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Wal-Mart, Poverty Fighter

by Jerry Bader

The title on this blog post alone will be enough to make liberals split blood. I've written and said a lot about Wal-Mart in recent months, as the retail giants fights its critics to site a store in downtown Green Bay. But almost all of my efforts fail in comparison to what Christian Schneider has done here.

Critics of the proposed Green Bay Wal-Mart store have gone into overdrive in marginalizing the value of the 250-300 jobs the new store would create. They either challenge the number of jobs or falsely claim the jobs will pay minimum wage.

The criticisms of Wal-Mart's business model come from those whose knowledge of making a bottom line is entirely theoretical. And as Schneider points out, Wal-Mart battles poverty in two ways; it provides the lowest prices for the poor and provides jobs that on average, pay nearly $13.00 an hour. And those jobs provide people who might otherwise not have jobs with an income that liberals may call "less than a living wage," but they happen to be more than nothing. A lot more.

So are the benefits and opportunity for advance at Wal-Mart that haters deny exist. If I have one disagreement with Schneider it is this: he seems to bought into the stereotype that only poor people shop at Wal-Mart. My wife and I aren't 1 percents but we're upper middle class and we shop there with pride.

That said, Schneider is right; creating jobs and providing products a price low income people can afford makes Wal-Mart more effective at fighting poverty than any government program ever could.