Commentary

Wal-Mart at the trough

A study from Good Jobs First claims that Wal-Mart has benefited from $1billion in government subsidies. The study found more than 240 cases where public resources assisted the construction of Bentonville Boxes. It’s clear that the study’s authors don’t care for much of anything that Wal-Mart does, but it is a good reminder that just about any business will look to game the system. Part of the problem is the law’s refusal to remain neutral on such matters. A local government that bans Wal-Mart one day, will grant special favors to another business another day. Indeed, local governments that now scorn big box retailers have also invoked eminent domain to clear the way for them. Seems like some people are “pro” Wal-Mart, and some are “anti,” but very few are pro neutrality. For a bit more on this, go here.

Ted Balaker is an award-winning filmmaker, journalist, and founding partner of Korchula Productions, a film and new media production company devoted to making important ideas entertaining.