In Defense of Wal-Mart

The U.S. Supreme Court’s finding for Wal-Mart in the case of Wal-Mart v. Dukes predictably set off a storm of criticism by Wal-Mart’s critics, who are legion. Those critics, predictably, are mainly upper-middle class professionals who do not shop at Wal-Mart, would not work at Wal-Mart, and fastidiously scorn the politics and religion of those who do shop and work at Wal-Mart.

But the Yuppie crowd nevertheless sympathizes with the employees of Wal-Mart because it represents an evil corporation — as corporations are, in the Yuppie worldview. Why is Wal-Mart evil? Well, it doesn’t treat its employees well. How do Yuppies know that? They just do, that’s how. It’s an article of faith among Yuppies, who tend to take their cues from left-wing pundits and academicians. Yuppies are too busy making money to support their SUVs and McMansions to do their own thinking, you see.

I have news for Yuppies and other critics of Wal-Mart. There are no goon squads dragging unwilling people in from the streets to work in Wal-Mart stores. There are no Wal-Mart employees caged in their work areas. There are secret prisons in Arkansas where they send Wal-Mart employees who elect to move on to more highly compensated jobs at other companies.

People work at Wal-Mart because it offers them the best combination of pay, benefits, and working conditions available to them. In other words, employment at Wal-Mart usually is a step up, not a step down.

But Yuppies and their leaders on the left don’t understand such things because they hold the strange view that there is a “just” level of compensation, which is always more than that paid by a villainous corporation like Wal-Mart. I wonder what those big-hearted Yuppies and lefties would say to a “just” compensation or $100 an hour for maids and yard men? I can say that $100 is “just” because — unlike Yuppies and lefties who don’t shop at Wal-Mart and wouldn’t care if it charged higher prices to cover higher compensation — I don’t have a maid or a yard man.