Friday, June 03, 2005

Conservative Case Against Wal-Mart in NYC

Many Wal-Mart supporters focus on the “left-wing” nature of the opposition to the mega-retailer. The common rant usually attacks labor and drags out all of the standard anti-union stereotypes, none of which are particularly applicable to the locals of the United Food and Commercial Workers. After the attack on labor, however, the Wal-Mart partisans, particularly Steve Malanga of the Manhattan Institute, next go on to assail the “anti-development” ethos of Wal-Mart’s opponents. This line of attack is generally made by critics who characterize themselves as conservative.

These self-described conservatives are missing some fundamental aspects of the opposition to Wal-Mart in particular and box stores in general. On his blog, Stephen Bainbridge, a professor of Corporate Law at UCLA and backer of President Bush, brought this discussion to the forefront by enumerating a number of conservative arguments against Wal-Mart. We think it’s necessary to both localize and elaborate on Bainbridge's general thesis, one that we were reminded of after a recent visit with Republican New York State Senator Marty Golden who represents Bay Ridge and other generally conservative parts of Brooklyn.

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