Friday, March 24, 2006

Wal-Mart and “Activists For the Poor”

Kevin Eldridge, a Marquette Law School student, sends us this e-mail:
A new Wal-Mart Store in Atlanta received more than 8,000 applicants for 500 jobs. This reminded me of the earlier fiasco in Chicago, where the city council blocked the building of a Wal-Mart. The Wal-Mart was built one block from the city limits and 24,500 people applied for 325 jobs there. (By the way, all but 500 of those applicants had Chicago addresses.)

The article about the Atlanta Wal-Mart says that the detractors are “activists for the poor.” Two things come to mind at this mention:

(1) First, I’ve never seen such a disagreement between advocates and those they are ostensibly protecting and supporting. I might be guilty of malpractice if I were to advocate a position to which my client was so opposed.

(2) Second, you have to wonder about people who call themselves “activists for the poor.” They apparently think the following are bad for the poor: (a) jobs; (b) low-cost necessities; and (c) conveniently-located stores that carry these necessities (so the poor can have access and not have to take a bus/car). Apparently no job is better than a paying job with limited or no health care coverage.

Apparently, these “activists for the poor” would rather have us go the way of socialist France, where youth unemployment is at 23%, but the jobless are rioting against a law that will probably create more jobs by allowing at-will employment of young, unskilled workers for two years. At-will employment is the default in the U.S.


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