Walmart and the NRA

Cover of "Wal-Mart Effect"

Cover of Wal-Mart Effect

The Wal-Mart Effect, How the World’s Most Powerful Company Really Works–and How It’s Transforming the American Economy by Charles Fishman. I read this book several years ago, and now as I re-read it, something just jumped out at me as we try to eneact gun safety measures. Walmart does not want us to know how Walmart affects the country–employment, wages, healthcare, and quality of goods and services. And the NRA does not want the government collecting statistics on gun violence. That tells me that both Walmart and the NRA have something to hide, something that they fear the American voter might use  to decide to support restrictions on how both operate.

Job creators

Ford assembly line, 1913.

Image via Wikipedia

How many jobs could a job creator create
If a job creator could create jobs?
How many jobs would a job creator create
If a job creator would create jobs?

A job creator will create jobs if and only if he/she can sell the manufactured goods/services for a profit. If there are no buyers who can afford to buy, there is no reason to hire anyone to produce the goods/services, no matter how low the tax rate.

Henry Ford was a famous job creator. Most people have heard how he paid his workers $5 per day so that they could afford to purchase the cars they built and that Ford sold. Most people have not heard the rest of the story. Ford hired most of the skilled workmen in the Detroit area, creating a labor shortage for other employers in the area who could not or would not match his high wages. Once the other employers in the area went out of business, Ford was able to lower the wages he paid, since his employees could not find other jobs in the area. It is employer abuses like that that lead to the formation of unions.

We want job creators to create jobs here in America for American workers. Those jobs must be jobs that pay well enough that American workers can afford to be consumers of American produced goods and services. Jobs are not good jobs if the workers can afford to buy only goods/services produced outside the US.

In her book Nickle and Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich described working at Wal-Mart. Her wages were so little that she could not afford to shop there even with an employee discount. Those are not the jobs we need job creators to create. If wages were low enough, we could put everyone to work, but what would be the point? If the wages were so low that workers could not feed, clothe or house themselves without government assistance, then those jobs have little value to the workers or to society. Those jobs would represent a government subsidy to the employers, enabling them to pay lower wages.

Please see Occupy Wall Street | Economic justice

Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!

Cover of ""Only the Super-Rich Can S...

Cover of "Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!"

Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us! by Ralph Nader, 733 pages is a fast reading fable about what is wrong in the US and how with leadership and donations from billionaires we can right the wrongs. Nader gives names to the good guys and slightly disguised names to the bad guys. I found the inside details on the working of Wal-Mart and Congress the most interesting parts of the book. Whether you like Ralph Nader or not, he has done a lot of good for the country. In this book, he reveals knowledge that he has accumulated over a lifetime fighting for the average citizen.

Some critics of Barack want the US to be the tough kid on the block in defense matters. This is Nader’s response: “Asserting moral courage is being tough. Waging peace is tough. Standing up to arrogant power is being tough. And until we have the deeply just society our people deserve, doing the right thing even it costs us in the short run is being tough.”

Nader also relates Lincoln’s style on campaigning before there was mass media in 1840. Lincoln advocated dividing the voters into three categories: those who are with you from the get-go, those who are susceptible to persuasion, and those who are against you from the get-go. Then he guided his followers through the step-by-step process– or more accurately the doorstep-by-doorstep process–of meeting with every voter except the opposition hardliners. Worked for Lincoln. Let’s give it a go in 2012.

He also quoted Judge Learned Hand, “If we are to keep our democracy, there must be one commandment: Thou shall not ration justice.” Nader contends…” that it is democracy, justice, and the rule of law that make capitalism produce a better material life for more people, not capitalism in itself.’

I am giving my copy of this book to my son. I have purchased one additional copy of the book which I will send free of charge to the first person who responds to this message. I wish that I could give away more. Please send an email to me at walthe@aol.com and put “Nader book” in the subject line. I will send a book to you.

Please see One World, Ready or Not