A very liberal acquaintance of mine remarked recently that Wal-Mart is the most “destructive” entity in the world because its business plan focuses heavily on reducing costs! This is only slightly less shocking than progressive New York Daily News columnist Neil Steinberg’s description of the company as “an enormous fascist beast”. Wal-Mart’s emphasis on cost control and low prices runs afoul of a number of liberal shibboleths such as buying manufactured items from nations having wage scales below some arbitrarily derived minimum, selling “too cheap” and operating in sprawling “big boxes” that crowd out local mom and pop stores. That Wal-mart furnishes its customers serviceable to excellent products at deep discounts and that items it obtains from third world regions provide otherwise non-existent jobs is willfully ignored.
One trip to a Wal-mart in say Hattiesburg, Mississippi quickly reveals that it is the least economically endowed who shop there. The cars of the working poor and the elderly fill the Wal-mart parking lot. With many prescription drugs at $4 for a month’s supply and cut-rate groceries, clothes and other necessities of life, the company brings American prosperity to the least of us. It is no stretch to assert that Wal-mart does more for poor people in this country than all the liberal welfare programs adopted since the New Deal - and without damning consequences. Overseas Wal-mart suppliers provide countless men and women with jobs at a wage they stand on line to accept.
In public education, progressive teachers unions foster a culture of inferiority where excellence is suspect and mediocrity rewarded. These same unions promote bloated, out of touch school administrations that siphon off much needed funds from the classroom. Deweyite educators push multicultural and new age curriculums in place of basic and foundational studies. Our schools no longer teach grammar, civics, a truthful history of our nation and other subjects necessary in preparation for life in a 21st Century world. It is the children of the impoverished of course who are condemned to these factories of failure.
Free exchange of goods and services is among the most dignified and moral acts in creation. Dignified because each man gets what he wants from the bargain and moral for the transaction is totally without compulsion. Free enterprise with its handmaiden, privately owned property is the ultimate wealth and prosperity engine yet created by the society of men. The excess profit of trade has furnished every improvement in man’s environment and life since the dawn of time. Liberals despise private property, trade and profit.
Unfettered, free enterprise will ever produce more and better goods and services at lower prices. The production of this merchandise and benefits create the jobs by which the meanest among us may improve their lot. The lower prices guaranteed by competition put more and more quality products in their homes. Social reformers seek heavily sanctioned state control of both trade and production with favored products and services subsidized and others regulated away. Each time the heavy thumb of government falls on the scales of the marketplace, more poor people are put of work and denied the advantages they need and desire. Progressives seem to abhor general prosperity.
Extreme environmentalism harms struggling people by artificially raising gasoline and other energy prices. Excessive regulation and taxation restrict profits thus impairing job creation, again disproportionately affecting families at the bottom of the ladder. Farm subsidies push up food prices making it more difficult for the humble to eat properly.
From demonization of large discount stores to ineffective state schools. From family devastating welfare programs to excessive regulation and taxation I can think of no progressive policy that has produced anything but a negative impact on the less well off. The left claims a deep affection and compassion for poor people. Measured by the effect of its actions, liberals hate poor people.