Monday, November 28, 2005

Wal-Mart portrayed as the good guy! In the WAPO!

Sebastian Mallaby (who is always worth reading, especially when you disagree with him) on the corporation the left loves to hate:
"Companies like Wal-Mart are not run by saints. They can treat workers and competitors roughly. They may be poor stewards of the environment. When they break the law they must be punished. Wal-Mart is at the center of the globalized, technology-driven economy that's radically increased American inequality, so it's not surprising that it has critics. But globalization and business innovation are nonetheless the engines of progress; and if that sounds too abstract, think of the $200 billion-plus that Wal-Mart consumers gain annually. If critics prevent the firm from opening new branches, they will prevent ordinary families from sharing in those gains. Poor Americans will be chief among the casualties."

You can read it all here

The average wage at Wal-Mart is $10.00/hour That comes out to $20K/year for a single person and (duh) $40K/year for a couple. Well above the poverty line in both cases.
BUT WAIT, I hear you say, WHAT ABOUT A FAMILY? Well, $10.00/hour takes a family of four above the poverty level. If one adult must stay home -- say with young kids -- the other can bring a family of seven above the poverty level by working a 60-hour week. May not be ideal, but it's possible.

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