The Brahmins might no longer rule the Bay State, but their tradition lives on in the editorial room of the Boston Globe. And what better occasion than Labor Day for the elitist Globe to condescend to workers in a manner that might have brought a smile to the lips of a Lowell or Cabot?
The topic of Labor Day, 2006 is one in great fashion in MSM circles: the horrors of Wal-Mart - and the joys of unionism. According to the Globe, "unionized workers earn on average $1.52 an hour more than those in similar occupations without union representation."
Alack - in the Globe's mind - Wal-Mart workers are too dumb to realize this. With a paternalistic pat on the head, the Globe observes: "[Wal-Mart] employees don't like to think they are patsies." Translation: they are patsies; they're just not smart enough to realize it.
To make its case the Globe indulges in some faulty logic: "Wal-Mart says it . . . makes up for low wages with low prices. From this perspective, it all balances out: a low standard of living, maybe, but low costs, too." But if costs are low, then in fact the standard of living is not that low!
Continues the Globe: "Wal-Mart claims its low prices saved the average family $2,300 last year. Which is great, until you compare it to that $3,200 premium unskilled workers could make if they had a union shop."
Here the Globe engages in some classic static analysis. They apparently assume that if Wal-Mart were to pay each worker $3,200 more per year, everything else would remain the same. But the roughly $3.8 billion in higher labor costs such a raise would entail [given Wal-Mart's 1.2 million employees] would invariably translate into higher prices, reduced sales, and in turn fewer jobs, in a cycle that could ultimately send Wal-Mart the way of Woolworth's.
I'd say Wal-Mart workers are much smarter than the Globe gives them credit for. Smarter, even, then some editorialists at major papers in the home of the bean and the cod.