Sunday, November 26, 2006

Jacksonville Daily News Boldly Defends Goliath Wal Mart

I give the editors at The Daily News in Jacksonville, N.C. credit for at least not letting Wal Mart's spreading of a false and misleading story about John Edwards last week go any further with more lies. Too many newspapers shamelessly jumped on conjecture borne of smear propaganda that was initiated last week by Wal Mart's coroporate headquarters after Edwards fiercely criticized their policies toward their employees.

I have a big problem with the Jacksonville Daily News editors' rationale regarding Senator Edwards support for the American worker.

I'm trying to figure out why these editiors would choose to defend the corporate behemoth with such lame rationalizations.

First example:

Employees in this nation have choices. If a Wal-Mart employee doesn’t think he or she is getting paid a fair wage, the employee is free to negotiate better pay and benefits. If that doesn’t work out, the employee can seek employment elsewhere.

Perhaps these news editors are out of touch because they make a decent wage and enjoy company benefits and forget that they're speaking about Wal Mart jobs with inadequate health care benefits for the employee and their children - - sometimes no health benefits at all.

In essence, this is what these editors are suggesting for the Wal Mart employees with horrible (or no) benefits and inadequate pay:
- Love your job - you're lucky to have it, you low wage peons. Ask, then shut up and accept it when Wal Mart tells you "no" and don't complain about the inequity. (This is not the American tradition.)
- Let the little Davids try to fight the corporate giant alone with no moral support from their government leaders, (This is not the American expectation.) or
- Leave your job if you dislike the pay and beneifits so some other David can come and be used up by Goliath. (This is not the American way)

Those kinds of ideas sound too close to pre-labor union America to sound "American" to me. Moral leadership is necessary in this particular situation. Wal Mart isn't some small business - they are a giant and they've rolled over small businesses and reduced choice in this nation (for shoppers and job seekers) in the name of low prices (which really aren't all that low if you consider the negative value of the dumb-down trade offs in our communities, with Wal Mart destroying or driving out the local classes of entrepreneurs and community leaders.) Our government has been sitting back and letting it go on for too long. The low wage American worker feels morally abandoned by their leaders. Is it any wonder they have become resigned to having to keep these economically unfair job packages? To argue had been hopeless for those with no voice..until leaders like Senator John Edwards came along and spoke for them.

..which brings me to the next decidedly misbegotten theory from the Jacksonville Daily News editors: claims that many of Wal-Mart’s practices are un-American. Of course, millions of Americans who shop at the retailer would beg to differ.

That's a hoot. What makes an American innately and undeniably "American" is certainly not Wal Mart and we should be aware of what they are implying and resent and reject the ridiculous implication. The Smiley Face is not the Red, White and Blue.

Here's another hoot: these editors speak as if Americans have a wider choice on where to go these days for their sundries and household needs. The strangest part, for me, is to see the editors assuming the playing field is even for Wal Mart and the few "moms and pops" that are still left competing with Wal Mart stores in this country. Mom and Pop have been steamrolled - flattened like pancakes by Wal Mart.

I'd wager, if you explained to the son of a recently-hired Wal Mart worker who'd lost his textile mill job and health benefits to "outsourcing" (and who can't even afford to get his son to the doctor when he's sick) that people are buying goods made of textiles from Pakistan at a low price because Dad no longer works for the American textile company that once supplied his own family with all the benefits and pay they'd needed to get by, the young son would "get it." The son would "get" the fact that Dad will no longer be able to afford college for him while those shoppers save a few pennies on those towels that were made in a faraway place of which he can't pronounce the name. If a kid can get it, why don't the editors of the Jacksonville Daily News get it? Perhaps the publisher had best get off its own anti-community right-wing because it's looking mightily ravaged from scraping bottom.

They say:
Businesses in the United States, whether they are corporate giants such as Wal-Mart or small mom-and-pop shops on Main Street, need less interference by government and politicians. if the moms-and-pops ever had a choice or a chance against Wal Mart under the eye of a government who sat back and watched American choices fade with the sunset of globalization. Globalization will continue and I wonder when some of these ideological snails who call themselves "American" will catch up with the fact that regulations have been and will be (now more than ever) required in a democracy where American work, entrepreneurship, and leadership are still valued highly by the community and by the government that represents community members who work so hard and aspire to something greater.

It is very "American" to support the American worker and the American small business. Don't you forget it!

I think The Jacksonville News editors had best forget worrying their corporate-giant-loving heads about WakeUpWalMart and concentrate on "WakeUpJacksonvilleDailyNewsEditors".


See WakeUpWalmart's latest ad.

Note: The editorial in today's Pittsburgh Tribune-Review is not simply constructive in its criticism, it is viscerally anti-Edwards. When an American leader generates this kind of reaction from newspaper editors, you can't help but wonder why they are defensive of Wal Mart to the point of outright political attack. It couldn't be because they have a right wing history, could it? Am I living in an alternative universe? I thought we, the people, voted against Bushworld last November 7, yet I can still smell Bushworld in these editorials.

Update: November 27 - The New Hampshire Union Leader continues the tradition of American newspaper editors oddly defending a corporate giant with what one rationally scrutinizing reader calls undisciplined logic. Senator Edwards provides a rebuttal in an AP article on November 28th appearing in the same newspaper (the same paper that endorsed Steve Forbes for President
in the 2000 election and Bush in 2004.)


Chancelucky said...

Did the Jacksonville paper make any mention of the rather sizeable employment discrimination lawasuits that Walmart has been losing recently?