Friday, February 17, 2006

An unlikely ally for liberals?

In today's NY Times business section, they expose some inside info from the confidential internal website of the CEO of Wal-Mart, H. Lee Scott. Here's a few quotes:

"The problem we have ... is if our health care plan is more costly than the competition, then how do we compete in the retail industry? You can't have it both ways. So we think government needs to be involved...."

"Wal-Mart's focus has been on lower income and lower-middle income consumers.... In the last four years or so, with the price of fuel being what it is, that customer has had the most difficult time. The upper-end customer got a tremendous number of tax breaks about four years ago. They have been doing very well in this economy."

Scott noted that the wealthy were less concerned about paying $50 for a tank of gas, but that for the typical Wal-Mart customer, "It changes whether or not you go to the movie, whether or not you buy new sheets, whether or not you go out to eat."

Of course, the rest of the excerpts were mainly about Scott telling his managers that maybe they should just quit if they thought Wal-Mart could be more generous with benefits, and that Wal-Mart wasn't taking over the world fast enough...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Did you see the Walmart movie? It had a bit about the government being "involved" -- by Walmart encouraging their full time workers to use government *Medicaid*, since even on a full-time income they are still poor enough to qualify...

In a sick way, Walmart has a vested interest in encouraging the govt. to provide a high level of services to low-income earners.