Beltway Confidential

Liberals loathe Walmart dependency, cool with government dependency

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Beltway Confidential,Big Government,Ashe Schow,Analysis,Walmart,Liberalism

If you’ve been reading liberal websites and news stories lately (I do, so you don’t have to), you’ve probably noticed an all-out assault on Walmart and its allegedly low compensation. Note that these critics are often the same ones asking for more government in Americans’ daily lives.

With headlines like “Walmart threatens to shut down stores if D.C. passes living wage bill” (ThinkProgress) and “New report shows how Walmart forces its employees to live on the dole” (Mother Jones), it’s easy to see why America’s largest employer is facing so much resentment.

An article on AlterNet Wednesday, for example, bore the title “Walmart’s latest ploy to replace the middle class with an underclass forced to buy its short-lived, shoddy goods,” and focused on the retailing giant’s “Buy America” pledge. The numbers behind that pledge sound good but lack substance, according to the article. Come to think of it, that sounds like a lot of bills in Congress.

The title certainly illustrates the thinking behind the Walmart hate, but it also raises this question: If these critics on the left are so concerned about people being dependent on Walmart, why aren’t they equally concerned about people being dependent on government?

Searching AlterNet for “government dependence” brings up multiple items denouncing Republicans for talking about dependence. A search for “food stamps” brings up legions of items denouncing Republicans for daring to suggest cutting $4 billion a year from a program that already spends over $70 billion a year. Similar results were found for “welfare,” “Medicaid,” and “Medicare.”

Searching for these terms on ThinkProgress and Mother Jones is no different. ThinkProgress even praised North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory for vetoing a bill that would have mandated drug testing for welfare recipients (no-questions-asked dependence?).

Perhaps the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Sean Hackbarth summed it up best, writing “Business = evil. Government = benevolent. #LiberalLogic” on Twitter.

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