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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review August 25, 2006 / 1 Elul, 5766

A snooty, anti-Wal-Mart populism

By Rich Lowry


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Attention Wal-Mart shoppers: Democrats disapprove of your buying habits.


Democrats are fleshing out their domestic agenda with attacks on the company that brings you everyday low prices. The party is divided about how to address the threat of the insurgents and militias bedeviling us in Iraq, but is united by its response to the threat represented by extremely affordable retail goods and groceries. Appearing at Wal-Mart-bashing rallies has become practically mandatory for Democratic presidential aspirants, according to The New York Times.


The Democrats call their broadsides against the super-retailer "populist," but it's an odd populism that attacks a company that attracts more than 100 million customers a week with no-frills convenience and rock-bottom prices for everyday consumer goods. If Wal-Mart specialized in selling high-end wind-surfing gear, yes, it might be a juicy populist target. But detergent and toilet paper? Huey Long himself would be mystified at this choice of demagogy.


Attacking oil companies for allegedly price-gouging is unquestionably good (if grossly opportunistic) politics. What Wal-Mart perpetrates, however, is price-gouging in reverse. It sweats every inefficiency out of itself and its suppliers so it can pass those savings on to consumers. Attacking the company for that isn't populist, it's perverse. A mom struggling to make ends meet might be angry at spending another $2-a-gallon to fill up at the pump. She's not going to be so exercised by getting a great deal on diapers.


Democratic Sen. Joseph Biden of Delaware declared at a recent anti-Wal-Mart rally in Iowa, "I don't see any indication that they care about the fate of middle-class people." Who does Biden think is strolling the long aisles of the nation's Wal-Marts? It's not the malefactors of great wealth. Wal-Mart prices make the most difference for exactly those families spending the greatest portion of their budgets on the basics. One estimate is that Wal-Mart saves the average household as much as $2,300 a year. That's nothing to big donors to the "Biden for President" campaign, but for most families, it's real money.


Wal-Mart's attackers say that its low prices come at the expense of its 1.3 million wage slaves who are denied decent pay and health benefits. But the wages and benefits offered by Wal-Mart are comparable to those of other retailers. The stumbling automaker General Motors has, in contrast, engaged in a long experiment in paying wages and benefits that are unsustainably high in its industry, and it hasn't been a happy one. If retail-level wages and benefits are unconscionable in America, perhaps we should shutter the entire sector and ship it overseas. Then, of course, Democrats would complain about the loss of jobs.


Wal-Mart shouldn't be romanticized. It doesn't deliver low prices from the goodness of its heart, but because it's a way to thrive in a competitive economy (nor does it pay relatively low wages out of malice). Its ruthless efficiency drives competitors out of business. This is painful, but there is no reason to believe that America was a better place when it bought retail products from Ames or Caldor, extinct discount chains that never developed a business model successful enough to be pilloried by politicians.


Why do Democrats target Wal-Mart? As in so much else in Democratic politics, from trade issues to the minimum wage, part of the answer is to follow the unions. When Wal-Mart began to sell groceries, it ran afoul of the unions that dominate supermarkets, and they have made Wal-Mart a hate-brand on the left. Something deeper is at work, as well. In Democratic politicians' contempt for Wal-Mart, there is an element of snobbery. They have a distaste for such a down-market, lumpen-bourgeois operation where few of their voters shop (one poll found that 76 percent of weekly Wal-Mart shoppers are Bush voters), let alone anyone they socialize with.


The Democrats' anti-Wal-Mart campaign ultimately represents a politically unappealing snooty-populism. Their rhetoric is with the common man, but their noses are in the air.

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© 2006 King Features Syndicate

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