Wal-Mart has Turned to Cronyism to Compete

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from IBD:

Main Street” is Americana. Literally, it’s the primary road in a town, but culturally it’s much more than that. Main street is synonymous with mainstream, but it also evokes core American ideals like fairness — that the rules are the same for the “average Joe” as they are for wealthy corporations.

In recent years, Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) has tried to appropriate “Main Street” into the names of various lobbying campaigns it’s funding. First, it was the “Alliance for Main Street Fairness,” a Wal-Mart-led coalition to impose price controls on payment fees.

Now the company is behind the “Main Street Energy Alliance,” a group of companies who are working to convert the government’s ethanol quotas into a weapon against their competitors.

Claiming the mantle of American values is utterly ordinary in politics, but there’s several reasons to draw attention here.

  • First, to correct any benefit of the doubt for Wal-Mart, which despite its rich history as a success story of American capitalism and entrepreneurship has fallen behind in the Internet age, a dynamic that may explain the company’s turn to Washington cronyism.
  • Second, to highlight the particular, self-serving policies that Wal-Mart has wrapped itself in the American flag to justify, despite the harm they are causing to consumers and the larger economy.
  • Third, simply to note the depth of cynicism for a company to cloak its efforts to tilt the playing field in its favor as “main street” — a concept that stands for literally the opposite of what Wal-Mart is engaged in.

It wasn’t always this way. The story of how the late Sam Walton transformed the “Walton’s 5 & 10” in Bentonville, Ark., into what was at one point the world’s largest company is inspiring. At its best, Wal-Mart was the champion of low prices, tirelessly pushing for ways to cut costs to produce value for its customers.

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About the Common Constitutionalist

Brent, aka The Common Constitutionalist, is a Constitutional Conservative, and advocates for first principles, founders original intent and enemy of progressives. He is former Navy, Martial Arts expert. As well as publisher of the Common Constitutionalist blog, he also is a contributing writer for Political Outcast, Godfather Politics, Minute Men News (Liberty Alliance), Freedom Outpost, the Daily Caller, Vision To America and Free Republic. He also writes an exclusive weekly column for World Net Daily (WND).