Saturday, July 13, 2013

The Walmart whipping boy

The political Left appears to be ramping up its off-and-on campaign to vilify Walmart.

DC's city council recently voted to keep Walmart stores out of some of its neighborhoods.  And Democrats in Congress even commissioned a study specifically targeting Walmart to justify a hike in the national minimum wage.

But vilifying Walmart won't turn stocker or cashier jobs into career positions.

Used to be, retail jobs were reserved for kids or retirees or a spouse who wanted a little cash to supplement what the family's primary breadwinner brought home. But we've exported so many of what used to be our career jobs, so now we're laying blame because low end retail doesn't provide jobs up to the levels of our former glory.

The other problem is we're turning out huge segments of the population who are ill-challenged for any kind of employment. No one should expect a career level paycheck when they possess no career level skills.

Forty years ago, high school provided enough education to obtain gainful employment. For a variety of reasons, back in the '70s, I called it quits after one semester in college and took a full-time job. I then resumed my studies by taking courses at night, paying my own way as I progressed.

The vilification of Walmart is a distraction. It makes the Left feel good to have a whipping boy. But the problems with employment and employer provided benefits in the U.S. go much deeper. And a lot of the problems can be traced back to government regs and other kinds of tinkering.

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