Two views of Wal-Mart.
Earl Ofari Hutchinson concedes that Wal-Mart ". . . promise[s] to bankroll private development in economically depressed areas without asking for a dime of taxpayer dollars, thereby creating thousands of new jobs . . ." But Mr. Hutchinson vigorously opposes Wal-Mart's effort to locate stores in those depressed areas because it has ". . . a well-documented record of labor and environmental abuses, and a much-deserved reputation for corporate arrogance . . ."
Excuse me, but isn't just about the biggest labor abuse not having a job? Isn't the opposite of environmental abuse doing business in run-down, inner-city areas that other businesses won't go near?
Steven Malanga, in City Journal, writes a much better piece. Among the interesting bits:
--Wal-Mart is trying to reform health insurance so that it covers disasters, not every sniffle. Just as car insurance doesn't pay for oil changes and life insurance doesn't pay for disappointments. And Wal-Mart's plan doesn't cover visits to chiropractors.
--Sam Walton's son strongly supports school vouchers and charter schools. He donates liberally to support such programs. Forget the "labor and environmental abuses" stuff, that, by itself, is enough to enrage union executives and liberals.
--A great two sentences that answer the charge that Wal-Mart is predatory: "Before Wal-Mart, general-merchandise stores typically operated on profit margins as high as 45 percent of sales, but Wal-Mart managed on an operating profit of just 22 percent and passed the difference on to customers, who flocked in when they saw how much they could save. Merchants predicted that Wal-Mart would hike its prices as soon as the competition disappeared, but years later Wal-Mart is still considered among the sharpest-priced, best-value retailers in the world—even in its original small-town markets."