anyone out of business. Only customers can do that, and millions of them happily drive right past those little stores because they'd rather pay lower prices. Of course it isn't just Wal-Mart that draws them. Home Depot and Lowe's have been death for small hardware stores, Zales for mom-and-pop jewelry shops, Sports Authority for the old sporting goods retailers. They're all using the plunging cost of computing power and telecommunication to create previously impossible business models that give customers what they want."

    I personally love ALL business, big small and other, and am thankful that when i want to talk to a stereo expert, I can at my local shop and in turn buy from him as a reward for his personal service.

    Of course when i need a new pair of speakers fast and cheap I can get that as well right down the street at Best Buy.

    For the record I work for a local "mom and pop" telecom who is providing the ONLY competition to Qwest and Comcast for voice and internet services in the greater New Mexico region. I felt full disclosure was important here.

  • Alice Bowie||

    You're a better man than I.

    I to talk to a stereo expert at my local shop and in turn buy from Walmart irregardless of his personal service to pay the lowest price.

  • Alice Bowie||

    Don't let my spell'n fool u...I read my Milton Freeman.

  • ||

    See I'm the ignoramus. I've never read Freeman once.

    Of course logic and reason can not be read or taught.

  • ||

    Oh hell...has irregardless actually become a word?

    When people say "irregardless" they are following the pattern of words like "irrelevant", "irrational" and "irregular". Since the prefix ir- means 'not' (as it does with irrespective), and the suffix -less means 'without,' irregardless is a double negative.

  • ||

    Yeah, just say "regardless", it means the same thing...

    ...but at some point, if enough people use it, it probably should become a word.

    I mean, we ain't the French. It shouldn't take an act of Congress. If a word enters sufficient use, it's gotta become a word.

    P.S. I know. That's what makes it funny.

  • ||

    Walmart did not spring, fully formed, from the brow of Capitalism, as Athena did from Zeus. It was a small business once itself.

    See, alot of those little mom-n-pops would love to balloon into the next Walmart, so that their little business makes them rich. But when you play the game, you gotta remember that other people get to play, too.

  • Cruz||

    If a community saves money on the exact goods in either store, isn't that more capital to invest in the community? Doesn't that enrich the entire community and create more opportunity to create wealth?

  • Alice Bowie||

    Sure does. This way we can tax them more to pay for the unemployment benefits of the unemployed mom/pop employees ... lol ...

    u know i'm troll'n here.

  • Hello, Rio||

    "...we promiscuously exfoliate the rain forests..."

    Boy Buckley:
    That's the problem. The "we" you refer to is "you" and "your friends", not to me. I am not doing the exfoliating, but you admit that you are.

  • timmy||

    I live in a rural town with no wal-mart and nothing but mom & pop stores. Their selection stinks, their stuff is pretty low quality, and the prices are 50% higher at least. I routinely see spoiled food on the shelves at the grocery store. Know where I never see that? Wal-mart. And service? Forget it. The local store owner knows he's got no competition within at least 30 miles so he can be an asshole. As for jobs, the guy has one or two full time people and hires a bunch of high school kids to fill out the staff - kids he pays under the table at less than minimum wage. Same with the hardware store. Two guys work there and one is the owner, though they're at least friendly. I needed a pair of pruners once and they wanted $35. I got some at wal-mart for $7.

    The local mom & pop mechanic charges $50 for an oil change and takes all day, and they act like it's a huge inconvenience. Wal-mart does it for $25 and in 20 minutes with a smile.

    People like Buckley who think mom & pops are so great should live here for a month or two. They'll be driving the 60 miles to wal-mart within a few weeks, just like everyone else in this town.

  • 篮球鞋||

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