Wednesday, July 13

Opinion of Wal-Mart--Part II

Quaerens Sapientiam made some comments on my post about Wal-Mart, and wrote more about his thoughts on the subject on his blog. I thought it was well balanced and thought out. Since I have only been blogging for a short time, I have to say that his post made me realize I am not yet sure where the boundaries of my personal ideas on capitalism.
The free market inherently supports companies that scrounge for every last cent of profit regardless of all other considerations, like Wal-Mart. Companies that care for their employees, and sell the products that best balance quality and cost, will only survive if employees value working for caring employers and buyers realize the true cost of savings. The education and the entertainment-advertising systems are largely to blame for society's current ignorance in these matters. In the name of savings, Americans shop at big-box stores, and some of us defend it by arguing that we are supporting capitalism.

Though I generally support a free market, I am not a capitalist. A classical liberal believes in few restrictions on free enterprise. A pure capitalist it seems, believes that money is the ultimate measure of good. I am far more concerned about quality of life than I am about money.

In a free market, I can choose to not support businesses I dislike. This includes businesses that care more about profit than the well-being of their employees and their community/ies. In a free market, that's the only way to control rogue businesses such as Wal-Mart.