The Hezbocrats, a roaming band of militant guerrillas seeking their party’s 2008 nomination for president, have most recently lobbed their rhetorical bombs at Wal-Mart, that cruel capitalist occupying corporation. The most recent base of Hezbocrat activity was Iowa, the state whose January 2008 party caucuses are the nation’s first measure of presidential preference. The Hezbocrats, armed with nothing more than Katyusha-grade class warfare rhetoric, descended upon Iowa earlier this month determined to take down Wal-Mart, a company they consider the nation’s largest capitalistic oppressor of the proletariat.
Leading Hezbocrats, including Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE), Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) and Gov. Bill Richardson (D-NM), attended rallies in Des Moines to slam Wal-Mart, the nation’s largest private employer. Wal-Mart’s crime? According to the Hezbocrats, Wal-Mart has abandoned the middle class by not paying what they consider a “living wage” or providing its employees free healthcare coverage.
At one rally, Sen. Biden stated, “My problem with Wal-Mart is that I don’t see any indication that they care about the fate of middle-class people.” Sen. Bayh added, “Wal-Mart has become emblematic of the anxiety around the country, and the middle-class squeeze.”
These are spurious charges, considering the fact that Wal-Mart’s average full-time hourly wage is $10.11. Wal-Mart also announced this month that it is raising wages by an average of six percent for employees in over 1,200 of its 4,000 U.S. stores. Further, the company offers qualifying employees a menu of 18 healthcare plans, some costing as little as $11 per month.
Earlier this year another Hezbocrat, Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) returned a $5,000 campaign contribution from Wal-Mart, citing “serious differences” with the company. In a biting twist of irony, Clinton, regarded by many as the Hezbocrat militia’s leading candidate for the 2008 nomination, served on Wal-Mart’s Board of Directors for six years when her husband, impeached former president Bill Clinton, was Governor of Arkansas. In 1986, the late Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton chose Clinton as the company’s first female board member, and she received over $18,000 each year she served on the board. Even though she’s rich now, Clinton has not publicly returned her Wal-Mart salary from those six years.
The Hezbocrat assault on Wal-Mart probably has the casual political observer scratching his head over why a political party would blast away at an employer of 1.3 million Americans, not to mention his family’s favorite place to shop. The candidates claim to be looking out for the nation’s “working families” by advocating higher wages and full healthcare coverage for all employees. In truth, the Hezbocrat candidates have another agenda, one that is purely political and would hurt the very Wal-Mart employees and customers they claim to support.
Two organizations, Wal-Mart Watch and Wake Up Wal-Mart, are responsible for organizing the Iowa rallies and similar rallies across the country. As the old political adage reminds us, follow the money. Wal-Mart Watch is funded by the Teamsters Union and the Service Employees International Union. The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union funds Wake Up Wal-Mart. Why would Big Labor Unions organize a fight against Wal-Mart? Because employees at the nation’s largest employer do not belong to labor unions.
Hezbocrat opposition to Wal-Mart is akin to their opposition to legislation that would have increased the minimum wage because it also contained a provision to scale back the estate tax. They pay no mind to the raft of economic benefits Wal-Mart brings to employees, customers and communities. All the critics see is that Wal-Mart has not succumbed to Big Labor Union – and Big Labor Union, pillar of the Hezbocrat Party, is not happy.
The Hezbocrats risk a huge political backlash by drawing horns and a tail on Wal-Mart’s trademark yellow happy face. They say that Wal-Mart treats its employees poorly, but who is complaining? In January, 25,000 people applied for 325 available jobs at a proposed Wal-Mart store outside of Chicago. According to Wal-Mart, over 75 percent of its store managers started with the company as hourly workers. Wal-Mart’s prices save the average American household over $2,300 per year. The company is so unpopular that over 127 million customers shop at its U.S. stores each week.
When you vote this November, remember which party places unionizing the largest private employer’s workers over jobs and low retail prices for the communities and families who need them the most. It is unfortunate, and telling, that with all the threats to our national security abroad, the candidates for president from one of the two major political parties have instead chosen to declare war on a private company right here at home.