Paul Jacob

Nothing can ruin an already miserable shopping experience faster than a screaming brat throwing a fit to get his way — right in the middle of your local Wal-Mart.

Much has been written about today’s parents erring on the lax side. But enjoying a difficult enough time parenting my own, I’ll offer only this advice: kids do what works.

If throwing a fit works, you’ll witness a lot of fit-throwing.

Come to think of it, businesses and politicians and political shakedown artists do what works, too. Which brings us back to Wal-Mart. And unions. And politicians.

And more tantrums.

For years now, Wal-Mart has been under constant attack from union-funded groups. The two most active bashers are Wal-Mart Watch, set up by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and Wake Up Wal-Mart, unleashed by the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW).

Fittingly, the groups’ logos are America Behind Bars and an Unhappy Face, respectively.

One might surmise their goal is to nag Wal-Mart to death. From press releases to organized protests, their high-pitched complaints ring incessantly in our ears. Wal-Mart Watch even blames the retailer for crimes committed in their stores’ parking lots. A list, including British parking lots, is at their website.

Of course, nagging is their very right. It is the continual use of the unions’ political teeth that should elicit opposition. Throughout the country, Wal-Mart’s union-sponsored harassers have attempted to ply the force of law to block Wal-Mart from opening new stores, from reaching customers (who very much want that choice). They’ve also pressured politicians to micro-manage what Wal-Mart pays in salary and benefits. By law.

Why this multi-million dollar campaign pitting government against Wal-Mart?

The Smiley Face store has been successful. It’s the world’s largest retailer. It’s whipping the pants off unionized stores in the free marketplace. That means it has money, making it a great target for extortion. Legal or political extortion, that is.

Paul Jacob

Paul Jacob is President of Citizens in Charge Foundation and Citizens in Charge. His daily Common Sense commentary appears on the Web and via e-mail.