21 March 2007

wal-mart as a progressive force for good

over at the WaPo, Sebastian Mallaby offers up a vision of wal-mart as a progressive force providing more and better subsidies to the poor than even uncle sam.
But let's say we accept Dube's calculation that retail workers take home $4.7 billion less per year because Wal-Mart has busted unions and generally been ruthless. That loss to workers would still be dwarfed by the $50 billion-plus that Wal-Mart consumers save on food, never mind the much larger sums that they save altogether. Indeed, Furman points out that the wage suppression is so small that even its "victims" may be better off. Retail workers may take home less pay, but their purchasing power probably still grows thanks to Wal-Mart's low prices.


  1. Didn't the USSR do something like that, only enforced with tanks and guns? "Sure you receive less of the potatoes you farmed, comrade. But you have a bigger shoe leather and bullet ration as a result! Eat up!"

  2. you might wanna lay off the stoli, comrade. you're not making sense.

  3. I'm referring to the closed-system nature of things that is reminiscent of late-style communism. The workers are also consumers.