Monday, May 22, 2006

George McGovern Defends Wal-Mart

This is a pleasant surprise:

"I understand the attraction of asking business -- the perceived 'deep pockets' -- to shoulder more of the responsibility for social welfare. But there are plenty of businesses that don't have deep pockets. And many large corporations operate with razor-thin profit margins as competitors, both foreign and domestic, strive to attract consumers by offering lower prices. The current frenzy over Wal-Mart is instructive. Its size is unprecedented. Yet for all its billions in profit, it still amounts to less than four cents on the dollar. Raise the cost of employing people, and the company will eliminate jobs. Its business model only works on low prices, which require low labor costs. Whether that is fair or not is a debate for another time. It is instructive, however, that consumers continue to enjoy these low prices and that thousands of applicants continue to apply for those jobs" -- former Democratic Senator George McGovern, writing in the Los Angeles Times.

{Hat Tip: OpinionJournal's Political Diary}

The former left wing U.S. senator from South Dakota failed in his attempt to own and manage a motel. This experience apparently taught him some valuable lessons concerning the private sector. We can only hope that other Democratic leftists also come to their senses.

The Wal-Mart issue clearly separates the blue states from the red. I am convinced that a politician running statewide in a purple or red state seriously jeopardizes their campaign if they slam Wal-Mart. This is only a safe thing to do in places like Vermont or congressional districts in San Francisco.


MeaninglessHotAir said...

Trolling for dollars.

buddy larsen said...

Maybe--but he has had good moments. Flying a B-24 in WWII combat, for one thing--tho between that and standing up for capitalism sixty years later, he did for sure have a bit of a longueur in the Wilderness.

vnjagvet said...

And he has always been a thoroughly decent human being. And it is not easy to find them among career politicians wherever they lie on the political spectrum.

An agrarian populist and an idealistic internationalist informed by his WWII experience, he always wanted to see the good in everyone.

However, I have always felt our country most fortunate that he was not elected in 1972.

Anonymous said...

It is very interesting to see the map of Walmart stores closest to me here in western Washington. They studiously avoid greater Seattle and the affluent area centered on Bellevue across Lake Washington, but as you get out of town into red state Washington, out to the military and naval bases and the mill towns, you see them sprinkled in all the high-growth outer suburbs, where F-150s fill the parking lot instead of Volvos. We are at the outer edges of urban Seattle, where the world of Starbucks meets the world of NASCAR and we have one about a mile away. It is full of Russian, Hispanic and other immigrants. A far more cosmopolitan clientele than that of your typical Seattle vegan juice bar . . .