Hope (and low, low prices)

June 11, 2008


You know I love WalMart. While some on the left think that WalMart is evil incarnate or at least everything that is wrong with America today, it’s hard to argue with this:

Productivity is the principal driver of economic progress. It is the only force that can make everyone better off: workers, consumers, and owners of capital. Wal-Mart has indisputably made a tremendous contribution to productivity. From its sophisticated inventory systems to its pricing innovations, Wal-Mart has blazed a path that numerous other retailers are now following, many of them vigorously competing with Wal-Mart. Today, Wal-Mart is the largest private employer in the country, the largest grocery store in the country, and the third largest pharmacy. Eight in ten Americans shop at Wal-Mart.

There is little dispute that Wal-Mart’s price reductions have benefited the 120 million American workers employed outside of the retail sector. Plausible estimates of the magnitude of the savings from Wal-Mart are enormous – a total of $263 billion in 2004, or $2,329 per household. Even if you grant that Wal-Mart hurts workers in the retail sector – and the evidence for this is far from clear – the magnitude of any potential harm is small in comparison.

(from here)

And you might be thinking “Oh there goes John in IL again, with his rah rahing about the benefits of capitalism and free trade”. And you’d be right. But then it gets fucking delicious… The guy who wrote that is Barack Obama’s pick for his top economic advisor.

I have some hope after all.

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6 Responses to “Hope (and low, low prices)”

  1. superdave524 Says:

    When I was in private practice, I represented maybe a dozen or so people with cases against WalMart, and I am not a fan of some of their policies or how they treated some of their employees; however, WalMart is, indeed, a model of the American success story, and I shop there all the time. Obama’s no dummy. The McCain website lists Obama’s pick as somehow a bad thing, because, of course, Obama’s running against him. I’m a pragmatist, not an ideologue. If this guy can help give Obama a balanced view of things, that’s a good thing.

  2. John in IL Says:

    What did McCain have to say about it?

  3. superdave524 Says:

    Didn’t see where HE actually commented, but the tone on his website was negative.

  4. John in IL Says:

    You know how those old people get.

  5. colio2007 Says:

    wow — that’s really interesting. and john you just became a primary news source for me. i love getting the scoop from caulk is cheap.

  6. John in IL Says:

    Thanks. I’m fair but my balance isn’t so good after a few.


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