Friday, February 18, 2005

An Honest Liberal 

For years I've noticed that liberals often act in ways contradictory to what they say. For example, I've seen neighbors who decry inequities between the races and have rainbow stickers on their car's bumpers become upset and worry about a potential drop in property values when black families move into their neighborhood. Or others who are concerned daily about global warming and then purchase gigantic SUV's or minivans.

Eugene Robinson writing in today's Washington Post talks openly about another example of these contradictions, specifically when it comes to liberals and shopping at Wal-Mart. He says that many people on the left side of the political spectrum will insult large chains that offer extremely low prices because the companies accomplish this by paying their workers a salary close to minimum wage without providing heath insurance and by shipping jobs oversees. And yet liberals shop at these institutions anyway. At least Mr. Robinson does. He comments:

. . . I do shop at less distant big-box stores, including Costco, and almost every
time I do, I run into a friend or acquaintance whom I know to be a highly
compensated professional of the liberal persuasion. We're there, standing in
line with Ethiopian cab drivers and Honduran construction workers and Korean
grocers so we can buy two pounds of coffee for what 12 ounces would cost at the
neighborhood store. . .I'm not holding Wal-Mart up as a paragon by any means, but neither can I trace the root of all evil to Bentonville, Ark [the location of Wal-Mart's headquarters]. It's us. We're just getting what we pay for.

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