Current Events, Academic Philosophy

Why focus on Walmart and McDonald’s?

I really liked Megan McArdle’s column and Jason’s post about it this morning. They both nicely illustrate how a lot of the resistance to Walmart and McDonald’s in particular is caused by classism. Just to add to this line, I sometimes hear critics of Walmart etc. ask something like “Well, would you want your child to work at McDonald’s or Walmart when she entered the workforce?” I guess the expected answer is no, (though as an aside, this isn’t so clear to me. It depends on her other options). Yet I wonder if it’s really the low wage that people think is the problem. Now ask, would you want your child to work at that wage at a gluten-free pancake house, or at a small independent clothing store, or as freelance technology writer?

This is all just anecdotal, but I’m guessing that some critics’ problem with people working at Walmart for lower wages isn’t that people receive low wages but that people are working at Walmart, and that’s seen as a bad job to have. Even if the wages are the same, working at Walmart isn’t the same kind of retail job as the hip independent clothing store downtown. McDonald’s is a different kind of food service than the gluten-free pancake house even if the pay and benefits are equivalent.

Some political philosophers have made this point explicitly (e.g. here and here). They argue that principles of justice apply to the content of our labor as well as the compensation we receive for it. If so, then some jobs could be unjust at any wage. Maybe something like this explains the resistance to Walmart, but if so then these distinctions tend to get lost in the policy debate. And if popular critics of Walmart and McDonald’s are concerned with the deskillng and hierarchical nature of some jobs, then they should focus on that and they should also be critical of high paying jobs with these properties.

In any case, if the problem is wages, then why focus on Walmart and McDonald’s? Even if the reason for concentrating on Walmart and McDonald’s is to advocate for large-scale policy change that addresses all low wage jobs, this doesn’t explain why one would single out these companies and industries in particular. Why not just advocate for your favorite way of addressing poverty (I’ll say it againbasic income!)

As McArdle suggests, another possible reason for focusing on these industries is that the authors of this criticism and their audiences are not too concerned about companies like Walmart and McDonald’s. But I’d bet that at least some policy analysts, magazine writers, and their audiences do benefit from other low paying industries such as farm workers, childcare providers, and local small businesses.  Is it just a coincidence that those workers receive less of our attention?

And if it’s true that classism explains why people turn their attention to Walmart and McDonald’s in particular, then one concern about this trend is that singling out these workers could further entrench the difficulties associated with having these jobs. Namely, this trend could stigmatize certain kinds of low-wage work. If so, then specific concern for Walmart and McDonald’s workers could actually be harmful to them.

Published on:
Author: Jessica Flanigan
  • TracyW

    Amongst my parents’ social circle the belief was that working at McDonald’s or similar as one’s first job was excellent. Mostly as motivation to get an education. (I worked at a supermarket, not McDonald’s. Mum really approved of that for the family discount card).

  • I have often wondered to what extent the public arguments against McDonald’s and Walmart are advanced by direct competitors of McDonald’s and Walmart.

    Based on past experience, the minimum wage debate comes up every couple of years, but seldom results in a material increase in the minimum wage. At the same time, McDonald’s takes a PR hit in a way that Wendy’s (for example) simply doesn’t.

    Could it be that competing firms stoke the flames in an effort to capture greater market share? Stranger things have happened, right?

    • Benkarkis

      nope, Sociology and Anthropology professors hate them. pardon my generalities but I see it all the time here in Academic Valley Land. The academics go to Whole Foods and the working class goes to Walmart.

    • Theresa Klein

      Well, the 2006 Democratic congress just recently increased the minimum wage from $5.25 to $7.25. I wonder why this never gets mentioned in the debate. We had a 40% increase in the minimum wage just a few years ago, and now they want to double it?

    • Walmart and McDonald’s take the hits because they are largely the (perhaps unwittingly) representatives of the growing minimum wage business model.

  • Rach

    It’s because 99% of leftists (and even academic leftists, who are equally as stupid with only a few exceptions) just parrot the stuff they hear, and never question their own beliefs. They don’t have to question their own beliefs because they operate in echo-chambers, and don’t know anyone else’s beliefs (which is why they caricature everyone else’s beliefs) precisely because no one ever challenges them on anything.

    The average libertarian is probably a better leftist than the average leftist, because the average libertarian constantly has to deal with stupid strawmen arguments, and has to fend off the army of leftist morons on a daily basis who sound like zombies “Roads. Roads. Poor people will just die in the streets. Greedy. Corporations. Exploitation.” I’ve never met a leftist who I could seriously respect, because they’re all so unfailingly stupid. I don’t care if you’re a professor from a prestigious university; an educated 20 year old libertarian will rip your insides out in a debate, because all of your arguments are trash (since you’ve never had to actually hone them).

    • reason60

      You are sadly unappreciated in your own time. Perhaps someday a better world may be different. Until then, keep your chin up.

      • Benkarkis

        Living in Ivory Tower land for the past 11 years, I can really appreciate his viewpoint, maybe a tad too angry. It’s been an eye opener for me.

    • purple_platypus

      That educated 20 year old might seem to be ripping apart your straw leftist to other educated 20 year olds – i.e., to a crowd of mostly-privileged people who haven’t had much opportunity or inclination to go out and see how things work in the real world. Lose your job or have a medical emergency through no fault of your own and libertarian arguments that sound good when you’re 20 suddenly stop making sense.

      • Les Kyle Nearhood

        No they don’t. I am an old guy and I have been nearly destitute at times in my life, and yet I grow more libertarian with each passing year. Governments don’t help with poverty so much as they perpetuate it.

      • Theresa Klein

        You mean, that arguments that sounded good from a disinterested perspective, don’t sound good anymore once they conflict with your self-interest? I think that’s more an illustration of some sort of innate predisposition to hypocrisy than of the quality of the arguments you’re referring to.

        • purple_platypus

          Oddly enough, when people start displaying some actual, y’know, *empathy* for other human beings, that makes me LESS inclined to consider them selfish pricks, not more. Obviously your mileage varies.

          • Theresa Klein

            Suddenly developing a newfound sense of “empathy” when it happens to be in your self-interest isn’t really evidence that you’ve become less of a selfish prick.

  • Bob Waldrop

    I don’t know why any libertarian would defend statist organizations like WalMart and McDonalds. Both benefit from the large pool of unemployed, low skilled people that is an artifact of state policies. Both are welfare corporations, in the worst meaning of that phrase. As to empowering lower income workers, I think fast food is fine, I’d like to help mpeople organize their own fast food businesses as worker-owned cooperatives, maybe starting as food trucks. Of course, depending on where you are, it is nearly impossible to run a food truck because of local regulations and it is nearly impossible for low income people to raise capital to start businesses because of state laws governing finance and investment. Walmart and McDonalds are truly evil organizations. People are able to work for them and live only because they can access safety net benefits like food stamps and Medicaid. So the low wages at McDonalds and WalMart are subsidized by taxpayers, which is another reason not to like them.

    As to the benefits they allegedly provide to low income shoppers, I am dubious. My income is definitely below the median and my experience is that WalMart does not have the lowest prices in this market, especially for groceries.

    • TracyW

      I agree that poor people should be as able as possible to start their own businesses.
      But, Walmart and McDonalds do hire a lot of people with low skills, which is good for those people. Indeed, the more companies that want to hire a lot of people at minimum-wage levels, the better for potential minimum-wage workers, as competition for their labour goes up. It’s odd to describe something as evil if in general people are better off the more of that thing there is. Eg, generally, the more war, the worst people off are. The more mafia-types trying to collect protection money, the worst people off are. The more serial killers, the worst people off are. (Of course one can envisage occasional scenarios where one evil interferes with another, overall to the good, this being basically the plot of Dexter). But the more competition to hire low-income workers, the better generally. Not everyone wants to risk their capital starting worker-owned cooperatives.

      • Bob Waldrop

        Walmart and McDonalds are evil in that they benefit greatly from the structural exclusion of lower income people from entrepreneurship and they are doing nothing to change that system. And why would they? They only seek their own selfish interests. So they support structures that provide them with a large pool of people with no better prospects than lower wage employment with big businesses like them. My viewpoint is that the more McDonalds, and the more Wal Marts, and etc., the worse becomes the situation of low income people. There won’t ever be a serious competition for low income labor because the system is set up to provide a steady supply of people without other prospects and desperate for anything they can get. How is the system rigged? Well, let us count the ways, except that that becomes a blog post in and of itself. But we could start with the lack of real money, proceed right on through the statist corporations’ limitation on liability, and go on to the direct taxpayer subsidies of suburban development that has been such a great stomping ground for both WalMart and McDonalds.

        • Theresa Klein

          Come on. It’s not like Walmart is out there actively campaigning for occupational licensing and taxi monopolies.

          It’s not really their responsibility to lobby for deregulation of industries that have nothing to do with their core business. Otherwise, every business large and small would be morally deficient for not actively opposing the drug war.

          • Bob Waldrop

            Silence is consent, that is evident from history. And I bet it would not be hard to turn up evidence of both WalMart and McDonalds arguing against economic liberalization initiatives. And yes, everyone not advocating the repeal of drug laws is morally deficient. Support for moral evils is not only a matter of what you actively do, it is also a matter of what you don’t do. All those in Germany who stood by and did nothing as the Nazis persecuted the Jews had as much blood on their hands as the guards at the concentration camps and the geeks who organized mass produced slaughter. Likewise, those who stand by and do nothing about the moral evils of this era, and in fact, who may be benefiting from the moral evils of this era, are moral cowards. Every dollar spent at McDonalds and Wal Mart is an investment in the economic fascism that is driving us to the ash heap of history.

          • TracyW

            And I bet it would not be hard to turn up evidence of both WalMart and McDonalds arguing against economic liberalization initiatives.

            I take it from this statement that you don’t already have any evidence of Walmart or McDonalds arguing this (let alone evidence that they were arguing this out of a desire for lots of poor employees, as opposed to arguing this for other motives, such as a mistaken belief that the suggested economic liberalisation was a bad thing).

            But above, you blithely asserted that McDonalds and Walmart did indeed do this, and were evil because of it. To quote yourself:

            “So they support structures that provide them with a large pool of people with no better prospects than lower wage employment with big businesses like them.”

            You speak a lot about history, and about moral evils. Isn’t there a lot of evidence from history that it’s an evil thing to assume that someone is guilty, without first looking for evidence both pro and con? You speak blithely about “support for moral evils” not being “only a matter of what you actively do” and then you actively accuse McDonalds and Walmart based on simply what you evidence you bet you might be able to turn up. It strikes me that one of the lessons of history is that this sort of behaviour of yours is awfully dangerous when applied generally – the Great Terror of the French Revolution, the Great Terror of Stalinist Russia, the horrors of the Chinese Cultural Revolution were built on jumping to the assumptions of the guilt of the accused with no better basis in facts than your “I bet it would not be hard to…”.

          • Bob Waldrop

            I wrote some stuff when I was active in the LP back in the 1980s which had citations regarding participation by McDonalds and WalMart managers in city council discussions on liberalizing street vending (for both food and merchandise). That was pre-internet though, and it would take some archeological work to dig it out which I am not inclined to do for a casual conversation in the comment section of a blog.

            It seems to me that you are the one who is uncomfortable at the direction this conversation is going because of your sudden leap of conjecture to equating my position to the Great Terror, Chinese Cultural Revolution, et al.

            When it comes to who I am and what I advocate, and how I practice what I preach, my life is an open book on the internet. I don’t hide behind a first name and an initial. People can see what and who I am and make their own judgement as to whether I am the vanguard of the next Great Terror.

          • TracyW

            which had citations regarding participation by McDonalds and WalMart managers in city council discussions on liberalizing street vending

            Sounds to me like short-term desire to avoid competition on the selling side, like nearly every other business on the planet (Adam Smith was writing about the self-interest of merchants long before McDonalds and Walmarts ever existed). Perhaps evil, but not evidence of a deliberate desire to create a large pool of unemployed low-skilled people. Nor do I see how you conclude that such lobbying outweighs the good done by hiring low-skilled people, thus increasing demand for their wages.

            which I am not inclined to do for a casual conversation in the comment section of a blog.

            So, let me see, you have called Walmart and McDonalds “evil”, and you have asserted “All those in Germany who stood by and did nothing as the Nazis persecuted the Jews had as much blood on their hands as the guards at the concentration camps and the geeks who organized mass produced slaughter. “, and yet you think this is a casual conversation? Wow! I find my mind boggling at the question of what the subject matter would have to be before you’d regard something as a serious conversation.

            It seems to me that you are the one who is uncomfortable at the direction this conversation is going

            Yes I am uncomfortable, which is why I’m engaging in this conversation with you, I figure discomfort means I’m likely to be learning something. (I don’t always make as much use of this intellectual insight as I should, I’m quite weak, morally, but I am making use of it now).

            because of your sudden leap of conjecture to equating my position to the Great Terror, Chinese Cultural Revolution, et al.

            Actually I took that approach because you were suddenly going from lobbying for economic restrictions to writing about ” All those in Germany who stood by and did nothing as the Nazis persecuted the Jews had as much blood on their hands…” If you brought in the Nazis, it’s hardly “sudden” or a “leap of conjecture” for someone else to start bringing in the Great Terror, Chinese Cultural Revolution, etc.

            (Oh, but you think that talking about the Nazis’ persecution of the Jews, and the moral liability of the bystanders, is “casual conversation”.)

            Nor did I equate your position to those evils, I said those evils were “built on jumping to the assumptions of the guilt”, it was a warning about where your logic risks leading to.

            When it comes to who I am and what I advocate, and how I practice what I preach, my life is an open book on the internet.

            I don’t care about your life on this point, I care about the quality of your arguments. If you’re going to call an organisation evil, I think you have a moral obligation to make your case for *that* an open book.

          • Bob Waldrop

            And I don’t recognize any claim that you care to make on my time and labor and intellectual activity. You are free to all the expectations that you care to assume and I am free to disappointment them. It’s a marvelous world, but I wonder if it is really the best of all possible worlds.

            Regarding the evils that you cite as some kind of “proofs” of your assertion that “those evils were built on jumping to the assumptions of the guilt”. . . to take just one example, the Nazis were a lot more than some kind of extrapolation on the assumption of guilt. Of all their crimes, extrapolating “assumptions of the guilt” seems the most minor and not at all a driving force compared with ordinary greed, lust for power, and sadism.

          • TracyW

            Yes you are free to say whatever you like. And I’m free to say that the basis on which you say things strikes me as very dangerous.
            The Nazis were your example, not mine. I do not think that every evil on the planet has the same cause. The examples I gave were ones that struck me as situations where assumptions of guilt do strike me as important driving forces behind the crimes (though, like all human affairs, they had multiple causes and indeed greed, lust for power, etc might have been driving forces behind the assumption of guilt itself).

        • TracyW

          Huh?

          What on earth do you mean by “lack of real money”?
          How does limited liability on corporations result in a large
          pool of people with no better prospects?
          How do direct taxpayers subsidies for suburban development result in a large pool of people with no better prospects?

          You don’t mention a single thing that McDonalds or Walmart are doing that shows any evidence of them supporting such structures.

          And why would McDonalds and Walmart benefit from this anyway? As a general rule, we are all better off when the people we trade with are richer and more productive. Higher-income people means more money to spend, so they’d win on the customer side. What evidence do you have that McDonalds and Walmart think their self-interest lies with their workers rather than with their customers?

          • Bob Waldrop

            “Lack of real money” is a reference to the fiat money system that presently prevails, such systems always disadvantage those who are not in the economic elites because they structurally discourage savings and capital formation. One way out of poverty for low income people is to save capital, but that becomes much more difficult of the value of the capital is constantly being eroded by government machinations of the money supply. If that seems weird to you, well, this is a Bleeding Heart LIBERTARIAN discussion, and libertarians, generally speaking, are not fond of fiat money systems.

            Limited liability corporations create an unnatural, statist economy that structurally drives the economy towards big corporations like McDonalds and WalMart and that means less entrepreneurship, more markets closed by government fiat, and thus fewer lower income people can invent their own jobs and make a reasonable living working for themselves. That results in a large pool of un- or under-employed people that benefits the big corporations operating on low wage labor. And here again, libertarians should not be defending the limited liability corporation, because it is a statist economic creation from the get-go.

            Suburban developmenst, that are driven by government subsidies, most notably the interstate highway system, distort urban housing and economic patterns so that driving and maintaining a car is a near-absolute requirement for participation in the economy. It separates housing from work, creates large housing ghettoes, and contribute to the general system that keeps poor people poor and other people not-poor.

            As to things WalMart and McDonalds might be actively doing to support this process. . . well. . . Exhibit A would be their opposition to collective bargaining with their employees via unions.

            I’m sure WalMart and MCDonalds identify more with their customers than their workers. Their workers are a dime a dozen and any number of replacements can be found for anyone who quits, gets disabled, etc. I thought somewhere up in the line here we were talking about morality, and my point is that McDonalds and WalMart are morally deficient because of their support for these policies that have these results. And specifically, I mean the stockholders, corporate officers, and corporate management, as human persons, are morally deficient.

          • TracyW

            “Lack of real money” is a reference to the fiat money system that presently prevails, such systems always disadvantage those who are not in the economic elites because they structurally discourage savings and capital formation.

            Funny, I thought the poor and the middle class did quite well during the 1950s and 1960s. What’s your empirical evidence for this?

            I agree that inflation discourages savings and capital formation, but I’m of the opinion that this makes everyone worst off, economic elite and otherwise. It’s noticeable that the rise of fiat money in the last couple of centuries has been accompanied by the biggest drops in poverty the world has ever seen. Fiat money may be bad in and of itself, despite this statistical association, but if so then the evils of fiat money are outweighed by other matters.

            Limited liability corporations create an unnatural, statist economy that structurally drives the economy towards big corporations like McDonalds and WalMart

            Again I find myself doubtful. Adam Smith, in the Wealth of Nations, was writing when it was relatively unusual to set up limited liability corporations (it required an act of parliament), and yet he details plenty of ways that merchants and guilds lobbied governments with the intent of lining their own pockets and the side effect of to keeping the poor poor. I also note that I own a limited liability company in NZ, which cost me about $110 to set up and about half an hour of my time, not a serious barrier to entrepreneurship (and I could have gone into business in my own name as well).
            Lots of regulations I think are what drives economies unnaturally towards big corporations, not legally limited liability.

            Suburban developmenst

            Yet poverty in the USA is higher and more persistent in remote rural areas. Suburban developments, and interstate highway systems, by bringing connections closer to these remote rural regions, sound to me like things that would reduce poverty in these remote areas.

            As to things WalMart and McDonalds might be actively doing to support this process. . . well. . . Exhibit A would be their opposition to collective bargaining with their employees via unions.

            Uh-huh, is Exhibit A meant to be your best evidence? Or are you leading with the weakest in an attempt to alleviate my feelings of discomfort? Because Exhibit A doesn’t strike me as having any immediate policy connection with fiat money, limited liability or suburban development.

          • Bob Waldrop

            During all of the 1950s, and up until 1964, I could take any paper dollar I came into contact with into a bank and come out with a shiny new silver dollar. I think that that was part of the reason why times were good in the 50s and 60s.

            As to who’s making out in the present economy. . . that seems to be clear. Those who have are doing better and those who have not are doing worse. Anything to argue about there?

            As to the alleged connection between the rise of fiat money and the decreases in poverty. . . connection is not causation. It may be that poverty would have been eradicated entirely if we had had better money, more sound currencies.

          • TracyW

            Thanks – I had forgotten about US convertibility at this time. My mistake – very bad of me.
            Okay, I’m now no longer totally dismissive of the idea but would like to see your evidence for it.

          • Bob Waldrop

            Regarding your evident distaste for unions. . . ON one hand you seem to have no problem with collective economic action by capital, why should you have a problem with collective economic action by labor? People keep arguing that capital should be subject to labor or that labor should be subject to capital but the reality is that both capital and labor are necessary and voluntary collective organization is essential to a healthy functioning economy.

          • TracyW

            Collective economic action by any group, be that capital, labour or interested leisure associations (such as amateur fishing and game) strikes me as potentially dangerous. All relatively small organised groups have an incentive to lobby for schemes that transfer wealth to themselves from the large disorganised bulk, as per public choice theory.

            On the other hand, these groups also contain subject matter experts who can play a valuable role in improving law-making. To pick a relatively minor example, back in 2001 or so the NZ government introduced legislation around IT setting out standards for things like digital signatures (so I could later on do things like register my company online) and defining what was unauthorised access to a computer. Unfortunately their definition of the latter would have, because of how the internet operates technically, banned all website browsing. One of the computing groups picked up on this and lobbied the government to write a new definition without this unintended effect.

            So this is a problem I don’t have a solution to, apart from the partial one of defending economic liberty.

            But this long answer is part of why I dislike calling an organisation “evil” because of its lobbying – I don’t think that labeling people as evil for behaviour so common is useful.

          • Bob Waldrop

            And I am president of the Oklahoma Food Cooperative which I think cost $125 for a filing fee for our articles of incorporation in 2003. But we are hardly a challenge to the Cargills and Archer-Daniel-Midlands of this world. The cheapness and ease of incorporation isn’t the issue. It’s the dominance of the larger economy. Finance, Insurance, Real Estate.

          • TracyW

            If it only costed you $125 to incorporate a limited liability company, I’m very doubtful that limited liability is the cause of a structural drive to big corporations.
            You speak a lot about “the big issue” but the more important the issue is, the more important it is to correctly diagnose the causes in order to fix the big issue. (Or we may decide that the good effects of the causes outweigh the costs even of the big issue). It’s dangerous to make decisions on the logic of:
            1. Something must be done.
            2. This is something.
            3. Therefore it must be done.

    • Theresa Klein

      I shop at Walmart fairly regularly. Not for groceries since the one near me does not have a produce section, but I often go there for bath necessities and cleaning supplies. They definitely have lower prices than any of the nearby supermarkets. I’ll also go there if I need a new pair of sheets or some towels or something. In my experience they are marginally cheaper than Target although there is some question as to quality. Target has slightly better quality goods. The Target also has a produce and grocery section but it is more expensive than the supermarket closest to me, so I never shop there.

  • Aeon Skoble

    Spot on, Jessica.

  • TracyW

    Why focus on Walmart and McDonalds – this could be the vividness issue. Rhetorically, a couple of examples, or even a single example, can be much more effective than a much more abstract argument. To pick a nasty case, the thing that stays in my mind about the Japanese atrocities committed in Manchuria during WWII was a story about medical experiments involving replacing patients’ blood with animals, and how one patient subject to this survived for 8 hours. I know intellectually numerous other atrocities were committed by the Japanese in Manchuria alone (and I have other nightmares stored in my memories about the Rape of Nanking and the Death Railway), but that story that for some reason is just much more vivid.

    On the whole, most people respond more to stories than to abstract principles (see for example http://www.danielwillingham.com/1/post/2013/06/storify-make-science-tell-a-story.html). High-IQ people may be an exception to this of course. (IQ tests were originally developed to predict how well kids would do in French schools, so the fact that high-IQ people would tend to be good at thinking in the way schools tend to teach isn’t that surprising).

  • rick a.

    “They both nicely illustrate how a lot of the resistance to Walmart and McDonald’s in particular is caused by classism.”

    In what way does McArdle’s piece demonstrate any causation at all?

  • Benkarkis

    Good job, Jessica.

  • SimpleMachine88

    I don’t doubt that those opposed to Walmart dislike poverty, in that they don’t want poor people in their neighborhood. If Walmart opens in a neighborhood, it becomes a lot more hospitable for lower-middle income people. These is just like why there’s no subway stop in Georgetown, because then people who ride the subway could get there. Lets be honest about how DC politics works.

  • Theresa Klein

    Isn’t it blindingly obvious that much of the distaste for Walmart and McDonalds is classist in nature?

    Also, I have trouble understanding how anyone could consider working at Walmart or McDonalds “unjust at any wage”. It’s not like either of these company whip their employees or force them to strip naked in front of customers. You could make the argument that prostitution is unjust, but Walmart? Seriously? Being a sales clerk and answering customers questions is too degrading for any human, really?

    • rick a.

      It is not “blindingly obvious”. Perhaps you, or someone else, could offer some real evidence instead of blithe assertion.

      • Les Kyle Nearhood

        Hard to offer hard evidence. But in my discussions with various lefty Walmart haters I got the distinct impression of what Theresa is talking about. “Not that I would ever shop there but…” Comments to that effect.

        • rick a.

          Perhaps the causal arrow points in the opposite direction – Walmart’s merchandise selection and store atmosphere, while likely increasing the purchasing power and diversity of products to some segments of the market might also lack appeal to other segments.

          In other words, without any real evidence, one supposition is as valid as any other. The mood affiliation in this thread is (not) surprising.

        • Theresa Klein

          Truth is, a lot of these people do shop at Walmart, because it is cheaper. They just spend their time in the store observing the fat, lower class, poor people with disgust.

          I’ve had this experience more than once, being in a store with a progressive and having to deal with their constant stream of negative commentary about the fatties and white trash, and how Walmart sucks and they can’t wait to leave.

          Although, fun fact, to all external appearances, aside from the fatness, there isn’t much material distinciton between them and the regular white trash. The progressives just have dreadlocks instead of stringy hair. I’d bet anything that half the other customers are like “ew, look at that dirty hippie, yuck!”

          • rick a.

            Your anecdotes are incredibly compelling evidence.

          • Les Kyle Nearhood

            Well all we have are our experiences. You doubt them because they obviously conflict with your own biases.

          • rick a.

            Or contrariwise, I might remember when libertarians and free-market thinkers rightly prided themselved on evidence, analysis, and more rigorous thinking than mainline partisans did. Perhaps I simply mourn the rise of invective-hurling and shoddy thinking.

  • While you have a point that there is some classism involved, the truth is that Walmart and McDonald’s are proxies for the general disapproval of the current state of the minimum wage and income stagnation. To the critics, they are the preeminent examples of what’s wrong with jobs in the US.

  • smalltalkman

    envy

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