Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Earth to the Anti-Walmart caucus

Anybody home?

I must shake my head and laugh. The city council in Santa Maria closed the door on Wal-Mart in that city a couple of weeks ago. And the newsroom at the Times, for the most part, was supportive of the decision.

I like Steve--he's affable and will talk to anybody, but I think he got it wrong on this. And Mallaby's piece hits it on the head:

But let's say we accept Dube's calculation that retail workers take home $4.7 billion less per year because Wal-Mart has busted unions and generally been ruthless. That loss to workers would still be dwarfed by the $50 billion-plus that Wal-Mart consumers save on food, never mind the much larger sums that they save altogether. Indeed, Furman points out that the wage suppression is so small that even its "victims" may be better off. Retail workers may take home less pay, but their purchasing power probably still grows thanks to Wal-Mart's low prices.

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