Cultural Revolutions

Wal-Mart Super-sized

Wal-Mart is hated by some people for the very reasons others love it.  Liberals and leftists hate it because they allege Wal-Mart’s substandard wages turn employees into helots.  Libertarians and some conservatives love it because Wal-Mart, expanding like the Blob, represents no-borders planetary capitalism.  Wal-Mart is McDonald’s, only supersized.

Whatever one’s opinion, a recent article in the New York Times invites a few observations, not least of which is that Wal-Mart is much more dangerous and destructive than libertarians and some conservatives think.  The Times disclosed that the American Enterprise Institute collected $100,000 from the Walton Family Foundation in 2004, and the Heritage Foundation has garnered $20,000 since 2000.  The Pacific Research Foundation got $175,000 from 2000 to 2004.  These are hardly astronomical sums, considering that AEI’s annual budget is $24 million; Heritage, the Wal-Mart of think tanks, slurps down $40 million each year.  These “conservative” groups say they would write in support of Wal-Mart regardless of donations, which may well be true; they blindly support the capitalist model Wal-Mart represents.  It is equally plausible that Wal-Mart conservatives invite donations by supporting such corporate giants and their quest to dominate global markets.

For a moment, forget the donations and...

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