In reality, the reason libs hate Mister Sam’s Place is much more sinister: Walmart is a rousing success (for both company and consumer) and – worse still – its success serves as the embodiment of why capitalism works.
Walmart sells products that everyone wants at cheaper prices than their competitors. They trim costs wherever they can, they “strong arm” their suppliers to keep wholesale prices down. They even make use of unskilled and semi-skilled workers, paid an hourly – but not “living” – wage with no (free) medical benefits. All to keep costs as low as possible and maximize their profit margin. These guys really know how to make money, for themselves and their stockholders. Bastards.
Naturally, these kinds of irresponsible business tactics have created a lot of attention for Walmart, most of it negative. Pinheads in the media have gone so far as to assemble pseudo-news programs and “documentaries” with titles like Is Walmart Good for America? and Walmart: The High Cost of Low Price.
Meanwhile, protest groups in tony bergs around the country picket the opening of new Walmart stores anywhere near their backyard. It never occurs to these people to just not shop at Walmart. Oh, no. They are doing their communities a favor by making sure nobody gets the chance to save money.
Unfortunately, these anti-choice advocates – who think they have the right to tell us what stores we can patronize with our bodies – have infected government officials in places like Maryland. The “Free State” (an ironic nickname) recently passed a bill that requires all companies employing more than 10,000 people to spend at least 8% of their payroll costs on healthcare for their employees. No word yet on whether Walmart will pony up more benefits or just layoff 7,001 of their current 17,000 Maryland employees.
Another place legislating anti-Walmart sentiment is the City of Chicago. Chi-town recently nixed the plan for Walmart to build a store on the South Side: exactly the kind of community that would benefit most from the jobs, increased tax revenues and low retail prices that are part and parcel of any new Walmart. Sadly, the necessary zoning changes were not approved and Walmart has setup shop three miles away in Evergreen Park, a city that now expects its property and sales tax revenues to increase by 12.5% just from Walmart alone.
Yes, this bastion of feel-good liberal sentiment partnered with hypocritically sound business practices has made a few enemies. Including at least one Hollywood-type.
It seems that Starbucks has their eye on a charming neighborhood in London, just a short distance from actor Rupert Everett’s home. Everett, along with other members of his commune – er, community – has signed a petition to prevent the coffee giant from setting up shop in his backyard.
Everett, who went so far as to call Starbucks’ expansion “a cancer,” claims that there are already enough diners and coffee shops available in the area. Here’s the full story:
Wait, wait, wait.
This is Starbucks we’re talking about. This is a corporation famed for its companywide health benefits (even for hourly employees), its environmental sensitivity and advocacy for corporate diversity. They use Fair Trade Coffee, for crying out loud! Doesn’t that make it all good?
Well, apparently not. Despite all of those warm-and-fuzzies, Starbucks is still on the outs with many liberals for reasons that sound very familiar.
It turns out Starbucks’ use of Fair Trade Coffee (meaning coffee bought from farmers who are paid a “fair price,” rather than a market price as dictated by the normal constraints of supply and demand) encompasses only about 4% of their total coffee supply. And that’s not all.
Starbucks’ “partners” (Starbucks’ code for “employees”) in New York City recently began unionizing to protest the company’s unwillingness to pay a “living” wage to compensate for the astronomical cost of living in Manhattan. There are also other charges of unfair labor being lodged against the company.
Additionally, Starbucks has come under fire from the anti-globalization movement. The problem? Just as Walmart symbolizes the homogenization of the American small town, Starbucks is the worldwide embodiment of the United States’ “economic and cultural imperialism.” In other words, the U.S. is trying to conquer the entire world and subjugate other cultures to our own. Using coffee. Overpriced coffee. Good plan.
It seems that even a left-leaning company like Starbucks can run afoul of the anti-capitalists. As Mother would say, state the lesson. Here it is: espousing all the right rhetoric can’t insulate a company from criticism when the end result is a profitable business.
Liberals hate success, especially financial success. Starbucks is learning the hard way that when a company subordinates good business practices to well-intentioned ideology, they become inextricably tied to the whims and dictates of that ideology.
Meanwhile, Walmart does what it does best. It makes money by serving customers who are, evidently, satisfied enough to keep coming back. All the protests and legislative pillories in the world will be futile against this retail giant as long as Lee Scott aims the company toward keeping consumers satisfied and ignoring the whiners who want to bring down success.
So kudos to Walmart and all the other engines of capitalism (large and small alike) that make this great country work! Is success good for America? I say an emphatic: “YES.”
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