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Sunday, January 21, 2007Wal-Mart
Yea for politics and social discussions! My first social rant! I welcome all discussion as I am interested in opposing viewpoints.
I have been reading about Wal-Mart lately and all the complaints people have against Wal-Mart. Mostly for "treating their employees poorly". This bugs me...are these employees not voluntary? Are any of these people being forced to work there against their will?
Here is an economic staple that we can (hopefully) all agree on: When a transaction is made (voluntarily) both parties believe they are better off than they would be if the transaction had never taken place. Example: I buy a sandwich from Subway. I believe I am better off with that sandwich and Subway believes they are better off with my money. I'd say we can probably all agree on that.
The same holds true for the employee-employer relationship. Let's say that I get a job at Wal-Mart. I MUST think I am better off having that job; otherwise I wouldn't have voluntarily signed up for it. If I thought another job would be better for me (and my current skill set), then I would go try and get it.
It galls me to see politicians and "social intellectuals" decree that they need to police a voluntary (and legal) transaction between two entities. Why does some central planner think he knows more about what is best for me than I do? The only conclusion I can come up with is that he thinks I am stupid and can't make a good decision on my own.
The solution according to the central planners? Make the minimum wage so high for Wal-Mart and other "big box" stores that they are forced to leave the area (see Chicago for an example). This is a good solution because they get to feel good about themselves because they have fought the evil corporation and won a battle for the little guy. Meanwhile, because Wal-Mart moves elsewhere...I lose my job. Brilliant. Instead of a lot of people getting paid $7 an hour to work at Wal-Mart, they get paid $0 to be unemployed.
In conclusion...I know what is best for me...let me make my own decisions about where to voluntarily work.