Blog or Not?

A statistically improbable polymath's views on politics and culture.

Monday, July 05, 2004
Bless me, for I have sinned
I confess to having gone to the Evil Empire (read: Wal-Mart) of my own free will on Friday, and buying beads, a plastic dresser, and some crochet pattern books. And there, I realized something--the current Wal-Mart bashing is very much a classist exercise because there are people who have benefited from Wal-Mart--those who couldn't have afforded decent stuff without a tenacle-like multinational that exploits their labor force in order to give really really low prices to the greatest number.

So if we're really serious about killing the Evil Empire, we need to offer a good alternative to it. We need to be serious about fostering small businesses in our inner cities and our almost-abandoned small towns. We need to figure out a way to minimize prices, maximize wages, and still make decent profits--a formula which Costco has apparently discovered in the fake-wholesale sector, but which needs to be replicated for the mass discount sector. Finally, we need to enforce existing labor laws to the fullest extent, increasing penalties to the point where it no longer becomes feasible to keep breaking the law and still exceed expectations for third-quarter earnings. We have a Department of Labor which is supposed to be in charge of enforcing these laws, but they're underused and underfunded. Let's change that.

Otherwise we're all just a bunch of blathering bourgeois bohemian-wannabe weenies. And while it's cool to be genuinely bohemian, it's not cool to want to be bohemian so you can be cool. It is far better to be boring and bourgeois in dress and manner and actually change the world rather than shock everyone with your bohemian style and make no bigger impact.

(Yes, fauxhemians piss me off. I think it's a class thing.)

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