Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

We Can Find a Better Neighbor Redux

As I mentioned in a previous post, the Pullman Alliance for Responsible Development thinks Pullman can find a better neighbor than Wal-Mart.

See, the anti-Wal-Mart jihadis believe that there is a evil cabal of white men down in Bentonville, Arkansas, that sit around and constantly plot how they can better exploit Chinese slave laborers, outsource American jobs, discriminate against minorities and women, downsize health care benefits, drive Mom and Pop stores out of businesss, pollute the environment, create gridlock, bulldoze cemeteries, and generally destroy the American way of life.

Well, it turns out that being the biggest company in the world has distinct advantages. According to this article, Wal-Mart has used its considerable supply and distribution resources not for selfish gain, but instead to help to Hurricane Katrina survivors. In fact, according to Burt Flickinger of the Strategic Resource Group, a frequent critic of Wal-Mart's business practices, "Wal-Mart served the city [New Orleans] far better than any private or public institution." Another critic, Gerald Celente, director of Trends Research Institute, said, "Wal-Mart stepped to the plate...they didn't have to do that."

So much for the evil cabal. And so much for being a bad neighbor.

We are blessed that we live in a very safe area of the country. However, it is not outside the realm of possibility that Pullman could be affected by a major disaster in the future. A wildfire like the School fire a few weeks back could burn many structures or a catastrophic eruption of Mt. St. Helens or Mt. Rainier could bury the town in volcanic ash. I for one would like to have Wal-Mart as a neighbor in that situation.

I particularly like this quote from the article:
Chris Kofinis, a spokesman for the union-backed group Wake-up Wal-Mart, credited Wal-Mart for its storm response. But he said the crisis that followed the storm illustrated the "economic divide in this country that we are fighting as a group to address."
You remember those valiant unions, fighting to address the "economic divide" in this country? That must be why the Washington Federation of State Employees is fighting to make that divide even wider. All state employees now have to pay dues to the union, whether or not they are a member, or lose their jobs. According to The Oregonian (free registration required), about 3,000 state employees are currently facing that possibility.

Jimmy Hoffa would be proud.

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