Monday, August 28, 2006

Is It Just About Wal-Mart? Yes and No.

More comments about Wal-Mart and a possible employment future from Ezra Klein (thanks again Jonathan).
Again, this isn't about Wal-Mart. Rather, it's about every company that competes with them, and every producer who sells through them. In the first case, Wal-Mart is driving down worker salaries and benefits by so resolutely grinding their own associates into the dirt. So rather than watching the service economy mature into a middle class conveyor as the manufacturing industry did, it's moving in the opposite direction -- and given the decline of manufacturing and the softness of worker salaries, what choice have workers than to accept their lot? Something is better than nothing, but something remains inadequate.
So as Wal-Mart chases manufacturing jobs out of the country we have service jobs as replacement jobs. Service jobs that are being defined by Wal-Mart wages and benefits. On the other hand, maybe some people think a package of underwear for $2.93 is worth it. Read the entire article.

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