Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Monday, February 27, 2006

"The High Benefit of Low Prices"

Speaking of Dr. William Anderson, he has just published a paper for the Maryland Public Policy Institute titled The High Benefit of Low Prices. It is a rousing and erudite defense of Wal-Mart against the elitists who are waging war against it (and the public who shops there).

Some quotes:
A recent Zogby poll, for example, found that 38 percent of the American public has an “unfavorable” view of Wal-Mart, whereas only 13 percent of the individuals polled had negative views of Target, another “big box” retailer, but a company that does not engage as aggressively in price cutting and discounting merchandise as does Wal-Mart.

The popularity of the notion that Wal-Mart is “bad for America” can be attributed to a number of factors. First, the organizations that are leading the anti-Wal-Mart campaigns generally receive favorable press from journalists. Second, by enjoying almost unlimited access to friendly and prominent news media sources, these groups have been able to push a continuous message with almost no opposition or objective scrutiny. Sound familiar? Have we not been seing this for the last year or so in Pullman?

Third, because the nature of large-scale retailing is murky to most people—including most economists—economic fallacies prevail where firms like Wal-Mart are concerned. Wal-Mart’s actions and their community effects can best be explained by the economics of large-scale retailers, and with an understanding of why they are extremely vital to a community’s overall economic health.

Hopefully, policymakers at all levels of government will end their war on Wal-Mart and the opportunities the company provides to shoppers and employees. Right now, the prospects are less-than-hopeful, and if this war continues, many people will pay a high cost for this war on low prices.
I HIGHLY recommend reading Dr. Anderson's paper. It will definitely enlighten you.

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