Friday, July 03, 2009

567 The Rebels of Arkansas

567 The Rebels of Arkansas

So Wal-Mart has gone over the wall. The Great Satan of American commerce has sipped the socialist Kool-Aid and in a stunning reversal of policy and genetics now supports the Obama health plan which would make employers offer medical insurance to its workers. Stunning. Unthinkable. Unheard of. Positively Kremlinesque. Joe Stalin, channeled in rural Arkansas.

The commentators are shocked. The White House is shocked. The competitors also are shocked, but not for the same reason as everyone else.

The competitors are shocked because if the Wal-Mart Commies win, they get yet another leg up. The policy shift was a stroke of competitive genius, not some Great Awakening.

Wally World already supplies what passes for medical insurance to about 80% of its workers. It built the costs into its operating budget long ago. It's like the light bill. It comes, they pay it.

Not so some of the some of the other retail biggies. If they have to follow suit, and they do, eventually, they're going to add those costs to their merchandise and you'll end up paying for it. Prices go up at Smartstores Juniorwear or Circuit City (oops) and not at Wal's? Well, it turns out this benevolent and communistic move is nothing more than a ploy to hurt competitors unable to afford the extra cost as easily.

Does the company's support mean anything in the real world? Of course it does. It makes the legislation creating the new health insurance system easier to pass. Wally is America's largest private employer. And if it hints to its employees that they'd look good if they wrote to their legislators and urged passage -- well, that's a lot of pressure.

And it makes Wally look like a good corporate citizen, to boot -- unless, of course, you're Smartstores Juniorwear or were Circuit City.


So the Great Satan of American commerce may have put on some makeup and hidden the horns under a Little Rock Little League baseball cap, but he's still the Great Satan of American commerce.


Shrapnel:

--Trying to wade ones way through the "simple" instructions for setting up a new website is like reading the instruction book for an M16.
You first have to learn the terminology, then the parts -- and only then can you start using the thing. After which, the gun -- or the website -- immediately jams and blows a hole in your face.

--Guy from the Bronx is on a commercial airplane and decides to take off all his clothing, then gets into a fight with a flight attendant trying to put a blanket over him. The defense: he's bipolar and didn't take his meds. Nonsense. He probably just trolling for the in-flight ugly award.

--When Reagan took Nancy to a Broadway show, his sycophants swooned. When Obama took Michelle to a Broadway show, he got slammed. And he paid a lot more for the tickets.

I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.®
©WJR 2009

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