Monday, August 28, 2006

Shopping for Support Down the Wrong Aisle Shopping for Support Down the Wrong Aisle

WaPo: Shopping for Support Down the Wrong Aisle questions why so many Democratic politicians are so quick to attack Wal-Mart.
Once upon a time, smart Democrats defended globalization, open trade and the companies that thrive within this system. They were wary of tethering themselves to an anti-trade labor movement that represents a dwindling fraction of the electorate. They understood the danger in bashing corporations: Voters don't hate corporations, because many of them work for one.
I should add that another big part of the problem is that so many of the voters that the Democrats want to attract happily shop at Wal-Mart because of its low prices and great selection. Yes, it doesn't typically carry the quality that the big Democratic donors and major politicians demand, but, then again, the average Democratic voter can't shop where the big donors and politicians shop either.

It has been well known for a long time that the typical stores in the inner cities have minimal selection and very high prices. And these stores are precisely the type that are run out of business when Wal-Mart comes into town. Thus, the Democratic attacks on Wal-Mart hurt precisely those that it helps the most, and are the likely voters that these Democrats are hurting by such, and to some extent alienating.

I should note that I was pleasantly surprised to find identical prices at the Sam's Club in Scottsdale, AZ, as I find in Phoenix and Denver, including the $1.50 quarter pound hot dog and 32 oz drink that I avail myself of whenever I go shopping at one of those stores.


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