Notes on the Atrocities Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...
Monday, June 14, 2004
The Daily Link
For today's link, I'm doing something a little different. I generally try to find bloggers who have been toiling successfully--but beyond the reach of my dim radar. I look for a body of work of at least three or four months. But in this case, the blogger (Judd Legum) has been sending me great links for a long time as the communications guy for the Center for American Progress. He's just started a blog and he was hoping for a little juice. It's the least I can do, Judd.
The blog has a unique structure. Here's how Judd describes his intent: "Most of the political debate in this country does not occur behind podiums but in backyards, bus stops and ball parks. The blog is an effort to give people – or at least those who agree with me – the fact-based arguments they need to convince others that they're right." Judd's in a pretty good position to do this--it's the kind of info CAP already collects. Each blog (thus far) offers talking points on an issue--why the liberal argument is accurate and where the conservative party line is distorted.
Trenchant quote: (Also departing from tradition, I'm pasting in an entire post so you can see the structure.)
Wal-Mart is bad for America
Why you're right:
1. Wal-Mart destroys more jobs than it creates. A new Wal-Mart destroys jobs by putting local merchants out of business. The jobs Wal-Mart creates are fewer, lower-paying and mostly part-time. (Good Jobs First)
2. Wal-Mart burdens public health care programs. Most jobs at Wal-Mart have little or no health benefits. Wal-Mart encourages its workers to seek public assistance for their health care. In Georgia, 10,000 children of Wal-Mart employees were enrolled in the public health insurance program. (NOW with Bill Moyers, AFL-CIO)
3. Wal-Mart exploits workers. The average hourly worker makes just $18,000 dollars a year. Meanwhile, in 2002, the corporation raked in $6.6 billion in profits. Wal-Mart has known for years that many of its stores violate child labor laws and state regulations requiring work breaks - but has done little, if anything, to stop it. (Mother Jones, New York Times)
4. Wal-Mart degrades the environment. The federal government charged Wal-Mart with violating the Clean Water Act in 17 locations across the country. Run-off from Wal-Mart construction sites polluted drinking water, streams and lakes. To settle the charges Wal-Mart agreed to pay a $1 million dollar fine. (EPA)
Why They're Wrong:
Proponents of Wal-Mart tout their low prices - and the positive impact they have on the purchasing power of consumers. But Wal-Mart is able to provide low prices because they are heavily subsidized by taxpayers. In addition to relying on public health care for their employees, Wal-Mart has benefited from over $1 billion in economic development subsidies. (Good Jobs First)
A Better Idea:
Make corporations like Wal-Mart help pay for public assistance programs from which they benefit. Instead of providing taxpayer subsidies to Wal-Mart, invest in businesses that provide stable jobs with adequate wages and health benefits.