LOOK. Unions are 1) stupid — a really bad idea, and 2) un-American. So, right there, they should be disqualified from any discussion of business.
Objection, your honor! Assumes facts not entered in evidence!
Well, then, you just haven’t been paying attention. But just for shorts, unions use coercion — specifically the threat of both physical violence and commercial ruin — in restraint of free trade. As such, they also are a collusion between government and labor that denies private property rights, the right of free association, and (in practice) right of due process. Without the power of the state to back them up, unions would be powerless. If you take away the coercive power to strike, unions become nothing more than barely tolerable social clubs. With the power to strike, they become the worst examples of mob-rule thuggery. They also have massive market distortion effects, bringing to slow ruin those enterprises they did not bring to quick ruin when they refused to negotiate with a union. They thus turn the entire American principle on its head. You could not get farther from the American ideal without actually doing the communist full monty.
Here’s a basic fact of capitalism (which, BTW, is an attempt at creating a slur by one of the most evil men the world has ever known — you should stop using the word), let me say rather, of free markets. Markets exist in all their various and sundry … sundry variety … they exist solely for the benefit of the buyer. The consumer. The customer. Forces which act counter to that — overpricing labor, for example — are… anti-market (and therefor, anti-freedom), un-American, anti-human, and (do I need to repeat this) stupid.
WalMart’s most compelling argument in its favor is that it — almost relentlessly — works to sell at the lowest possible prices. From its store siting and design to the deals it seeks with manufacturers and distributors of goods, every decision is made to that end. The business model is founded on the belief that minimizing prices will result in higher volume sales and maximized profits.
Which is how it’s supposed to work.
Arrayed against WalMart’s expansion are forces on the Left — Unions and — scorn quotes — “community organizers”* — who object to … what? That WalMart’s pricing model undercuts “local” “small” businesses. (Without, I should hasten to add, any supporting data proving this contention, and in the face of much countervailing evidence that the presence of a WalMart in a town actually HELPS those small businesses smart and nimble enough to adapt — which is also how markets are supposed to work.)
In short, they think that forcing you to pay higher prices for groceries and household goods is a move in favor of “social justice.”
Which should tell you a lot about this particular fight, as well as the overarching principle — if you want to call it that — of (scorn quotes) “social justice.”
Also posted at Eternity Road
*Read Marxist-front agitators.