LBO News from Doug Henwood

Neoliberal über-dweeb Ezra Klein just unleashed one of those “balanced” efforts on the controversies of the day that are so characteristic of his species: “Has Wal-Mart been good or bad?” The conclusion, it might not surprise you to learn: it’s “a complicated question to frame and a devilishly tough one to answer.”

Drawing on—I’m not kidding—Reason editor “Peter Suderman’s 17-part Twitter defense of Wal-Mart,” Klein asserts that Walmart’s low prices are a gift to low-income consumers. (They’ve dropped the hyphen/star, folks; here’s the official timeline.) The Bentonville behemoth’s wages may be low, but not “when compared with the prevailing wages in the retail sector.” Walmart’s influence in setting wages is not a topic that they consider. Nor does either our neoliberal or our libertarian actually look at the history of retail wages, because it would be rather inconvenient for their argument.

Over the last 40 years…

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