Monday, April 09, 2007

A new form of conspicuous consumption

There was a piece in the New York Times yesterday observing that the anti-union stance of companies like Starbucks and Whole Foods just doesn't seem to cause much ire among the liberals who patronize those businesses and to they cater by supposedly being "different" from your typical rapacious capitalist corporation. John McAdams directs our attention to an article on Edun, the "socially responsible" clothing line started by Bono and his wife, Ali.

Yet Wal-Mart, which has probably done more to benefit poor consumers than much of the 40 year quagmire formerly known as the war on poverty, "carries the sack."

Why is this? My suggestion is that Wal-Mart does nothing to flatter the chattering class' sense of its moral superiority. It does not tell us that they - and we(if we shop there) - are better than other people. All it does is offer basic goods at low prices. But what does that say about me ?

4 comments:

Dad29 said...

There's a parallel. Look at the proposed remedies for Global Warming.

Then look at the lifestyle(s) of those who make the proposals.

One assuages one's guilt by making the OTHER guy suffer.

jp said...

What is amazing to me, is these types seem to believe sincerely what they are doing is right.

If you do not shop at Wal-Mart, it says you prefer quality products.

Kate said...

$275 for a pair of jeans? I don't bloomin' think so! I'll buy my jeans at Wal Mart!

Billiam said...

I buy my jeans at Fleet Farm for about $25.00. They last. I buy other things at Wal-mart, because they cost less. I could afford to pay more, but why? It's not virtuous to pay more just because the place is non-union. Ditto to what Dad29 says, as well.