Bill Murchison

Wal-Mart says its average wage is $10 an hour, nearly twice the minimum wage. So we'll do (SET ITAL) what (END ITAL) about that once Biden is president? Or Mrs. Clinton (a onetime Wal-Mart board member)? Or whomever? Ah, raise the minimum wage? Wait, though -- the Senate, presently controlled by those beastly Republicans, tried raising it before the August break, only to fail when Democrats refused to cooperate, as the minimum-wage hike was being yoked to a measure cutting the death tax. Count on the Republicans to rehearse this dismal history. As if the minimum wage were the answer anyway.

Isn't it likelier that part of the answer, anyway, is a stronger economy, one less burdened by regulation and taxes, that encourages competition with Wal-Mart and thus encourages Wal-Mart to do better by employees -- who, in any case, don't seem to be working there because they were kidnapped and brought to the store at gunpoint? It might just possibly be that 1.3 million Americans are better judges of their needs and opportunities than is Joe Biden.

But, well, the Democrats have stepped into this one now, and extrication won't be easy. Nor will it be fun devising for Ned Lamont, in Connecticut, a useful substitute for his relentless and productive attacks on Joe Lieberman during the Democratic primary. If elected to help end the Iraq war, Lamont will do...what exactly?

As Spiderman is wont to muse, with power goes responsibility (an immemorial truth that even politicians sometimes acknowledge). So why the gaudy rhetoric about problems people like Biden know for a fact they can't solve? Because, no doubt, demagoguery is such fun when elections are a ways off and nobody can hold you fully to account for saying and wishing and promising the most awful nonsense.

At least until after the elections.

Bill Murchison

Bill Murchison is the former senior columns writer for The Dallas Morning News and author of There's More to Life Than Politics.
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