Monday, August 28, 2006

Wal-Mart vs. Welfare

Foreign policy isn’t the only arena where Democrats have abandoned their own principles and disavowed their own previously staked-out positions, as today's op-ed columnist Sebastian Mallaby points out.

A decade ago Hillary Clinton sat on Wal-Mart’s board. Last year—heeding the call from labor unions over her old Arkansas neighbors—she returned a campaign contribution from the mega-retailer. But before Democrats on the summer campaign trail join too many anti-Wal-Mart rallies, they should take a look at a recent independent paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research. It shows that big-box stores led by Wal-Mart reduce families' food bills by one-fourth. Because Wal-Mart's price-cutting also affects the non-food stuff it sells, it saves U.S. consumers upward of $200 billion a year, making it a larger booster of family welfare than the federal government's $33 billion food-stamp program.

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